Dec. 21, 2007
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Second chance points were the difference in the game as Saint Joseph's University used 25 second-chance points to erase a 10-point first-half deficit en route to a 78-70 win over Fairfield University at the Arena at Harbor Yard. Tasheed Carr and Pat Calathes each had 18 points to lead the Hawks.
Each team collected 17 offensive rebounds, but the Hawks were able to turn their second-chance opportunities into more than twice as many points as the Stags. Fairfield tallied 11 second-chance points and collected four more offensive rebounds than defensive rebounds (13) in the game.
The Stags built a quick 10-point lead at 18-8 with 12:44 remaining in the opening half. Four of the five Fairfield starters scored in that opening run, including four points from Geoff Middleton.
Saint Joseph's scored the next eight points over two-plus minutes of action to make the score 18-16, with four of those points coming from put-back baskets. Fairfield remained in the lead until Garrett Williamson made one of two free throws to break a 22-22 tie and push the visitors in front by a point with 6:20 on the clock.
The lead became hree points before Warren Edney came off the bench to hit a three-point basket to tie the game at 25-25. Pat Calathes answered with a three-point shot which started a 13-0 run over the next four minutes, gving the visitors a commanding 38-25 advantage with 1:15 remaining in the half. The Hawks used back-to-back layups by Ahmad Nivins (15 points) and Carr to take its biggest lead at intermission, 42-28.
The Hawks did not relent at the start of the second half, outscoring the Stags by a 10-7 count to take a 17-point edge at 52-35. But, there was still plenty of time remaining in the game and Fairfield took full advantage of it.
A 17-7 run brought Fairfield to within seven points at the 10:13 mark, courtesy of six points from Evanovich, four markers from Anthony Johnson, and three free throws by Greg Nero. Four quick points by Idris Hilliard and Tasheed Carr pushed the lead to double figures once again at 63-52 with 7:34 left.
Once again, Fairfield used the three-point shot to get back into the game quickly. Han's three pointer cut the lead to eight points and Evanovich's long-range jumper made the score 63-58 on the Stags next possession. Saint Joseph's used a pair of offensive rebounds to keep the ball in play on its next trip down the court, and eventually scored off Carr's jumper to turn the situation from Fairfield trailing by five with the ball to a seven-point deficit.
Fairifeld cut the lead to five points at 65-60 and again at 69-64 with 2:24 remaining. A Carr jumper and a Rob Ferguson three-point basket on consecutive possessions enabled the visitors to regain a double-digit advantage at 74-64 with a minute on the clock.
Evanovich netted 18 points to lead all Fairfield scorers, his first double-digit night since a season-opening 20-point effort against Wake Forest. Han also reached double figures with 12 points and dished off a game-high seven assists. Calathes and Carr led the Saint Joseph's attack with 18 points each.
Saint Joseph's improved to 5-4 on the season. The Hawks face another MAAC foe in Siena on December 28 in Albany, N.Y.