March 10, 2005
CINCINNATI, OH - Junior forward Dave Mallon was perfect from the field en route to scoring a career-high 17 points as top-seeded Saint Joseph's turned aside Richmond on Thursday afternoon, 63-51, in the quarterfinals of the 2005 Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Championship.
SJU (18-10) will meet the Xavier in the first semifinal contest on Friday evening at 6:30p.m. as the Musketeers defeated La Salle, 83-70. The game will be televised in Philadephia on CN8.
Mallon connected on all six of his field goal attempts, which included a pair of three-pointers, and knocked down all three of his foul shots. The East Aurora, NY, native poured in seven points in the opening 8:38 of the game as Saint Joseph's opened up a 24-7 lead.
"It was just one of those games when everything fell into place for me," said Mallon, who added five rebounds in 29 minutes of action.
Richmond (14-15) rallied behind a pair of field goals beyond the arc from freshman guard Andres Sandoval and closed to within 30-28 at the 2:03 mark of the first half on a layup by senior guard Jamaal Scott. However, Hawks senior Pat Carroll, the 2005 Atlantic 10 Co-Player of the Year, closed out the half with five consecutive points, including a layup with one second remaining to give St. Joe's a 35-28 advantage heading into the locker room.
"I was very pleased in the way we jumped out and Dave Mallon, in particular, allowed us to get things going," said Saint Joseph's head coach Phil Martelli, who saw his team advance to the A-10 semifinals for the third time in the last five seasons.
The Hawks added to their lead at the start of the second half and a layup by junior Dwayne Lee with 14:51 to play in the game pushed St. Joe's lead to 45-34. The Spiders answered with a 7-0 run on the strength of a pair of baskets by freshman guard Courtney Nelson before SJU countered with eight consecutive points to build a commanding 53-41 lead at the 7:47 mark.
After Lee picked up his fourth foul with 11:06 to play, freshman Abdulai Jalloh came in to run the point with the Hawks leading by just 45-41. Jalloh then fed both Dwayne Jones and Rob Ferguson underneath and then hit two free throws as the Hawks ran off six straight points to take a 53-41 lead. Jalloh finished with six points, three rebounds and three assists in 18 minutes of action.
Saint Joseph's hit 15 of its 23 attempts from the foul line in the second half, including five by Lee, who scored 11 points. Carroll tallied 16 and added four boards and four assists. Sandoval and junior forward Jermaine Bucknor each scored 11 points for Richmond, which made just two of its nine field goal attempts from beyond the arc in the second half after shooting 5-for-9 from long range in the opening 20 minutes. Bucknor was 3-of-7 from three-point range while Sandoval and freshman Daon Merritt hit a pair of three-pointers apiece.