Feb. 8, 2012
PHILADELPHIA - Cody Ellis scored 20 points, with 17 in the second half, as Saint Louis (19-5; 7-3 A-10) defeated Saint Joseph's, 72-60, at Hagan Arena. Ellis was a perfect 5-for-5 from three-point range in the second half as the Billikens pulled away for their third straight win.
Ellis hit back-to-back threes, and Kwamain Mitchell connected on another, in Saint Louis' 11-0 run that gave them their biggest lead of the game, 52-40, with 6:15 to play. SJU cut it to 55-48 with 4:29 to go, but could not come any closer the rest of the way.
Ronald Roberts, Jr., had 14 points off the bench for the Hawks, who saw their two-game winning streak end. Carl Jones scored 13 and Halil Kanacevicgrabbed 10 rebounds, as the Hawks won the battle of the boards, 37-26.
The Hawks started out slow, spotting SLU a 12-0 lead, but came alive with a 17-5 run to knot the score, 17-17, on a driving layup by Jones at 6:34. The teams would trade baskets the rest of the half with SLU holding the 29-27 halftime lead.
With the score tied 32-32, Saint Louis went on a 7-0 run to forge ahead, 39-32, only to see the Hawks come back with a 7-0 run of their own, capped by a three-pointer from Galloway to tie it a 39-39.
Ellis made a pair of free throws to give Saint Louis a 41-39 lead and one it would keep the rest of the way.
"The number was right, 70 was the number. We're just not a good enough screening team. We have to do a better job in the practice sessions, making sure that we screen. We felt that that would be the way Langston would be guarded and we need to do more for him," said Hawk coach Phil Martelli. "The start of the game came back and bit us but there were four occasions where the game was tied and they scored the next possession. We called it a big game to our players and this time we failed. It's the same team that passed the big game test twice last week and now we have another big game on Saturday (vs. UMass)."
Brian Conklin had 13 points and Mitchell added 10 for the visiting Billikens, who shot 52 percent from the field in the second half.
The Saint Louis defense, which holds its foes to 56 points per game, forced Saint Joseph's into 17 turnovers and just 25 percent shooting from three-point range.
"They get down and gritty defensively. They only give up 56 points a game," said Martelli. "We were able to identify these guys are drivers, we wanted to space those kind of guys. And these guys are jump shooters. We just didn't do a good enough job. It's a nightmare matchup."
Saint Joseph's will close out its three-game homestand on Saturday night against Massachusetts, which sports a 7-3 Atlantic 10 record. Game time at Hagan Arena is 7 p.m.