Jan. 27, 2011
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's fought back from a large deficit, but the rally fell short as the Hawks were defeated by La Salle, 76-72, in an Atlantic 10 and Big 5 contest at The Palestra. The game had been rescheduled from the previous night because of the winter storm. Carl Jones had 24 points for SJU while C.J. Aiken had 11 points and tied his career-high with nine blocks.
Ronald Roberts had 12 points off the bench and Langston Galloway scored 10 for the Hawks, as they registered their highest point total in five games.
SJU fell behind 48-30 four minutes into the second half, but would rally with a 15-2 run to cut the deficit to 50-45 at 12:49. Jones and Langston Galloway each had six points in the spurt while the Hawks forced four La Salle turnovers.
But Saint Joseph's couldn't close the gap and Sam Mills answered with a three-pointer to build the Explorers' lead up to 53-45. The Explorers built it back up to 59-47 on a jumper by Murray, but Roberts scored the next six points, and his dunk at 7:31 pulled the Hawks to within 59-53. Murray then connected on a three-pointer to give La Salle a 62-53 lead with 7:10 remaining.
La Salle held a 70-60 lead with 2:10 to play, but senior Idris Hilliard hit just his second three-pointer of the year to pull the Hawks within 70-63. But Saint Joseph's would miss two shots in the final minute and a dunk by Aiken at :36 cut the deficit to 70-65, but the Hawks would run out of time.
The teams traded baskets and leads through most of the first half, with La Salle running off the final four points of the half to take a 34-27 lead into intermission. The Explorers were buoyed by a 5-for-8 effort behind the three-point arc in the half, and finished the game hitting 8-of-12 long-range shots.
"One concern coming into the game was turnovers. We did not want to turn it over and give them opportunities to push that tempo to 75 (points), which they like. We struggled to get there and we didn't rebound their misses. In the first half, by our count, there were six balls that were 50-50, and we didn't get any of them. In the second half, we did a better job, but to me, acquiring 50-50 balls was a key," said SJU coach Phil Martelli.
Aaric Murray had 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Explorers, who also got 14 points from Earl Pettis and 12 from Stefan Cole.
The loss is the seventh in a row for Saint Joseph's, which falls to 5-15 (0-6 A-10; 0-3 Big 5) while La Salle improves to 10-11 (2-4 A-10; 2-1 Big 5).
Saint Joseph's will play its third straight game at The Palestra when it hosts Temple on Saturday at 11 a.m. for the ESPNU broadcast.