Saint Peter’s beats Murray State to advance to Sweet 16

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Saint Peter’s’ Cinderella story will get at least one more chapter.

The 15-seed Peacocks beat 7-seed Murray State 70-60 in the second round Saturday night, advancing them to the Sweet Sixteen. It’s the first Sweet Sixteen in history for the program, who had never even won an NCAA Tournament game before this season.

It took just a few days for Saint Peter’s to become the darling of the big dance, as the Peacocks knocked off blue blood 2-seed Kentucky on Thursday in the biggest upset of the tourney so far. Another grind-it-out effort against the Racers on Saturday has them moving on to the East regional semifinals.

The Peacocks followed a similar blueprint against Murray State that they did against Kentucky: hit your free throws, play pesky defense, and control the flow of the game. They certainly did that last one — Saint Peter’s led from start to finish.

The game was undeniably a close one, though. The Peacocks led by 13 at one point, but the Racers certainly had a chance to win down the stretch. They trailed by two with four minutes left to play and got it within four with a minute left. But just as they did against Kentucky, the Peacocks hit their free throws late and pulled out the win.

KC Ndefo led Saint Peter’s with 17 points, 10 rebounds and a whopping six blocks. Doug Edert chipped in 13 points off the bench and Hassan Drame logged eight points and eight rebounds. Darryl Banks III, Matthew Lee and Drame all went 2-for-2 from the free throw line in the final minute.

Justice Hill had 19 points and four assists for Murray State, while Tevin Brown added 14 points, five rebounds and four assists. KJ Williams pitched in 12 points while Trae Hannibal logged 10 points, eight boards and four steals.

Saint Peter’s will face the winner of Sunday night’s game between Purdue and Texas in the Sweet Sixteen next week in Philadelphia.



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