Nov. 24, 2008
LAHAINA, HAWAII - Saint Joseph's fell victim to Texas' stifling defense as the #7 Longhorns defeated the Hawks, 68-50, in the opener of the EA Sports Maui Invitational at the Lahaina Civic Center.
Texas suffocated the Hawks early, forcing SJU into shooting just 3-for-18 through the first 13 minutes, while holding a 20-10 lead. After a timeout, the Hawks put together an 8-3 spurt, to close to within 23-18. But Texas answered back quickly as A.J. Abrams hit one of his four 3-pointers and built the lead back to double digits. The Hawks scored six of the final eight points in the first half to trail by only 37-28 at halftime.
Texas started the second half with an 11-2 run while Saint Joseph's missed three of its first four shots in the half and had three turnovers in the opening 1:40. The Hawks scored seven straight to make it 48-37, but they came up empty on their next eight possessions and Texas had its first 20-point lead, 57-37, with 8:55 to play.
SJU shot just 29.3 percent in the game and committed a season-high 18 turnovers.
"We laced it up and stood toe to toe with a team that in my estimation can be in Detroit in March," coach Phil Martelli said, referring to the site of this season's Final Four. "We had too many turnovers from our older guys and the primary ballhandlers and we have to do a better job as we go forward. We weren't good enough and that's alright for today."
The Hawks will face Indiana on Tuesday, with an 8:30 a.m. Hawaii time tipoff. The game will be broadcast on the East Coast at 1:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
The 150 Saint Joseph's fans in attendance were treated to the appearance of Shane Victorino, member of the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies. Victorino, a native of Maui, presented the game ball at tipoff.