Men’s basketball drops second-straight conference game to reigning MAAC champs Saint Peter’s


Peyton McKenzie

Quinnipiac men’s basketball loses its second straight conference game.

Connor Wilson, Staff Writer

Playing in its first conference road game of the season, the Quinnipiac men’s basketball team fell to the reigning MAAC champions Saint Peter’s by a final score of 63-56 Sunday afternoon in Jersey City.

The Bobcats were down by as many as 11 points early in the second half at 17-6 but responded with a 22-4 run to take the lead. Junior guard Dezi Jones led the team with 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Jones was also very active on the defensive end ,as he recorded two steals and two blocks.

Joining Jones in double figures were junior guard Luis Kortright and graduate student forward Ike Nweke, who each finished with 10 points. Kortright also added four steals, one of which led to a give-and-go alley-oop slam assisted by Jones on the other end.

The Bobcats were in a 2-3 zone for a majority of the second half and gave the Peacocks some trouble, but Saint Peter’s and fifth-year guard Isiah Dasher figured it out towards the end of the game and ended on a 19-7 run over the final seven minutes.

Dasher was the story of the game throughout. The Jersey City native finished with a career-high 29 points on 11-for-19 shooting and 5-for-9 from deep. He hit some extremely difficult shots, including a stepback jumper to give the Peacocks their first lead in over 20 minutes of game time.

Outside of Dasher, there weren’t many players lighting it up for the Peacocks. Senior guard Latrell Reid was the only other player in double figures, as he finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

A key theme for the Bobcats all season long has been free throw shooting and Sunday was no exception. They started out shooting 14-for-17 from the charity stripe but finished 7-for-14 the rest of the way. They also struggled from deep, shooting just 14% from three. The struggles were especially evident in the second half, where they went 0-for-12 from beyond the arc.

The two teams were trading points down the stretch, but senior guard Alex Rivera hit a three-pointer to put the Peacocks up by three and they never looked back. Saint Peter’s hit its free throws late to secure the victory.

Redshirt senior guard Matt Balanc had his worst game of the season. The preseason All-MAAC first teamer was held scoreless on his six shot attempts. Graduate student guard Tyrese Williams and junior guard Tymu Chenery, two wings who are usually efficient shooting the basketball, went a combined 3-for-12 from the field and 2-for-8 from distance.

With Dasher going for 29 points, this isn’t the first time that a MAAC player has taken over a game against the Bobcats this season, such as Dec. 4, when Niagara guard Noah Thomasson went for 24 points. This has been a common theme in all three losses going back to non-conference play, as Hofstra guard Aaron Estrada scored 29 points in a win for the Pride during the Northern Classic in Quebec.

This is the first road loss of the season for the Bobcats, who were 4-0 with wins at Stonehill, CCSU, Rhode Island and Holy Cross.

The victory is the first conference win for Saint Peter’s Bashir Mason as head coach of the Peacocks. Mason took over this season after former head coach Shaheen Holloway left to take the Seton Hall job after leading the Peacocks to the Elite Eight in 2022.

Up next for Quinnipiac is its final non-conference game of the season as the Bobcats head to State College to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions out of the Big Ten on Dec. 22, at 8:30 p.m.