PHILADELPHIA – When St. Peter’s freshman Clarence Rupert looked in the stands of the Wells Fargo Center on Friday night and saw his mom Makisha Banks, who came from Norfolk, Virginia, he knew what to do.

“She hasn’t been able to do any of my games for the whole season,” Rupert said. “My mother is a single mother. She takes care of me, my second brother and sister.

“Looking at her in the crowd, my eyes just brightened when I saw that she was smiling, happy, having fun. I keep saying it’s a blessing that for me there’s little now. I was just happy to see her. “

Next was the most important performance of the 6-foot 8 and 245-pound forward, who grew up in North Philadelphia. As “St. Peters” was early oriented in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 showdown with Purdue, he scored “Peacock” the first seven points and had 11 at the break.

Clarence Rupert of St. Peter’s (left) makes a rebound ahead of Zack Eddie with Purdue in the second half of Peacock’s 67-64 win and reaches the top eight at the NCAA Tournament at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, March 25, 2022.

Without an offensive lifeline and his persistent defense against 7-4 Zack Eddie and 6-10 Trevion Williams in the paint, especially with stellar forward KC Ndefo in trouble, the heroine of late-game Daryl Banks III and Doug Edert, which eventually led to them in the Elite Eight, it would be impossible.

Intelligence Report: What you need to know about the game North Carolina for Elite 8, as well as predictions

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