Men’s College Basketball
Saint Peter’s University 77, Rider University 69
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ—Like sand through the hourglass, so are the games of this basketball season.
Unlike most other methods of measuring time, the hourglass concretely represents the present as being between the past and the future, and this has made it an enduring symbol of time itself. The hourglass, sometimes with the addition of metaphorical wings, is often depicted as a symbol that human existence is fleeting, and that the "sands of time" will run out.
After 16 games with just 13 regular season games remaining, Rider fans are hoping the sands of time are not running out on the Broncs.
Despite a career-high 28 points by senior Daniel Stewart (Philadelphia, PA/Neumann-Goretti), the Broncs lost a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game to Saint Peter’s Thursday night. “We have to do a better job defensively,” Stewart said.
The loss was the third for Rider in the last four games.
“Another terrible performance by us defensively,” said Rider head coach Kevin Baggett. “We’re just not a good defensive team right now and that’s the difference. We’re not a good team right now.”
Since Rider, Saint Peter’s and Monmouth are all about an hour from each other, the three-way rivalry between the NJ MAAC teams called the Hourglass Rivalry was established this year. The annual winner of the Hourglass will be decided by the competition of all sports between the three institutions.
Thursday night the score was tied at 35 before Saint Peter’s (7-9, 3-4 MAAC) went on a 15-5 run, six points by freshman guard Trevis Wyche, to give the Peacocks a 50-40 lead with 9:32 left to play. That was the fifth and final tie of the game.
Wyche finished with 14 points and four assists.
Rider (8-8, 4-3 MAAC) scored the first five points of the second half, four by senior Anthony Myles (Dover, DE/Poly-Tech), to tie the score at 31. Myles, who ranks fourth in the MAAC in scoring (19.2) and 10th in field goal percentage (.479), was one for 10 from the field and finished with just eight points but added a career-high seven assists.
The Broncs are first in the MAAC and 23rd in the nation in free throw percentage (.749). Thursday night the Broncs were 17 of 22 from the foul line (.773), but Saint Peter’s was 31 of 35 (.886), including 15 for 16 from the foul line in the final 2:11 of the game to preserve the victory.
Saint Peter’s led 31-26 at the half on 15 points by Desi Washington, who averages 13.1 points per game. Washington finished with 21 points.
With the score tied at 16, SPU out-scored Rider 12-3, four points by Elias Desport, to take a 28-19 lead with 4:07 left in the first half. Desport finished with eight points in 13 minutes off the bench.
With the win Saint Peter’s has now won three in a row. The Peacocks won at Fairfield at the buzzer January 8 and then beat Quinnipiac on January 12. Quinnipiac had previously defeated what many consider the top two teams in the MAAC, Manhattan and Iona.
“I’m excited with the way our team is playing right now,” said Saint Peter’s head coach John Dunne. “We just started doing that the last few games.”
Earlier this year Saint Peter’s defeated Seton Hall.
Peacock Marvin Dominique, who is averaging 18.1 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, was held scoreless in the first half, playing just seven minutes due to foul trouble, but finished with 16 points in 24 minutes.
Saint Peter’s is giving up the fewest points (68.2) in the MAAC. “We like to grind it out defensively,” Dunne said.
Rider is second in the MAAC in scoring (79.8 ppg). “Give Saint Peter’s credit,” Baggett said, “they have been a pretty good defensive team. There are going to be nights that you aren’t going to be able to score and that’s why you have to play solid defense.”
The 69 points is the fourth fewest Rider has scored this year.
Rider had won 13 of the last 16 meetings with Saint Peter's before Thursday, including the last five. Since joining the MAAC Rider is now 24-15 against Saint Peter's.
Also for Rider, freshman Jimmie Taylor III (Branford, Fla./Suwannee) compiled 14 points and five rebounds, and sophomore Khalil Alford (Raleigh, NC/Fishburne Military) compiled nine points and eight rebounds in just 14 minutes off the bench.
Saint Peter's was one of the original members of the MAAC (1981-82). The Peacocks have won three MAAC Championship Tournaments (2011, 1995, 1991) and finished runner-up four times (2006, 1999, 1989, 1982).
Rider travels to Poughkeepsie Saturday to take on Marist at 7pm.