JERSEY CITY – With a strong showing of support from many students, some of whom stayed up all night and participated in a pre-game pep rally, the St. Peter’s College men’s basketball team soundly defeated Monmouth University, 58-34, in a rare sunrise contest played early Tuesday morning at SPC’s Yanitelli Center.
The game, the first-ever game to have a 6 a.m. tipoff, was televised nationally on ESPN as part of the cable network’s “24 Hours of College Basketball.”
Junior guard Wesley Jenkins scored 10 points to pace a balanced attack and freshman guard Steven Samuels added nine, all via 3-pointers, coming off the bench to lead the Peacocks to their first win of the season.
The novelty starting time enticed the largest student turnout for a SPC home game in ages. Many of the students stayed up all night at an event in the Yanitelli Center bubble in preparation for the 6 a.m. start. There were games, music and contests all night in the bubble.
The Peacocks took the lead early, scoring nine straight points over a four-minute span to take a 15-7 lead that they never relinquished.
They led 27-16 at the half and gradually pulled away further in the second half, holding Monmouth to just 21 percent (10 of 47) field goal shooting.
“I wasn’t sure how it was going to work out, but it turned out to be great,” SPC head coach John Dunne said. “It was a great experience.”
“We had such great support and we had the adrenaline flowing,” junior guard Nick Leon said. “This is just the beginning to a lot of success for us.”
For more, check out Jim Hague’s Scoreboard column in Sunday’s editions of the Hudson Reporter and online here beginning on Sunday.