Jan. 9, 2010
PHILADELPHIA - Darrin Govens scored 21 points and Todd O'Brien had a career-high 20 points and 12 rebounds as Saint Joseph's pulled away from Fordham, 82-69, in the first Atlantic 10 game at the Hawks' Hagan Arena. SJU snaps a three-game losing streak and improves to 5-9 (1-1 A-10) while Fordham falls to 2-12 (0-2).
Govens shot 7-for-12 from the field and made 5-of-7 3-pointers for his second 20-plus point game of the year. O'Brien shot 7-for-9 and also had four blocked shots.
Trailing 43-37 at the half, Saint Joseph's opened the second half with a 3-pointer from Govens. The Hawks would take a 49-48 lead on a tip-in by O'Brien. The game would see three more ties and one more lead by Fordahm, 66-65, after a dunk by Khiry Gordon at 5:58.
A dunk by O'Brien would start the game-changing 9-0 run for the Hawks. Garrett Williamson hit a 3-pointer off an assist from Govens at 3:38 and Chris Prescott drained a three to give SJU a 74-66 edge with 2:06 to play.
Brenton Butler connected on a 3-pointer to pull the Rams within, 74-69, but the Hawks closed out the game making 8-of-8 free throws in the final two minutes to seal the win.
"There was a strong buckle down defensively when it was being traded back and forth. But for our team it was defensive stops towards the back end of the second half and then obviously it was the fact that we can score the ball by going to the foul line and we gave up no free throws in the second half," said SJU coach Phil Martelli.
"We gave up 23 offensive rebounds, 42 points in the paint and we still have young players making young plays, and we have older guys making young plays, so there is a lot of work to be done and that should test itself by going on the road this week." -- Saint Joseph's led by 10 points in the first half, but saw Fordham fight back, as Butler and Fahro Alihodzic each scored 10 points. The Rams went on a 12-2 run to erase the Hawks' lead and then closed out the half with six straight points to take the 43-37 edge at intermission.
Carl Jones added 15 points for the Hawks while Williamson had 10 and five assists.
Fordham was led in scoring by 16 points from Alihodzic, 13 points from Butler and 11 from Lance Brown.
In a battle of the conference's two worst rebounding teams, Fordham held a decisive 46-30 edge on the boards, with 23 offensive rebounds.
Saint Joseph's goes on the road this week with a visit to Rhode Island on Wednesday and a trip to St. Bonaventure on Saturday.