Dec. 28, 2011
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's defeated Morgan State, 81-50, at Hagan Arena as SJU head coach Phil Martelli became the Hawks' all-time leader in career victories with 310, breaking the mark of 309 previously held by Bill Ferguson (1928 to 1953).
In 17 seasons, Martelli has compiled a record of 310-212. He is now at the top of the list of a distinguished group of coaches, such as Jack Ramsay, Jack McKinney and Jim Boyle, who comprise the strong tradition of SJU basketball.
"Just to have the opportunity to coach 522 games at Saint Joseph's University with those names, like Ferguson and Ramsay and McKinney, you can't beat that," said Martelli.
Ronald Roberts scored 15, Langston Galloway had 10 points and freshman Chris Wilson had 10 points. Forward Halil Kanacevicrecorded a career-high 12 assists, just two shy of the SJU record, as well as a career-high seven blocks, while grabbing eight rebounds without scoring any points.
"Halil was the best player on the court, what did he have seven block shots and 12 assists? When I saw that at halftime, I actually thought it was a typo. He's an interesting player. He's a very, very, very interesting player. I'm not all into these new labels, but if you want to see a point forward, there's a point forward. They played zone and he put the ball where we had to have it put against the zone," said Martelli.
Saint Joseph's also set a new school record with 17 blocked shots, breaking the mark of 16 that was established earlier this year against Drexel (Nov. 30).
The Hawks broke an 8-8 tie in the early going with a 10-2 run, with back-to-back dunks by C.J. Aiken off Kanacevic passes. SJU didn't look back and took a 44-26 halftime lead as Jones hit a three pointer as the shot clock and game clock expired.
SJU scored the first seven points of the second half and pushed the margin to 25 at 51-26 at 16:58. Roberts then tallied six straight points to give the Hawks a 72-40 lead, which was the biggest of the game and of the season for SJU.
The Hawks shot 51.6 percent in the game, while holding Morgan State to 25.4 percent from the field and 16.7 percent from three-point range.
"The win to me was a result of the character of these guys. Even though they are young, they had four days off. We came back on Monday and they were into it right away. They were energetic, they were talking to each other, they were looking forward to being together again. We had a great workout Monday night and a real good workout on Tuesday. So on a personal note, they deserve credit," said the coach.
Morgan State (2-8) was led by Ian Chiles and Blake Bozeman, with 10 points each.
Saint Joseph's goes on the road for the first time since December 4 when the Hawks visit #24/23 Harvard on New Year's Eve in a 4 p.m. game.