Feb. 14, 2009
PHILADELPHIA - La Salle used a 32-8 run that bridged two halves to defeat Saint Joseph's, 75-68, on Saturday afternoon at the Palestra. The Hawks were led by Darrin Govens (21 points) and Idris Hilliard (20 points).
Saint Joseph's (14-10, 7-3 A-10) got off to a quick start and owned a 20-8 lead with 12:37, but the Explorers would dominate the rest of the half. La Salle used a 17-2 run to take the lead at 25-22, and by halftime, had outscored the Hawks 27-8 to take a 35-30 lead.
The Hawks went to the line 18 times in the first half, but converted just 12 free throws, while committing 12 turnovers. Nivins had four points in the half, all from the foul line, while grabbing 10 rebounds.
After La Salle (14-10, 5-5 A-10) stretched the lead to 10 at 40-30, the Hawks started to battle back. SJU looked to be closing the gap on a Darrin Govens scoop layup to bring Saint Joseph's within four at 57-53 with 4:50 to play.
Nevertheless, the Explorers punched back when Ruben Guillandeaux converted a three-point play with 1:26 remaining to give La Salle a 67-56 advantage.
For the game, Ahmad Nivins tallied 11 points and 14 boards, but only managed one made field goal on three attempts.
"On our board were two keys - to take away the post-up and offensive rebound. And I just told the team, we failed at both. We wanted to seize the opportunities but we didn't. We had 46 shots and 18 turnovers," said SJU coach Phil Martelli. "And we wanted to prove our toughness. That was a tough turnaround to play Thursday night and leave everything out there (loss to Temple). To come back against a long team that showed you some different things - that was a test of our toughness and we failed." Garrett Williamson dished eight assists, while Hilliard added eight boards to his career-matching 20 points.
The Hawks committed 18 turnovers, while only forcing five by La Salle. It was the Hawks' second straight loss and second consecutive to La Salle at The Palestra and dropped SJU to 1-2 in the Big 5. One lone Big 5 matchup remains with an away tilt at Temple on March 5.
Saint Joseph's will travel to Saint Louis to take on the Billikens for a 10:00 p.m. EST tip-off. The game will be broadcast on nationally on CBS College Sports.