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Saint Peter’s falls to 2-2 in MAAC play after loss to Canisius

The Peacocks were unable to hold on to a late lead as they fell to Canisius 72-68.

After their first MAAC loss against Siena on Thursday, Saint Peter’s returned home to face Canisius. Shaheen Holloway’s squad wanted to retain their momentum after a fast beginning to league play. In a wide-open MAAC, anything is possible for the teams fighting for conference supremacy.

In an exciting game, Canisius came away with a 72-68 win over Saint Peter’s in Jersey City on Sunday afternoon.

The opening portion of the first half featured an up-and-down game from Saint Peter’s. Holloway showed the team’s depth by playing eleven players by the halfway point of the opening half, but the Peacocks had issues shooting and defending. The intensity was turned up as timely baskets and good defense led to a tied game at 22 at the 7:55 mark of the half.

Doug Edert’s started to heat up hitting two straight three-pointers to give the Peacocks a 31-26 lead with 5:45 left in the half. The pace of the game slowed considerably as the referee’s whistles became more prevalent in the latter stages of the half. Along with some questionable calls, both offenses became stagnant as Saint Peter’s and Canisius could not find a rhythm. Canisius held a 38-35 lead after the first 20 minutes of play.

The second half began similar to the first half for Saint Peter’s (5-8, 2-2 MAAC). While there were a few bright spots, the Peacocks struggled against Canisius’ defense. Five minutes into the second half is when the Peacocks began to figure out the zone defense of the Golden Griffins. Three consecutive baskets on the straight possessions cut the deficit to 47-46. A steal and a three-point play after a thunderous jam by Foussenyi Drame gave Saint Peter’s a 52-48 lead with 11:37 remaining in regulation.

The game went back-and-forth throughout the second half as both teams tightened up defensively. Both went into the bonus early in the half, so foul shooting became important down the stretch as the Peacocks missed ten free throws in the game.

At the final media timeout, the Peacocks held a 64-61 lead with 3:30 remaining. Two straight baskets from Daryl Banks III stretched the lead to 68-63 as Saint Peter’s tried to hold on at home.

Canisius (2-12, 1-4 MAAC) scored two baskets on consecutive possessions to cut the lead to 68-67. Following a Saint Peter’s timeout, a charging foul gave the Golden Griffins possession. Two free throws gave Canisius the lead 69-68 as the Peacocks called a timeout with 31.9 seconds remaining. On the ensuing possession, KC Ndefo’s drive to the basket was blocked. After a made free throw, Matthew Lee was called for a charge as that was the last grasp for Saint Peter’s.

“This is a disappointing loss. I blame myself for it,” said Holloway after the game. “I ain’t get my guys ready to play against a team that I knew would be hungry. Two bad play calls by me, terrible calls. This one’s on me and on to the next.”

Doug Edert scored a team-high 13 points as the guard was perfect shooting from the field. Dallas Watson and Daryl Banks III each finished with 11 points.

“When you can shoot the basketball like he (Edert) could, teams come in an have a game plan for you,” said Holloway. “Right now, they aren’t letting him touch the basketball. We gotta do a better job of screening for him.”

Canisius was led by Malik Johnson, who scored 15 points. Majesty Brandon added 14 points in the Golden Griffins first conference win. Canisius ended the game on a 9-0 run that put the game out of reach.

What’s Next For Saint Peter’s

The Peacocks hit the road for three straight away games. It all begins on Wednesday when Saint Peter’s play Fairfield.

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Kahlil Thomas

Kahlil is the College Sports Editor for DoubleGSports.com as well as a columnist, hosting the Bump 'N Run column once per week. He also co-hosts a weekly basketball podcast, The Box Out, every Thursday evening with fellow DoubleGSports.com writer Jason Cordner.
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