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Saint Peter’s Falls Short at La Salle in Season Opener

The Saint Peter’s men’s basketball team was unable to deliver a first win of the 2017-18 season. The Peacocks were edged by the La Salle Explorers 61-40 on Saturday evening in the first campus round game of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament.

Forward Samuel Idowu set up guard Nick Griffin for the 2-0 lead for Saint Peter’s by knocking down a 15-footer at the top of the key, setting the tempo early. The Explorers tied it up by the next possession and Saul Phiri added another two points to the board after grabbing an offensive board.

The Peacocks regained the 5-4 lead after Quinn Taylor dished it out to Davauhnte Turner for a clean cut to the basket. The action continued to rock back-and-forth but Turner snatched a defensive board and sent it to Idowu for a made mid-ranger.

The two contenders tied up three times during the first half; 8-8, 10-10 and 13-13. Mamadou Ndiaye racked up six points–including a slam dunk–and Turner with a three-pointer while Nnamdi Enechionyia and Cameron Jones added an assist to their stats.

The Explorers continued to extend their lead during the rest of the first half, leading 30-19 at the break. Jones hit a three from downtown which were the last points for SPU for that half.

Idowu scored the first points for the Peacocks in the second half with a put-back layup, coming back 30-21. Explorer Tony Washington fouled Taylor, giving SPU two extra points to stand at 23-32. Jones then hit back-to-back threes with assists from Turner making the game just 30-40.

With just 2:36 remaining, Jones dished out to Idowu for a jumper to cut the deficit 40-55, but that would be the last time they scored.

Jones led the Peacocks in points (9), Idowu in rebounds (6) and Turner in assists (4). Overall the team went 15-for-49 with a 30.6 field goal percentage. SPU was beat in points off turnovers (10; La Salle 20) and points in the paint (12; La Salle 26).

Saint Peter’s will return to the court on Monday night against Northwestern in the final of campus rounds of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament in Chicago at 8:00 p.m. ET.

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