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MEN'S BASKETBALL HOLDS OFF CANISIUS FOR 70-63 WIN
Courtesy: SJU Athletic Communications  
Release:  09/01/2004
BUFFALO, NY (11/26/02) - Saint Joseph's jumped out to an 18-4 lead and then fought off a stubborn Canisius squad for a 70-63 win at the Koessler Athletic Center on Tuesday night. Sophomore guard Delonte West led the way, scoring 22 of his career-high 28 points in the first half while junior guard Jameer Nelson added 20 points for the Hawks. West was literally unstoppable in the first half, hitting 8-of-11 from the field and 4-of-7 from three-point range. In the first five minutes, he scored nine points to help SJU jump out to its 18-4 lead. Then he tallied the Hawks' six points, both coming on three-pointers, to counter the Golden Griffins' 19-6 run over the final 5:33 of the stanza. "Delonte West was magnificent in the first half, but we end up relying to much offensively on Jameer," stated SJU head coach Phil Martelli. West not only did in Canisius with his jumper, but he also led the Hawks with a team-high eight rebounds and dished three assists. For the game, he shot 9-of-14 from the field, 4-of-8 from three-point range and 6-of-6 from the line. Canisius (1-1), which hit five of its seven treys in the half during that run, was able to close the margin to 42-37 at intermission. "That three-point shooting flurry in the first half did not really take us by surprise," stated SJU head coach Phil Martelli. "I think it kind of put them back into the game. We had it going our way a little bit." The second half was an entirely different game as both squads clamped down defensively. But the defense was countered by poor offense, including 7-of-26 shooting by the Hawks. "You are going to make shots, you are going to miss shots," stated Martelli. "We have been a team that has been making a lot of shots so to shoot 27 percent in the second half and get out of here with a win, we will take it and take tomorrow off and go to work for our home opener against Old Dominion." The Golden Griffins never allowed SJU to rebuild its lead, and actually went ahead, 54-52, at the 10:33 mark, on a dunk by Chris Ravello. That lead was short-lived, however, as Nelson connected on a jumper 23 seconds later and West added two free throws to put the Hawks ahead for good, 56-54 with 9:09 to play. "We went a little bit smaller late in the game," added Martelli. "I thought Pat Carroll and Tyrone Barley really had a significant impact on the game defensively and Pat had some pretty big rebounds late in the game." Leading 60-59 with just under three minutes left, SJU went on a 6-0 run to finally gain a cushion with 53 seconds on the clock. Barley made two free throws and added an assist to John Bryant, who has six points and four rebounds in his first collegiate start. Carroll also grabbed a key offensive rebound in the run. Nelson and Carroll close out the contest hitting 4-of-4 from the line to seal the win. After getting 31 points off the bench against Boston College on Saturday night, SJU received just 10 off the pine in this game, with eight of those points coming from Dwayne Jones (3-3 FG). Freshman Dave Mallon, who suffered a mild concussion in the Boston College win, played just nine minutes off the bench tonight. It was a homecoming of sorts for Mallon, who played at nearby East Aurora High and ended up choosing SJU over Canisius. Canisius was led by Hodari Mallory, who tallied 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting (4-of-6 from 3-point range). Brian Dux added 10 points while Richard Jones pulled down a game-high nine boards. The Hawks, 2-0 for just the third time in Martelli's eight years at the helm, will host Old Dominion (1-1) in their home opener on Sunday afternoon (2:00 p.m.). That game will be televised by CN8 and can be heard on WPEN 950 AM and on the internet.