March 6, 2013
PHILADELPHIA - C.J. Aiken scored 15 points to lead four players in double figures as Saint Joseph's (17-11; 8-7 A-10) defeated Rhode Island, 81-44, on "Senior Night", the Hawks' final regular-season home game at Hagan Arena. With the victory, Saint Joseph's clinches a spot in next week's Atlantic 10 Championship, which runs from March 14-17 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Aiken, who had missed the first game of his career on Saturday vs. Fordham with wrist and back injuries, scored 10 points in the first half, hitting 4-of-6 from the field.
Ronald Roberts, Jr., notched his 13th double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds, while Chris Wilson added 11 points and six assists. Senior Carl Jones had 10 points in SJU's largest winning margin of the season.
Rhode Island (8-20; 3-12) got 10 points apiece from Nikola Malesevic and Andre Malone.
In the first half, SJU broke an 8-8 tie with a 10-2 run, with five points from Aiken. Late in the half, the Hawks scored 14 consecutive points, led by another five from Aiken, to go up by double digits and take a a 39-20 lead at halftime. Saint Joseph's connected on 57.7 percent from the field in the half.
The Hawks continued their roll in the second half and owned a 54-31 lead with 13:44 to play on a three-point play by Roberts. Owning a 61-41 lead with 7:34 remaining, SJU held Rhode Island scoreless for the next five minutes, building its lead up to 72-42.
The Hawks celebrated "Senior Night" by honoring Jones, Taylor Trevisan and Christopher Coyne prior to the game. Trevisan entered the contest in the final minutes and scored a career-high five points in four minutes.
"We were older. We were more experienced and even though we started slow, I was comfortable," said Hawk coach Phil Martelli. "I thought defensively we did a lot of nice things. Langston did a really great job on (Xavier) Munford. Our bigs did a good job of showing on the screens and our bench did a good job in the first half. Chris Wilson was terrific. C.J. was terrific. Papa was terrific. They made a big difference in the way they were able to get a spread. And then they stayed with it. In the second half I was really pleased. I thought we took our time and played the game the right way."
Saint Joseph's closes out the regular season on Saturday evening at Charlotte. The Atlantic 10 Championship begins on March 14 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.