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SAINT JOSEPH'S HANDLES BU, 71-49; OFF TO BEST START SINCE 1981
Courtesy: SJU Athletic Communications  
Release:  09/01/2004
PHILADELPHIA (12/05/02) -- The year was 1981. Ronald Reagan was in the Oval Office. Chariots of Fire was a box-office hit. The Eagles were in the Super Bowl. And the Saint Joseph's men's basketball team was parlaying defensive success into victories. With a 71-49 win over visiting Boston University on Thursday night, Saint Joseph's (4-0) is off to its best start since the 1981-82 season. And combined with a stellar defensive performance on Sunday against Old Dominion, the Hawks have now held their opponents to less than 50 points in back-to-back games for the first time since the NCAA Tournament run in March of 1981. SJU received balanced scoring from their backcourt, as sophomores Pat Carroll and Delonte West each netted 16. Carroll led the team with 10 boards, while West dished five assists as well. Junior Jameer Nelson added 14 points and five assists in the win. BU (3-3) took an early lead at the 15:48 mark on a Jason Grochowalski layup before the Hawks responded with an 8-2 run of their own. Alexandre Sazanov kicked off the run with a basket at 15:32 and a Carroll 13-footer at the 12:57 mark gave SJU a 14-9 lead. The Terriers' Matt Turner, who leads the team at 11.4 ppg, scored consecutive baskets to kick off a 12-2 BU run giving the visitors a 21-16 lead. Unfortunately for the defending America East champs, it would be their last. Three pointers by West and Nelson, followed by a Nelson steal and West layup, gave the Hawks the lead for good, 24-22, at 6:49. Saint Joseph's would stretch the lead to as many as 11 as a 16-2 run was highlighted by a junior Chris Cologer slam. Cologer gave head coach Phil Martelli quality minutes off the bench in the first half, notching four points, four boards and two blocks in just six minutes of action. "Chris had a lot of energy. He certainly had an impact in the first half," Martelli said. The 6-11 center finished with seven points, six boards and three blocks, all career highs, in 13 minutes off the bench. A 35-27 SJU halftime lead was cut to just five early in the second stanza, but the Hawks responded once again with runs of 18-2 and 8-0 to pull away from the Terriers. Martelli also praised his defensive pressure, especially the backcourt of Nelson, junior Tyrone Barley (nine points) and freshman Dwayne Lee. "We certainly made them play at an uncomfortable speed. It's a relentless bunch, across the board," he said. SJU forced 24 BU turnovers, 13 coming from the steal variety. In fact, those 13 steals were more turnovers than the Crimson and Gray had committed themselves. The Hawks pressured Boston University into 36% shooting, including just 27% from long range. The back-to-back sub 50-point games defensively were the first since March 16 and 20, 1981. The two games were the "Fourth and Shunk" layup contest that beat DePaul, 49-48, and the 42-41 win over Boston College, both in the NCAA Tournament. At the other end, Saint Joseph's shot 49% from the field and received scoring from ten different players. St. Joe's has little down time as they kick off the Big Five Classic on Saturday afternoon with a matchup against Drexel. The first Palestra game tips off at 1 pm and can be seen locally on CN8. Through the President's Lens - Photos courtesy of Nicholas S. Rashford, S.J.

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