Friday, March 7, 2014

Third Time Once Again The Charm For Washington, Saint Peter's

Desi Washington drains three-pointer in final seconds against Fairfield for third straight time, guiding Peacocks past Stags in 60-57 overtime win. (Photo courtesy of the Connecticut Post)

The old adage states that death comes in threes.

In both prior skirmishes with Fairfield this season, Desi Washington had connected on a game-winning shot; ironically, a three-pointer on each occasion. To end the Stags' season, Saint Peter's junior guard may not necessarily have needed one more, but he got it for good measure.

Washington's latest triple, this one from the right corner with 1.8 seconds remaining in overtime, was enough to give the Peacocks (14-16) a 65-62 victory over Fairfield (7-25) in the opening round of the MAAC tournament, setting up a quarterfinal date with preseason favorite Manhattan on Saturday. Adding to the numerology was the fact that Washington made his latest attempt with three Fairfield players defending him.

"I can't explain that," the former Delaware State transfer said after his heroics gave Saint Peter's additional momentum during their stay in Springfield. "It's just God, I guess. It all happened so fast. Whenever we give ourselves a chance to win, we always feel we can win the game."

Washington nearly missed his date with destiny, as Saint Peter's had a chance to take the lead with Marvin Dominique at the foul line for two shots while Fairfield led 58-57 in the final minute of regulation. However, Dominique's first attempt bounced off the front rim before the second connected, knotting the score at 58. The Stags were unable to get a shot off before the buzzer, forcing an extra session that started with Maurice Barrow putting Fairfield ahead 60-58 with 3:33 left in overtime. Four straight Peacock points gave Saint Peter's a 62-60 lead before Barrow, whose 14 points tied Washington for the game high, deadlocked the score once again, setting the stage for a third heroic ending.

"He was just phenomenal with what he did out there," head coach John Dunne remarked of Washington. "Three times against the same team."

Now the page is turned to focus on a Manhattan team who swept the Peacocks in the regular season, but last night's hero remains fairly confident in his team's chances.

"It's really starting to come together," Washington said, "and we're putting together a lot of good games."

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