Demond Stewart broke out of his slump Friday night with a 28-point performance that led Niagara University to a 96-92 overtime victory over St. Peter's in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game at the Yanatelli Center.
It was Stewart who sent the game into overtime with a clutch three-point shot from 25 feet at the top of the circle as time ran out. After falling behind by four at the start of overtime, NU rallied with the help of an 11-for-11 performance at the foul line in the extra session.
"He's back," said Niagara coach Joe Mihalich of Stewart, who was leading the nation in scoring before a recent slump. Stewart came into the game averaging 22.2 points, eighth in the nation.
"I've been looking forward to this game. I've been in a serious slump and I needed to break out," Stewart said.
Point guard Daryl Greene added 26 points for Niagara, including 6 of 11 from beyond the three-point arc. Nate Bernosky had a career-high 21 points for the Purple Eagles. He hit four treys, including one that tied the game at 89-89 with 2:56 left in overtime.
Stewart then hit five points in a row -- two free throws and then a baseline jumper and a free throw that extended the lead to 94-89 with 1:49 left.
With the win, Niagara moved to 10-5 overall, 4-2 in the MAAC. St. Peter's fell to 5-12, 2-6 in the MAAC.
Ricky Bellinger was high scorer for the Peacocks with 31 points. Kamaal McQueen, who scored two layups to start the overtime, finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds.
Niagara moves on to Fairfield for a Sunday game at 2 p.m.