Nov. 19, 2005
PHILADELPHIA - Abdulai Jalloh scored a career-high 18 points and Chet Stachitas added 15 as Saint Joseph's ran away from Lafayette, 70-47, in the season opener for both teams before a sold-out crowd at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse.
Jalloh got the Hawks out to a quick start with eight points and two steals which were converted into baskets in the first four minutes of the game, as SJU led 11-3. Saint Joseph's held Lafayette without a basket for a span of six minutes to build the lead to 31-13 at 6:34 and then to 41-18 by halftime.
Stachitas provided the boost at the beginning of the second half, scoring eight points in the first three minutes, as the Hawks took a 52-18 lead. SJU's 17-3 run in the first six minutes of the second half gave the home team its biggest margin of the contest, 58-21.
Head coach Phil Martelli cleared the bench from that point on, but the Hawks turned the ball over 12 times in the final 20 minutes.
"I thought we were more athletic at every position. The start of both halves was very important because you do deal with nervousness in your first time out and playing with younger players. But I thought they responded. Guys like Rob Ferguson and Ahmad (Nivins) certainly responded so it gives you something to build on," said Martelli.
Senior point guard Dwayne Lee, who was in early foul trouble, had seven assists and just two turnovers in 22 minutes of action. Classmate Dave Mallon came off the bench to grab a career-high eight rebounds, with seven of them in the first half.
Sophomore Rob Ferguson made the first start of his career and responded with seven points, six rebounds and a career-high four assists. Freshman Ahmad Nivins began his collegeiate career in the starting lineup and had six points, five rebounds and two blocks. Nivins also roused the enthusiastic crowd of 3,200 in the second half with a dunk off of a spin dribble.
Lafayette did not have any players reach double figures in scoring, but had four with nine points each - Pat Betley, Bilal Abdullah, Everest Schmidt and Andrew Brown.
The Hawks have a quick turnaround and travel to Fairfield for a Monday night game. The Stags lost their season opener, 69-64, to St. Francis-NY.