Monday, January 2, 2017

Saint Peter's 71, Monmouth 61: Tempo-Free Recap

Trevis Wyche initiating Saint Peter's offense in Peacocks' victory over Monmouth. (Photo by Ray Floriani/Daly Dose Of Hoops)

By Ray Floriani (@rfloriani)

JERSEY CITY, NJ - A great way to start the new year and heart of the MAAC schedule, as favorite Monmouth faced a formidable challenger in Saint Peter’s. In the final analysis, the host Peacocks were more than a challenger.

After falling behind 7-0 early, they calmly regrouped en route to a 71-61 victory. Saint Peter’s is now 6-7, (2-1 MAAC) while Monmouth falls to 10-5 and 2-2 in conference.

First five possessions:
Monmouth: Field goal, field goal, missed FG, three-point FG, missed FG
Saint Peter’s: Missed FG, missed FG, missed FG, missed FG, missed FG

The start was not one the Peacocks planned on. Getting inside was a tough task with the Hawks’ length, especially on the perimeter. The silver lining for John Dunne’s club was committing no turnovers. The harsh reality, though, was no points on the scoreboard.

First half observations:
Shooting cures many ailments. Chazz Patterson buried a three from the right corner. That shot put Saint Peter’s in the books. After that icebreaker, the Peacocks began running the offense, cashing in on good shot opportunities and playing tougher on the defensive end. Just hitting a shot, and then a few more, altered Saint Peter’s mindset.

Following their quick start, Monmouth struggled on their end. Falling behind by ten, the Hawks began pushing the ball and pressuring on defense. They quickly got the deficit down to five at the four-minute mark. Of greater significance was their renewed energy.

The final eight minutes of the half saw Monmouth score just three field goals, all by sophomore guard Micah Seaborn, providing the offense and keeping Saint Peter’s from opening an even larger lead. The Peacocks led 27-19 at the break.

First four minutes of second half: Monmouth wins, 8-6, but it tells only part of the story. The Hawks came out energized, scoring the first five points in a 65-second interval. Saint Peter’s quickly regrouped, and while the Hawks had that edge for four minutes, the Peacocks still led 33-27 at the 16-minute juncture.

Possessions: 71
Offensive efficiency: Monmouth 86, Saint Peter’s 100

Four Factors:
eFG%: Monmouth 43, Saint Peter’s 50
Free Throw Rate: Monmouth 23, Saint Peter’s 32
Offensive Rebound%: Monmouth 28, Saint Peter’s 16
Turnover Rate: Monmouth 21, Saint Peter’s 22

Leading scorers and EF:
Monmouth- Micah Seaborn 19 points, EF 25
Saint Peter’s- Trevis Wyche 20 points, EF 30

What Monmouth did well: Rebound. Raw offensive rebound numbers were 11-5 in Monmouth’s favor, leading to a 26-24 edge on points in the paint.

What Saint Peter’s did well: Shoot the three and force turnovers. The Peacocks shot 10-of-23 from long distance. Eight different players drained at least one trey. Monmouth’s turnover rate was 21 percent, just above the threshold of acceptable. The Hawks paid, though, as Saint Peter’s held a 19-4 disparity on points off turnovers.

Final thoughts: Momentum is so important. Down the stretch, King Rice’s Hawks made several runs. They could never draw even. The fact Saint Peter’s maintained the lead, even if it was one possession, was significant. If Monmouth took the lead or even tied, who knows? Saint Peter’s, to their credit, weathered Monmouth’s best hits and kept the lead intact.
Chazz Patterson scored eight points for the Peacocks, but if there was a game MVP, the senior guard might have received it. Patterson came up with an outstanding defensive effort on Monmouth’s Justin Robinson, holding the reigning MAAC Player of the Year to 11 points on 4-of-17 shooting. Patterson, who loves to play defense, especially on the opponent’s best players, was the key factor in the defensive effort, an effort allowing Monmouth a paltry 86 offensive efficiency.
Monmouth has weapons. The Peacocks could not completely shut them down, especially with Seaborn going for 19 points. Seaborn and Robinson were the only two Monmouth players in double figures.
Saint Peter’s also had just two in double digits, as Quadir Welton (11 points) joined Wyche. As noted, the Peacocks had eight players can a three-pointer. In addition, they were a perfect 17-of-17 from the charity stripe. Offensively, they had enough to claim this first victory of 2017.

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