Washington, Corey Washington, St. Peter's

Washington scores career-high 29 in Saint Peter's win over Siena

After four straight losses without Corey Washington, the Saint Peter’s Peacocks were sorely missing their standout player. Boy, did he ever show up to play in his first game back against Siena.

The sophomore forward scored a career-high 29 points and was doing it from all three levels. He hadn’t played a game since Jan. 25 due to injury, but he came out firing. Washington immediately set the tone for the game, stealing the ball within the first 10 seconds and getting an easy layup.

Siena wouldn’t be deterred for long, as a few threes and a strong one-handed slam from forward Michael Ojo put them up 13-4.

Siena went into the contest sporting a 4-20 record, but they were coming off the high of beating Manhattan. The first few minutes of the contest against Saint Peter’s was one of the best stretches of basketball they’d had all year.

A series of runs for Saint Peter’s put them back in control, as a 9-0 run was capped off by a three-pointer from Washington that hit nothing but net. As the star of the team clapped his hands in excitement, the Peacocks stormed back into this one.

Washington scored both inside and out at 13 points in just 8 minutes of play.

However, Washington wasn’t the only one catching people’s eyes, as his teammate Armani Ziegler made a play worthy of being on SportsCenter’s Top 10. Moving swiftly, he dribbled the ball between his legs before exploding to the rim, dunking over two Siena defenders and getting the crowd off their feet. He attacked the basket with ferociousness despite the inevitable contact.

Washington would spearhead an 11-2 run, hitting his second three and flying into the paint to tap in a missed three from Mouhamed Sow. After not attempting a single three in the 2022-23, Washington drastically improved by expanding his range. His form was looking crisp.

With 5:40 remaining in the first half, the Peacocks were ahead 29-21. There were no drastic changes in momentum for the rest of the half, but Siena guard Michael Eley shot a rainbow three from the left corner with one second remaining on the shot clock. Eley got hit but still made the shot and went to the free-throw line to complete the four-point play.

At halftime, the Peacocks were ahead 36-30.

The teams traded buckets at the start of the second half, with Siena even coming within three points after a three from Ojo.

Washington again went on a tear, scoring seven points in under two minutes. The Peacocks held a healthy 53-43 lead with 14:10 remaining in the game but still had to put the game away.

Siena was worn down and struggled to score for the remainder of the contest, putting up just ten more points with all that time left. They missed several threes, and their offense was struggling to click like it had in the first half of play.

Meanwhile, the Peacocks guard Michael Houge was a significant factor in closing out the game. He posted nine points in the second half, all coming from layups or free-throw opportunities.

As a six-foot-seven guard, Houge is still capable of hauling in rebounds. He finished the game with 10 points and 10 rebounds, all in just 14 minutes of play.

The contest's final score was 75-53, as Siena simply couldn’t keep up with the Peacocks down the stretch. The highest-scoring Siena player was Michael Ojo, who scored 13 points. Despite the loss, this was a strong showing for Ojo, averaging under four points per game for the 2024 season.

With Washington back in full force and the Peacocks snapping their losing streak, they look forward to Sunday when they take on the Iona Gaels on the road. The Peacocks are now over .500 with their victory, sporting a 12-11 record for the 2024 season and an 8-6 MAAC record.