Nov. 23, 2010
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - Freshman Langston Galloway led the squad with 15 points, and freshman C.J. Aiken added 13 points, eight rebounds and six blocks as the Saint Joseph's men's basketball team fought off a six-point halftime deficit on the way to a 60-51 victory over Fairfield on Tuesday night at the Arena at Harbor Yard. Senior Idris Hilliard (12) and sophomore Carl Jones (13) rounded out a quartet of double-figure scorers for SJU.
In a back-and-forth contest with no team leading by more than a field goal for much of the second half, the Stags nosed ahead, 45-44, on a Colin Nickerson three-point play with 6:11 remaining. Saint Joseph's (2-2) took the lead for good on a layup by Aiken with 5:35 to go that put the Hawks on top, 46-45. SJU then held the Stags without a point until Derek Needham sank a free throw with just 58 seconds left on the clock.
Galloway scored the game's first basket 21 seconds in, but Fairfield (1-3) scored 11 of the next 13 points to take an early 11-4 lead with 14:07 to play in the half. Saint Joseph's clawed back to within two on a three-pointer by Jones and a jumper by Galloway, but Fairfield would stretch the advantage to as many as 11 at 25-14 on a pair of free throws by Maurice Barrow with 3:09 to go.
The Hawks scored the final five points of the period on a pair of free throws by Aiken and a three-pointer from Galloway, slashing the deficit to 25-19 at the break. For the half, SJU converted just six-of-20 field goals (30%) while holding Fairfield to 33.3% shooting (9-for-27)
It was an entirely different story in the second half, as the Hawks came out of the tunnel just as hot as they went in. Hilliard started with a jumper 39 seconds in to cut the margin to four before Galloway and Jones each turned steals into breakaway dunks for a 25-25 tie just 83 seconds into the second period. Jones' slam capped off an 11-0 Saint Joseph's run over 4:25 of game action spanning both halves.
The teams traded baskets over the course of the next eight minutes until SJU took its first lead of the half on a pair of free throws by Jones with 10:11 to go gave the Hawks a 38-37 edge. A Warren Edney three-pointer put the Stags back on top by a pair with 9:05 to go, but a dunk from Aiken on the next possession tied the game at 40.
Edney put Fairfield ahead once more, 42-40, with a layup at 8:08, but a jumper by freshman Ronald Roberts tied the game for the ninth time, 42-42, with just under eight to go. A minute later, Jones stole the ball from Needham and fed Galloway for another fast break dunk and a 44-42 Hawk lead. Nickerson was then fouled by Jones while converting a layup, and his free throw gave the Stags their last lead of the night at 45-44 with 6:11 to play.
Saint Joseph's took over from there, with Aiken scoring on the next possession to put the Hawks ahead to stay. A free throw by Aiken, another steal and a layup by Jones, and a jumper from Galloway stretched the lead to six before Fairfield ended the run with 58 second remaining on a free throw by Needham, but the Hawks answered with free throws from Aiken and Hilliard for their largest lead of the night at 55-46 with 42 seconds to go.
From there, Saint Joseph's was able to salt away the victory with free throws and a layup by Jones with 17 seconds to go.
Galloway, who led the Hawks with 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting, understood just how important it was to finish strong, especially on the road.
"We knew we needed to be juniors and seniors out there, not freshmen and sophomores," he said. "We knew we needed to finish the game out."
Aiken posted the best all-around performance of his young career, finishing with 13 points, eight rebounds, and six blocked shots. Jones poured in 13 points and added four steals while Hilliard had 12 points and six rebounds.
SJU shot 68.2% (15-of-22) in the second half as Aiken, Hilliard and Jones all scored 10 points over the final 20 minutes. The Hawks also clamped down on defense, holding the Stags to 37.9% (11-of-29) from the floor in the second half and 35.7% (20-of-56) for the game.
Saint Joseph's wraps up the Philly Hoop Group Classic on Friday night at The Palestra with a 7:30 p.m. tip against Rutgers. Streaming audio will be available on SJUHawks.com.