St. Peter’s Makes History, First Ever 15th Seed to Advance to Elite 8
ST. PETER’S 67 – PURDUE 64
Cinderella has put that pumpkin on hold.
St. Peter’s men’s basketball pulled out another miracle finish, storming back to beat third ranked Purdue 67-64 to advance to the Elite 8 for the first time in program history. The Peacocks are the first ever 15 seed to get to an Elite 8 match-up.
The last time a men’s college basketball team got this far in the NCAA tournament, you’d have to go back to the 1991 Seton Hall Pirates.
THE ST. PETER’S PEACOCKS HAVE DONE IT— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 26, 2022
FIRST EVER 15-SEED TO ADVANCE TO THE ELITE EIGHT 🤯 pic.twitter.com/H8FMQJPrr5
In a see-saw affair that saw both Purdue and St. Peter’s go on several extended hot and cold streaks throughout the game, the turning point for the Peacocks really began late in the second half with the Boilermakers holding a 56-52 lead with 4:23 to go.
Purdue’s Trevion Williams tried to go up for a jump shot, but his shot was blocked by Clarence Rupert. Purdue came down with the board, but Jaden Ivey couldn’t hold on the ball, turning it back over to St. Peter’s. On the return down the court, Doug Edert took his shot from downtown and drew the foul.
If this sounds familiar, it should. Edert drew a huge foul last week against Murray State that led to three consecutive free throws as St. Peter’s put that game away. This time, it was the start of something big.
Edert, as cool as he usually is underneath that mop of hair and bad 70’s style-mustache, nailed all three free throws. Just like that it was a one point game with 4:02 to go. Purdue was in big trouble now. St. Peter’s knew they had a shot.
After Williams hit one of two free throws for Purdue to make it a 57-55 game, Daryl Banks III bounced off his defender, spun around and shot the ball at the top of the circle, draining the jumper to tie it at 57 with 3:18 to go.
Now the Peacocks could really feel it.
Another miss by Purdue led to another Daryl Banks III jump shot that he nailed, driving through the lane to give the Peacocks a 59-57 lead with 2:16 to go.
Purdue was totally cold. Williams missed another shot for the Boilermakers, as he — like many other Purdue Boilermakers on this night — struggled to handle St. Peter’s pressing zone defense and double teams.
Hassan Drame came up with the rebound for St. Peter’s and was quickly fouled. At the line Drame hit both free throws, putting the game firmly in St. Peter’s control at 61-57 with 1:43 to go.
The Peacocks incredible play at the line was huge in the late stages as Matthew Lee and Daryl Banks III all hits their free throws to put immense pressure on Purdue.
With eight seconds to go, the Boilermakers got the miracle three from Jaden Ivey to make it a one-point game, 65-64. Now it was up to Edert, who drew the foul with 4.1 seconds to go, to finish what he had started. He did, nailing both free throws to make it a three point game.
Once the final desperation shot by Ivey hit the rim, bounced up in the air and fell away from the net as the buzzer sounded, the Peacocks stormed the court in celebration.
Not only were they celebrating, all of New Jersey was in total jubilation.
A thunderous celebration took place in Jersey City Thursday night after the St. Peter's Peacocks stunned the Purdue Boilermakers with a 67-64 victory in the Sweet 16. https://t.co/GkCfRdewsl pic.twitter.com/146FFGG2Dl— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) March 26, 2022
In what has been an incredible tournament, the gutsy team from Jersey City just never gives up, and they find themselves in the Elite 8, a win away from the most cherished piece of real estate in college basketball.