Jan. 21, 2007
PHILADELPHIA-Saint Joseph's (11-7, 4-2 A-10) battled back and held onto a late lead to beat Xavier (13-6, 3-2), 82-74, Sunday afternoon in front of a sprited sold-out crowd at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse. Freshman Jawan Carter led the Hawks in scoring with a career-high 20 points while Pat Calathes added 19 points and nine rebounds as SJU snapped a two-game losing streak.
The Hawks jumped ahead early, taking a 14-8 lead seven minutes in after back-to-back baskets by freshman Garrett Williamson. The Musketeers chipped away, and took the lead on a Josh Duncan three-pointer at the 5:37 mark. The Xavier lead peaked at five, 39-34, before the Hawks cut the deficit to two, 40-38 going into the break.
SJU opened up the half with 3-pointer from Ferguson to regain the lead, 41-40. The teams battled back and forth for the next nine minutes with neither side leading by more than four.
With the score tied at 57, back-to-back 3-pointers by Calathes and Carter gave the Hawks a 63-57 lead, once which would not relinquish,with 9:23 to go. The lead would swell to 10 on a pair of Ferguson free throws with just under eight minutes to go. The Musketeers came to within three on two occasions but the Hawks were able to fend off the charge to secure the victory.
Xavier's Drew Lavender hit a 3-pointer to close within 73-70 with 3:46 left. But the Hawks responded with 7-2 run - a 3-pointer by Carter, a basket by Nivins and two free throws by Calathes - for an 80-72 advantage with 1:46 remaining.
"If we keep our turnovers down, and we've shot the ball reasonably well, then we give ourselves a chance. I would not have bet you that we'd get 80. I thought this game had to be in the low 60s in order to for us to be successful against such a balanced team and such a veteran team. So I'm delighted that turnovers were down and the play was good," said SJU coach Phil Martelli. "I thought the bench guys did a really terrific job - Darrin (Govens) and D.J. (Rivera) and Rockwell (Moody)- all gave us something and obviously Jawan Carter stepped up. Certainly Jawan's confidence and the long-range shooting opens it up and allows us to get it to Ahmad (Nivins).
Saint Joseph's committed only nine turnovers for the game, with none in the final 16 minutes. The Hawks outrebounded Xavier, 31-27, while shooting 49.1% from the field and 95.2% from the line.
The Hawks return to action Wednesday, January 24th when they travel to George Washington to take on the Colonials. Tip-off is set for 7:30 pm.