Jan. 15, 2005
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Saint Joseph's has struggled with inconsistent shooting all season. Its defense has always been a constant.
Pat Carroll scored a season-high 23 points to lead Saint Joseph's past La Salle 73-38 on Saturday. More importantly, Saint Joseph's limited the Explorers to 24-percent shooting.
"We know we're not going to get 75 points every game so we try to focus on defense," said Carroll, who shot 8 of 15, including 6 of 10 on 3-pointers. "We feel we can win with our defense."
Saint Joseph's (7-6, 4-0 Atlantic 10) won its fourth consecutive game. La Salle (5-9, 1-2) hit only 6 of 30 shots in the first half and 6 of 21 shots in the second half and was outrebounded 51-27.
"Our confidence is growing, particularly at the defensive end of the floor," Saint Joseph's coach Phil Martelli said. "It came through loud and clear. I'm pleased with our fierceness on defense."
"Being in the Atlantic 10 makes them more comfortable," Martelli said of his team. "Their talk on the court has been on a very high level. They did a great job of talking to each other."
Steven Smith and Mike St. John scored nine points apiece for the Explorers. Smith, who shot 4 of 20 and failed to reach double figures in points for just the second time this season, has been recovering from the flu and did not practice over the past two days.
"I'm getting better, but I don't want to use the flu as an excuse. ... I just didn't get the job done," said Smith, who was surrounded by Saint Joseph's players every time he touched the ball.
"We ran a lot of double teams at him," Martelli said. "Guys came at him from different angles."
La Salle, which hit 1 of 14 3-pointers, scored a season-low 38 points, its fewest since a 36-point effort against Butler in 2000. The Explorers fell to 0-6 this season when scoring less than 60 points.
"We got exposed against a bigger, deeper, more experienced team that has been playing very well," La Salle coach John Giannini said.