PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) St. Peter's coach John Dunne knew if his team continued to hustle the way it had throughout an 0-4 start, things would eventually turn around.
Dunne was proven correct Tuesday night, as Marvin Dominique had 22 points and nine rebounds to lead the Peacocks to a dominating 68-50 win over Rutgers in a Barclays Classic preliminary round game.
''St Peter's deserved to win,'' Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan said. ''They played harder than we did, they made shots, they had more enthusiasm, more energy.''
Chazz Patterson added 13 points for the Peacocks (1-4), who lost two of their first four by a combined three points, while Trevis Wyche had 12.
''We've been playing pretty hard in each game we played, and just fell short,'' Dunne said. ''We had two close games and didn't make shots but we got good looks and did a good job sharing. The coaches kept stressing `Stay with it and eventually shots will fall.'''
They fell to the tune of 12-for-23 shooting from 3-point range, as St. Peter's used a drive-and-kick offense to create numerous open looks.
The Scarlet Knights (2-2) who trailed by double figures for the game's final 28 minutes, got 16 points and six rebounds from Junior Etou, while Kadeem Jack scored 10 points. Myles Mack had 13 points, seven assists and four steals, but also had seven turnovers as the Peacocks put a concentrated defensive effort on the guard to wear him down.
St. Peter's used a 13-0 run to open a 29-13 lead in the first half, as Rutgers went 8:34 without a point. The Knights closed with a 6-2 run to get within 31-19 at halftime, but got no closer than 10 in the second half as the Peacocks always had an answer.
''Pretty much throughout the entire game we had control,'' Dominique said. ''There were times they were creeping in a little, but we did a good job making shots and stayed ahead.''
Trailing 59-49 with 3:22 remaining, Rutgers had a chance to get closer after Jack stole the inbounds pass but the Knights missed two 3-pointers and two in the paint.
''That's what pretty good teams do, they convert and they get the mojo back on their side,'' Jordan said. ''We just couldn't convert in the paint.''
Patterson followed with two free throws to start St. Peter's on a 9-1 run to end it. The final score equaled the Peacocks largest lead. Patterson also hit two straight 3-pointers to open a 47-29 advantage after Rutgers began showing some life.
''We knew he was capable of doing that,'' Dominique said. ''He's a very good shooter. I wasn't surprised.''
After being out-rebounded badly at LaSalle Saturday, St. Peter's had a 36-26 advantage on the boards and outscored Rutgers 10-3 on second-chance points. The Knights shot 37.5 percent and committed 16 turnovers.
St. Peter's: The victory marks the first time the Peacocks have ever defeated their in-state rival two straight times in a series they now trail 11-4. Marvin Dominique had 12 points in the first half after getting a season-low nine for the entire game at LaSalle Saturday. The Peacocks, a member of the MAAC, improved their record to 5-16 all-time against teams currently associated with the Big Ten.
Rutgers: Rutgers entered the game with two leaders in Big Ten individual statistics, as Myles Mack led in steals (3.3 per game) and Junior Etou led in rebounding (10.3). Rutgers' game against Vanderbilt in Brooklyn Friday will be its first away from home.
Rutgers plays Vanderbilt in Barclays Classic in Brooklyn, New York, on Friday.
St. Peter's plays Tennessee State in Barclays Classic in Brooklyn on Friday.