Feb. 13, 2011
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Despite facing a 16-point deficit early in the second half, the Saint Joseph's men's basketball team battled back to earn a 76-70 triumph over Fordham at the Izod Center on Sunday afternoon, for its second win in a row. Freshman guard Langston Galloway led all scorers with 25 points and sophomore guard Carl Jones added 15 as the Hawks secured the program's 1,500th all-time victory. Saint Joseph's is the 35th Division I men's program to reach the 1,500-win plateau.
Head coach Phil Martelli also reached a pair of personal milestones on Sunday, as the contest was both his 500th game as the head coach of the Hawks and the 250th time he has patrolled the sidelines in an Atlantic 10 game.
Saint Joseph's (7-17 overall, 2-8 Atlantic 10) trailed 49-33 with just over 17 minutes remaining in the game before a 24-6 surge over the next eight-plus minutes gave the Hawks their first lead of the day. SJU used the three-pointer with precision to quickly erase the deficit, as Galloway hit back-to-back threes, with freshman Patrick Swilling converting the third in a row, to pull the Hawks to within 51-44 with 13:47 remaining. Galloway would score the next four from the foul line before senior guard Charoy Bentley connected on a three at 11:44 to cut the Fordham lead to 53-51.
Freshman C.J. Aiken cut the lead to one with a free throw, but Chris Gaston hit a jumper for the Rams to push it back to a three-point game. Jones then converted a pair of free throws before connecting on a three to give Saint Joseph's its first lead of the game, 57-55, with 8:44 to go.
After a layup by Bentley, Jones hit two more threes on either side of a three-pointer by Fordham's Branden Frazier to push the SJU lead to seven at 65-58 with 5:20 remaining in the game.
An alley-oop from senior Idris Hilliard to Aiken pushed the Hawk lead to its apex at nine before Fordham scored the next five points, all on free throws by Brenton Butler, to cut the Hawk advantage to four, 67-63, with 3:13 to play.
Bentley would convert a pair of free throws before Frazier hit another triple to bring the Rams within three, 69-66, with 1:48 to go, but that's as close as the hosts would get. A jumper and a pair of free throws by Aiken put the Hawks up seven, while Jones went 1-of-2 from the foul line and Bentley hit an easy layup with 14 seconds left to help close out the win.
Fordham (6-17 overall, 0-11 Atlantic 10) shot 7-for-13 from three-point range in the first half to lead by as many as 16 points, with its biggest lead coming at 37-21 with 3:10 to play in the half. The Rams went into intermission holding a 43-31 edge.
Fordham shot 51.7 percent from the field in the first half, taking full advantage of a cold-shooting start by the Hawks (35.5 percent). The Rams' shooting stroke abandoned them in the second half, however, as Fordham hit on just 31.0 percent of its attempts, including just 2-of-10 from three-point range. Meanwhile, Saint Joseph's heated up at the right time, hitting 7-of-11 threes in the second half to charge past the Rams.
The 16-point deficit is the largest overcome by the Hawks this season. Galloway led all scorers with 25 points and chipped in four rebounds. Jones added a game-high six assists to his 15 points while Bentley had a career-high 14 points. Freshman Ronald Roberts, Jr. added 11 rebounds while Aiken had eight points and seven blocks.
Butler and Frazier led the Rams with 17 points apiece, while Gaston had a double-double with 14 points and 10 boards.
The Hawks return to Hagan Arena for a matchup with the first-place Xavier Musketeers on Wednesday night. Tip-off is slated for 7:00 p.m. The game will be aired on tape delay by Comcast SportsNet at 11:00 p.m.