Jan. 18, 2010
PHILADELPHIA - Idris Hilliard had 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds to help Saint Joseph's (6-11) to a 64-57 win over Towson (4-13) in non-conference basketball action at Hagan Arena. The victory snapped a two-game losing streak for the Hawks.
Todd O'Brien also tied his career-high with 11 rebounds while freshman Justin Crosgile scored a personal best 13 points. Garrett Williamson added 12 points while Darrin Govens had nine second-half points.
After a sluggish first half, Saint Joseph's erased a seven-point Towson lead early in the second half by making four of their first five 3-point attempts, with two by Govens and one each from Crosgile and Carl Jones. Govens' three at 15:35 gave the Hawks their first lead, 34-33, since the 11-minute mark of the first half.
The teams would continue to trade leads and see four more ties, but a dunk by Hilliard at 4:25 gave the Hawks the lead for good. Another Hilliard dunk and a 3-pointer by Williamson gave Saint Joseph's a 58-52 lead with 2:08 to play.
Josh Thornton made 2-of-3 free throws at 1:40 to pull Towson within, 58-54, but Hilliard would convert both of his free throw attempts at :49 to give SJU a 60-54 lead. Williamson and Crosgile each went 2-for-2 from the line in the final 26 seconds to ice the win for the Hawks.
"The players deserved to have something good happen to them because they really did a terrific job yesterday (at practice), it was just a great workout. I felt like they really needed something good to happen," said Saint Joseph's head coach Phil Martelli.
"When the ball didn't drop in the first half, we sagged. I thought the second half we made an effort to put the ball in the lane. But sometimes we still show why we are 6-11, we drop rebounds and things like that, but we really did make an effort to put the ball in the lane. Idris had some nice finishes in the bucket area."
"Chris Prescott's not going to show up in a lot of game stories but his defense in those last four or five minutes turned the tide for us," said Martelli.
The shooting of Thornton was the story for Towson in the first half as he scored 16 points, while hitting 4-of-5 3-pointers as the Tigers held a 29-23 lead at intermission.
Saint Joseph's shot just 29 percent in the first half, and made only 2-for-15 from 3- point range. The Hawks reversed that in the second, going 5-for-10 from beyond the arc and converting 43.5 percent from the field.
Thornton was limited to six points and 2-for-10 shooting in the second half to finish with 23 points for Towson. Jarrel Smith scored 17 points and Robert Nwankwo grabbed 14 rebounds as the Tigers held a 37-35 edge on the boards.
SJU gets a short break and returns to action on Saturday, January 23, when it hosts Dayton at Hagan Arena.