Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani: At St. Peter's vs Niagara

by Ray Floriani

JERSEY CITY, NJ - It took a while and for St.Peter’s it was worth the wait. The Peacocks defeated Niagara 90-86 in two overtimes in a MAAC meeting at Yanitelli Center.

In a mid eighty possession game (Niagara 85, St.Peter’s 83) the efficiencies and four factors:


That was the key and again, something that just cannot be measured or accounted for by formula or on a calculator. Niagara forced both overtimes on late three pointers. And on both occasions St.Peter’s kept after it and responded to the challenge. St.Peter’s, in fact, was coming off their worst performance in over a year per coach John Dunne. Following a 23 point loss at Manhattan , Dunne did not label the Niagara game as ‘must win’. Rather, he simply appealed to his team to give it their best effort and the outcome would work itself out.

Big second half, and OTs for marquee players.
Tyrone Lewis of Niagara had 4 points at the half on one of nine shooting. The senior guard exploded after intermission finishing with 27 points. Lewis shot 7 of 20 but was 6 of 14 from three. He shot 6of 10 (60%) from beyond the arc after halftime and sent the game into overtime with a trey with just over a second to play.

Ryan Bacon had no points and was 0 for 1 from the field the first half as Niagara did a good defensive job. The St.Peter’s junior center didn’t force things and let the game come to him. Bacon was instrumental down the stretch and in the extra sessions. He finished with 12 points, 16 rebounds and 7 assists. One key play in the second OT, Bacon tipped a rebound twice and his second effort allowed Wesley Jenkins to secure the loose ball and finish with a dunk.

Both teams had four players in double figures. Niagara was led by Lewis’27 while Nick Leon of St.Peter’s led all scorers with 29 and Jenkins added 27.

Niagara entered the game forcing opponents into a 23% turnover rate. The Purple Eagles employ some full court pressure but even in half court defense, pressure the ball very aggressively. St.Peter’s, with their 18% rate. Did a good job in taking care of the ball.

Free throw rate was a bit inflated as Niagara was in a catch-up fouling mode late in regulation and the 2 Ots. Leon, a guard, shot the games most free throws (12, hitting 11) as Niagara fouled late attempting to get the ball back.

Both teams had three players log 40 or more minutes. Leon led all with 47 minutes. Niagara is 10-8 (3-3 in conference) while St.Peter’s improves to 8-8 (3-3). Niagara scored 45% of their points from three point range. Entering the game coach Joe Mihalich’s club was earning 32% of their points beyond the arc. Clearly a Perimeter Oriented Team as Niagara entered the game shooting 47% on two point field goal attempts.

"To get a win over a great team like Niagara is huge. The biggest thing is our kids kept their heads up when the game got tied and went into overtime(s). Our kids never had their heads down or let up." - Coach John Dunne St.Peter's

Rafael Addison Sighting - Prior to heading to St.Peter’s it was officiating time at Snyder High School in Jersey City. In attendance was former Snyder and Syracuse standout Rafael Addison. Rafael’s daughter Ashley is now playing at Molloy College. Addison coached her several years in AAU ball and took a very keen interest in the girls game. He stays in touch with his former coach Jim Boeheim and is looking forward to catching his alma mater at Rutgers in Wednesday.

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