JERSEY CITY, NJ – Saint Peter’s went on a decisive 16-3 run midway through the second half as the Peacocks rallied past Siena Basketball 85-80 in a barnburner at the Yanitelli Center. Elijah Burns scored a game-high 18 points on 5-6 shooting for the Saints who saw their three-game winning streak snapped.
Aaron Estrada led four in double figures scoring 13 of his 17 points in the second half for Saint Peter’s (10-10, 7-4) who completed a perfect 4-0 homestand to take over sole possession of second place in the MAAC Standings. Reserves KC Ndefo (15 points), Hassan Drame (12), and Cameron Jones (10) also scored in double figures for the Peacocks who received 49 points from their bench.
Manny Camper tallied 17 points and nine rebounds, while Donald Carey added 15 points for Siena (10-10, 6-5) as the home team prevailed for the 15th time in the past 16 meetings between the programs. Jalen Pickett contributed nine points and a season-high 11 assists while only committing one turnover for the Saints who shot just 16-26 (62%) from the free throw line as opposed to 30-37 (81%) for Saint Peter’s in the narrow defeat.
Siena led for virtually all of the first half and by as many as nine points on a Camper three which extended the advantage to 30-21 at the 5:24 mark. The Saints connected for a season-high 12 triples while shooting an efficient 48% from distance. But the Peacocks responded with 10 unanswered to take their first lead, and the teams would head into the break knotted at 35.
Siena led by as many as five on several occasions in the second half, the final of which was a 52-47 margin with 13:50 remaining. However, Saint Peter’s responded with the next eight points to reclaim the lead for good and kickstart the decisive 16-3 run which was capped by back-to-back Jones threes to make it 63-55 Peacocks with 9:53 to go.
Saint Peter’s ultimately led by as much as 11 at 68-57 with an even four minutes remaining. The Saints, who had averaged just 58.5 points in their last nine visits to the Yanitelli Center, made one final push scoring seven straight to pull within 78-74 with 2:05 left but could get no closer.
The Peacocks, who entered play ranked 15th worst in field goal percentage at 39.5%, shot an even 50% from the floor and held an 18-8 advantage in second chance points.
A perfect 9-0 so far this season at the Times Union Center, Siena returns to the Capital Region Friday to open its second season long four-game homestand against Fairfield at 7 p.m.