Saint Peter’s Captures the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship in Atlantic City and Punches Their Ticket to the NCAA Tournament
By: Ethan Hennessy
Atlantic City New Jersey
Monmouth started the game on a 6-0 thanks to a George Papas cross-court alley-oop pass that was finished off by a cutting Jarvis Vaughan and then Papas hit a corner three. Saint Peter’s was not going to make things easy on Monmouth KC Ndefo locked down the paint and turned away the Hawks shot attempts blocking three shots by the time we reached the under twelve media timeout. The Peacocks took the 13-11 lead into that break. Midway through the first half Monmouth went on a scoring drought that lasted over three and a half minutes. Saint Peter’s was unable to capitalize however as they only got their lead up to five. The rest of half showcased an abundance of missed opportunities as Saint Peter’s only made nine field goals and Monmouth eight. The Peacocks led 29-25 at halftime.
In the second half both teams struggled to take the lid off the basket with the score knotted at 39-33 for over two minutes from the under fifteen timeout onward. KC Ndefo picked up his third personal foul trying to block a Shavar Reynolds dunk attempt at the 13:21 mark. He remained in the game for Saint Peter’s though. As Monmouth started to make shots the crowd which was probably 70% Hawks fans began to vocalize their support.
Down the stretch of the second half everytime Saint Peter’s scored Monmouth had an answer. The Peackocks lost their defensive anchor when KC Ndefo fouled out with 3:31 to go. He had seven points, seven rebounds, and three blocks.
Doug Edert hit a massive three to put the Peacocks up five in the final minute, and they ended up winning the game by a final score of 60-54. Doug Edert who won the tournament MVP award finished with 20 points in the championship game. For Monmouth Walker Miller had 15 points and six rebounds while his teamate Shavar Reynolds had 12 points and five rebounds. Saint Peter’s will find out who they will play in the NCAA Tournament durring the anual selection show airing tomorrow night.
Some photos of Saint Peter’s postgame championship celebration: