Dec. 31, 2012
PHILADELPHIA - Junior C.J. Aiken had a "perfect game," scoring 19 points, pulling in eight rebounds, and blocking a season-high six shots as the Saint Joseph's men's basketball team closed out 2012 with a 63-49 victory over Drexel at the Daskalakis Athletic Center on Monday evening.
Aiken was 6-of-6 from the floor, including 2-of-2 from three-point range, and 5-of-5 from the free-throw line in the game. Junior Langston Galloway finished with 13 points, while senior Carl Jones chipped in with 11. Sophomore Chris Wilson had nine points and eight rebounds as well.
Saint Joseph's (7-4) came out firing in the second half, extending a five-point margin to as many as 17 before all was said and done. The Hawks shot 50% from the field in the half and never trailed, scoring 11 of the first 13 points of the frame and pushing their run to 24-2 over 13 minutes across both halves.
After a three by Galloway and a basket by DU's Kazembe Abif made it a 26-20 game with 19:09 to go, the Hawks held the Dragons without a point for four minutes, extending their lead to 34-20 on a pair of free throws by junior Ronald Roberts, Jr. with 15:30 to play
The Dragons then went on a 10-2 run over the next four minutes, with a Daryl McCoy tip-in cutting the lead to 36-30 with 11:21 to play.
The lead was down to five, 43-38, with 6:55 to go in the game, when the Hawks began to pull away. A three-pointer and a layup for Wilson pushed the margin to 10 at 48-38 with 6:04 to go. Jones then hit a three with 3:50 to go to close out a 10-3 run and give the Hawks a 53-41 lead.
Aiken closed his scoreline with a three-point play with three minutes to go to give SJU a 56-43 advantage before a pair of free throws by Galloway and a tip-in by Wilson pushed the advantage to 17 at 60-43 with just 2:04 on the clock.
Galloway and Jones combined for three free throws over the final two minutes, while the Dragons got baskets from Abif, Lee, and Goran Pantovic to close out the scoring.
The Hawks held a five-point advantage at the break, scoring the last 13 points of the first half en route to a 23-18 lead. SJU scored the game's first five points but Drexel (4-8) scored 18 of the next 23 to take an 18-10 lead on a three-pointer by Damion Lee with 8:32 to go in the period.
With the Dragons on top, 15-8, junior Halil Kanacevic converted a layup at 8:50 to end a nearly seven-minute stretch without a field goal for the Hawks. After Lee's three gave Drexel its largest lead of the game, Aiken notched six points during a 13-0 run to end the first half as SJU went into the locker room on top by five.
Saint Joseph's held Drexel to 37.3% shooting from the floor, including 20% (3-of-15) from long range, and conceded just four free throw attempts. Lee led all scorers with 21 points, but was the only Dragon in double figures, while Aiken, Galloway, and Jones reached that threshold for SJU.
The Hawks will open up the 2013 portion of the slate on Saturday, January 5, at Morgan State. Tip-off in Baltimore is set for 4:00 p.m.