Saint Peter's (8-18) at Hampton (11-14)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 23, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: HU Convocation Center (7,200) -- Hampton, Virginia. Television: None. Home Record: St. Peter's 5-8, Hampton 5-5. Away Record: St. Peter's 3-9, Hampton 6-8. Neutral Record: St. Peter's 0-1, Hampton 0-1. Conference Record: St. Peter's 3-13, Hampton 8-4. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The first-ever meeting between the Saint Peter's Peacocks and the Hampton Pirates takes place on Saturday afternoon in Virginia as part of the annual BracketBusters series.
Members of the MEAC, the Pirates head into the weekend on a positive note as they defeated Maryland-Eastern Shore three nights ago by a score of 63-59 on the road. The victory was the sixth in the last seven outings for a program that is now 8-4 in league play, but three games under .500 overall at 11-14.
Since the start of the new calendar year the Peacocks have been simply dreadful, winning just two of their last 14 outings which has consequently dropped the program to 3-13 against the rest of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Last weekend, the team was defeated by Canisius at home in a 68-59 final, the second straight setback and the fourth in five games for Saint Peter's.
The Peacocks dug themselves a first-half hole against Canisius last weekend, shooting just 30.0 percent from the floor and 2-of-11 behind the 3-point line. While the hosts certainly improved after intermission, there was still little chance of catching up to the Golden Griffins. Darius Conley registered a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, but he was the only starter in double figures for the Peacocks. Desi Washington accounted for a team-best 20 points and Chris Burke tacked on 10 in reserve roles.
Washington, who had started every game for the Peacocks up until last weekend, is still the top overall scorer for the group with 14.4 ppg, thanks mostly to his 70-of-192 (.365) beyond the arc where the rest of the roster has combined to make just 58 shots. Raymond (10.2 ppg) is first on the glass with five rebounds per game, but like so many of his teammates he has left far too many points at the free-throw line where he has made just 62.5 percent, the team a meager 60.0 percent.
Up against a team that has just two wins through 22 outings, the Pirates should have had an easy time of it versus Maryland-Eastern Shore earlier this week, but that wasn't the case. In fact, Hampton made it harder on itself by turning the ball over 21 times and shooting just 2-of-9 behind the 3-point line. Thankfully, Emmanuel Okoroba and Deron Powers stepped up with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
A starter in all 25 games this season, Powers is the lone double-digit scorer for the Pirates with 12.0 ppg, although his mere 27.8 percent shooting beyond the arc is in need of some attention. Powers is also the top passer for the program with his 123 assists as well, but still this is a unit producing a mere 61.8 ppg as they connect on a disappointing 25.2 percent out on the perimeter and 65.2 percent at the free-throw line.
The fact that Hampton labored against the last opponent says that the Pirates have trouble getting up for weaker teams, and while their overall record might indicate that to be the case in this one, the Peacocks cannot be taken so lightly.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Saint Peter's 66, Hampton 59
02/23 10:52:59 ET