Redshirt-freshman Brian Pegg has really stepped up as a key rebounder in his first full season with the Stetson men’s basketball team. Pegg has led the Hatters in rebounding throughout the season, which includes a 15-rebound break out game against Jacksonville last week, but his intense play was never more crucial than in Stetson’s victory over USC Upstate on Saturday.
The Hatters faced a very strong rebounding team in the Spartans. Prior to the game, Upstate was ranked first in the Atlantic Sun Conference during league play, averaging seven more rebounds than their opponents. Upstate senior forward Torrey Craig was leading the conference with an average of seven and a half rebounds per game.
Nonetheless, Pegg and the Hatters came prepared. They outrebounded the Spartans 41-39. Pegg, who was the top rebounder in all of the A-Sun for the day, had 13 rebounds in the game.
Pegg began his dominance on the boards in the first half, which included back-to-back plays in which he pulled down defensive rebounds and finished one on the other end with a dunk. By halftime, Pegg had six rebounds, four points, two assists, and a steal.
In the final minutes of regulation he proved even more vital to the Hatters’ success. Pegg grabbed two crucial rebounds and knocked down a free throw, putting the Hatters down by only two points. With under a minute left on the clock, Pegg tipped in a missed shot to tie the game 70-70 and sent it into overtime, where Stetson ultimately emerged victorious.
“I’m asking Brian to do a lot in that four position, especially when you see those big guys he’s having to contend with,” Stetson head coach Corey Williams said after the game. “He’s playing a lot of minutes, and he has to sustain that effort for a long period of time. And just think, he’s just a freshman, and that’s what you have to keep reminding yourself.”
Pegg is now ranked second for rebounding in the Atlantic Sun during conference play with 8.7 boards per game. The rest of the top five are all seniors, making Pegg the only underclassman.