March Madness

No. 15 Saint Peter's Defeats Murray State, Advances to First-Ever Sweet 16

Saint Peter's is just the third No. 15 seed to ever make the Sweet 16

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Saint Peter's Cinderella run is continuing into the Sweet 16.

After stunning No. 2 seed Kentucky in the opening round, No. 15 seed Saint Peter's took down No. 7 seed Murray State 70-60 in the second round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament on Saturday night.

Saint Peter's had never won a single NCAA Tournament game entering this year's Big Dance, but now head coach Shaheen Holloway and the Peacocks are heading to the program's first-ever Sweet 16. They are just the third No. 15 seed to ever make it to the Sweet 16, joining Oral Roberts (2021) and Florida Gulf Coast (2013).

Meanwhile, Murray State fell short in its bid to advance to its first Sweet 16. This was the fifth time the Racers had reached the second round of the tournament.

The Peacocks never trailed the Racers in the second-round showdown. Saint Peter's grabbed a 22-21 advantage on a KC Ndefo free throw at the 5:23 mark of the first half, and the Peacocks wouldn't relinquish that lead the rest of the way.

Saint Peter's stretched its lead to as many as 13 with 17-plus minutes left in regulation, but Murray State refused to go away quietly. The Racers made several runs to cut into Saint Peter's lead and made it a 59-57 game with just over four minutes remaining.

But, just as they did all second half, Saint Peter's had an answer. Sharpshooter Doug Edert responded with a clutch 3-pointer and a layup on consecutive possessions to push Saint Peter's lead to seven and help seal the victory.

Ndefo led the way for the Peacocks with a dominant two-way effort, racking up 17 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks. Edert chipped in 13 points off the bench.

After playing their first two games in Indianapolis, the Peacocks could have a real home-court advantage for their Sweet 16 matchup. Saint Peter's will face the winner of No. 3 Purdue and No. 6 Texas at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, about a 90-minute drive from the school's Jersey City, N.J, campus.

Purdue and Texas square off at 8:40 p.m. ET on Sunday.

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