Courtside Commentary: Manhattan 66 Saint Peter's 56

Jersey City, NJ - The first college games I attended were at Saint Peter’s during my high school years. Back in the day it was Saint Peter’s College with the home court at the Jersey City Armory. The armory is still there, two blocks from now, Saint Peter’s University. The home venue Yanitelli Center was upgraded last year and remaned Run Baby Run Arena.

On this night Saint Peter’s hosted Manhattan in a MAAC Women’s contest. Saint Peter’s came in winners of two straight while the Jaspers were in the midst of a three game slide.

First period action saw Saint Peter’s utilize 2-2-1 full court pressure. Saint Peter’s was the one struggling to maintain possession with six turnovers to Manhattan’s three. The visiting Jaspers had size. Marc Mitchell’s Peacocks attempted to neutralize it by pushing the ball. All too often Saint Peter’s settled for a midrange or three point attempt. Manhattan was the team in the attack the basket mode. The period ended with Heather Vulin’s Jaspers showing a 22-14 lead. The pace was reflected in the 20 possession first ten minutes-a rapid tempo. Manhattan held a 110-70 edge in offensive efficiency.

Second period saw Saint Peter’s make more attempts at dribble penetration. They were bothered by Manhattan’s size on both ends of the floor, especially with 6’3" Kassondra Brown in foul trouble, and soon fell behind by double digits. Manhattan held the Peacocks to three second period points and led at the half 34-17. Jenna Jordan did most of the damage against the Peacocks with ten points.

Following the break Saint Peter’s made a priority to go inside to Brown. Defensively Manhattan would double Brown when she caught it down low. On their end Manhattan would post up or hit Jordan or Courtney Warley as they cut across the lane. Dee Dee Davis was creating penetration problems for the Peacocks from her guard spot. The media time out at 4:54 saw the Jaspers in command with a 40-22 lead. Saint Peter’s made a run to cut the deficit to 10. Their press began forcing turnovers that translated into transition baskets. After three Manhattan led 44-34.

Saint Peter’s continued to battle. Binta Salwau’s three pointer cut the deficit to five with six minutes remaining. Manhattan missed a few close in shots during the run and Mitchell’s club was fast to capitalize. The media time out at 4:29 saw Manhattan ahead by eight. With momentum shifted, there was plenty of time for Saint Peter’s to make another run. Manhattan’s Brazil Harvey-Carr hits her second three pointer of the period to push the lead back to nine. With the damage inflicted inside, it’s interesting to note two very big shots came from the perimeter. Manhattan struggled from the charity stripe. Saint Peter’s had opportunities but couldn’t cash in.

Final: Manhattan 66 Saint Peter’s 56

Manhattan is now 5-4 in the MAAC (10-8 overall). Saint Peter’s fell to 4-3 (MAAC) and 7-9 (overall).

Dee Dee Davis led all scorers with 20 points. Saint Peter’s was paced by Kendrea Williams, despite being hampered by foul trouble, who finished with 13 points. Warley posted a double-double scoring 13 points while adding a game high 11 boards for the Jaspers. Brown, a 15 ppg scorer, finished with eight before fouling out. Manhattan committed 24 turnovers, Saint Peter’s 20. The Jaspers owned the boards with a 40-29 advantage.

The game was played at a rapid 76 possession pace. Manhattan held an 87-74 edge in offensive efficiency. Next, Saint Peter;s entertains Marist on Saturday while Manhattan visits Iona on Friday.