JERSEY CITY, N.J. (NJCUGothicKnights.com) | In an exhibition game 40-years in the making, Division III New Jersey City University led Division I Saint Peter's for more than 13 minutes of the first half before the Peacocks hit three consecutive three pointers and overcame the Gothic Knights, 88-61, in the Battle of the Boulevard at the Yanitelli Center. The exhibition game—the final tune-up for both schools before their official season openers next week—was the first basketball meeting between the schools since December 13, 1980, and drew a crowd of 1,124. NJCU trailed by just two (55-53) midway through the second half but could never regain the lead.
Each team had three players in double figures. The three-point shooting of Saint Peter's freshman guard Doug Edert (Nutley, N.J.), a Bergen Catholic product, late in the first half, was ultimately what put the Peacocks in front to stay. NJCU finished the game with five freshmen on the court as SPU scored 16 of the final 19 points, to make the score unrepresentative of the competitiveness of the game.
Edert had a game-high 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting (5-7 3FG) and had 15 of the first 34 points for the Peacocks. He finished with three steals and 6-foot-8 senior forward Derrick Woods (Trenton, N.J.) produced 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting, eight defensive rebounds and four blocks. Freshman guard Aaron Estrada (Woodbury, N.J.) added 16 points (5-of-10 FG).
NJCU was led by former Cincinnati Bearcat and senior center Quadri Moore who had 11 points and five rebounds in his Division III debut while senior power forward and First-Team All-American Sam Toney added 10 points and two blocks. Junior shooting guard Denzel Banks also scored 10, adding five steals and three assists. He was the only Gothic Knight with a positive +/-.
SPU shot 50.0 percent in each half—16-of-32 in the opening half and 13-of-26 in the second—and finished the game 29-of-58 overall. NJCU was limited to 31.3 percent shooting (21-67). The Peacocks length contributed to seven blocked shots.
Also contributing for NJCU was transfer senior small forward Jaimik Moore who had eight points, seven rebounds and four assists in his debut and fellow transfer, junior point guard Tarique Holmes, had six points and three assists. Freshman forward Fousseyni Drame (Bamako, Mali) and senior guard Quinn Taylor (Amarillo, Texas) each had eight points and seven rebounds for SPU.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The first points of the game below to NJCU as Banks picked up a loose ball of a steal in the opening 20 seconds and was fouled on a fast break before sinking two foul shots.
- After SPU was called for two charges in the opening two minutes, the first basket was a runner off the window by Holmes to make it 4-0. Saint Peter's committed four turnovers before scoring its first points on a corner three. Quadri Moore answered with an NBA range three for a 7-3 lead.
- Toney buried a three from the left corner and it was 10-5. NJCU led 10-7 at the first media timeout.
- A jumper by Quadri Moore (fifth points) made it 12-7 after five minutes and he drilled a left-corner three for a 15-7 advantage and eight quick points.
- After a Quadri Moore block set up a fast break, Jaimik Moore's follow of a missed shot pushed the lead to 17-9 with 13:13 left.
- After NJCU went to its bench, SPU hit a three to draw within 17-15 against NJCU's second team. NJCU led by the same score at the second media timeout.
- With NJCU's starters on the bench, the Peacocks went on an 11-3 run. NJCU's entire starting lineup returned with 8:34 left in the half. Within seconds, Quadri Moore had a steal and Holmes finished a fast-break finger roll for a 22-20 lead. SP tied it at 22-22—the score at the under 8:00 timeout.
- SPU took its first lead (25-22) on a three with 7:02 left in the first half on a three from the right corner by Edert. Two foul shots by Banks made it 25-24 and NJCU regained the lead on a fast-break bucket by Holmes.
- Edert answered with back-to-back threes to put SPU up, 31-26, then drilled a 30-foot three for a 34-26 lead. SPU lead 34-28 at the under 4:00 timeout.
- After SPU blocked a nifty spin move of Banks off a fast-break steal, Toney drilled a straight-away three to cut the Peacock lead to 36-33. SPU scored the next six, including a layup by Woods, his 11th point, with 1:04 to go.
- A three-point play by Quadri Moore with 17.8 left cut the deficit to 42-36, the score at halftime.
- After the teams traded opening buckets in the second half (44-38), a layup by Toney (eighth points), cut it to 44-40 and Jaimik Moore converted a Holmes three to cut it to 44-42. Estrada answered with a jumper in the lane.
- Banks' layup in traffic cut it back to four, 48-44. After a badly missed three by NJCU, Banks cleaned it up with a putback (50-46) before an SPU dunk by Woods and a fast-break by Estrada pushed the Peacocks lead to 54-46. A reverse layup by junior transfer small forward Jahmere Calhoun made it a six-point game (54-48). A steal by Banks fed newcomers Adonius Melvins Jr. for a fast-break to trim it to 54-50.
- A fall-away 12-footer by Calhoun trimmed the deficit to 55-52. Banks stole the next possession and fed Calhoun who was hammered under basket, went to the line, and hit one (55-53). SPU led 57-53 at the under 12 media timeout.
- With 9:22 left, Toney blocked a fast-break by SPU and the carom hit a Peacock player on the floor and trickled out of bounds. Toney followed on the next possession by drilling a three, faking the defender out of his shoes, to cut it to 59-55.
- But NJCU could not gain any momentum from its highlight plays and with 8:17 to go, a three-point play by Drame pushed the lead back to eight (63-55). Two foul shots by Edert with 8:03 to go helped give the Peacocks a 65-56 edge at the under 8:00 media timeout. Buckets by Lee and Woods (15th point) pushed the margin into double figures (70-56) and the Peacocks maintained it from there.
- SPU led 72-58 at the under 4:00 timeout before the Peacocks added to the score (16-3 run) against the Gothic Knight bench, finishing the final three minutes with all freshmen on the floor.
- NJCU will officially open its 87th season of men's basketball on Tuesday, November 12 when it hosts Stevens Institute of Technology in another battle of Hudson County teams, this time its two Division III institutions. NJCU leads the all-time series, 6-2, but Stevens snapped the Knights' six-game winning streak last year in the season-opener between the clubs in Hoboken, 76-72, in a contest that featured a controversial ending. The Ducks defeated NJCU for the first time since the third game of the 1933-34 season—a 21-19 Ducks victory when NJCU was known as New Jersey State Normal School at Jersey City.
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