Jan. 25, 2012
PHILADELPHIA - Ronald Roberts, Jr. scored a career-high 27 points, on 10-of-11 shooting from the field, to lead Saint Joseph's to a 77-63 win over Dayton at Hagan Arena. Roberts scored the Hawks' final 15 points of the game as they defeated the first-place team in the Atlantic 10 and ended a three-game losing streak.
Roberts, who came off the bench to play 28 minutes, missed his only shot at 10:13 of the first half and then connected on 10 consecutive field goal attempts. He also made a career-high 7-of-9 from the foul line.
Saint Joseph's shot 70 percent in the second half to erase Dayton's 32-27 halftime lead. The After tying the game 43-43 on a layup by Roberts at 15:19, the Hawks would use a 17-3 run to open up their biggest lead of the game, 60-46 on a jumper by Galloway at 8:40. During that time, SJU hit 14-of-19 from the field and made 4-of-7 three-pointers.
Roberts started his 15-point run with a layup at 5:33 and although Dayton came within nine points three times, the sophomore kept answering back to keep SJU's lead in double digits. Included in that stretch was a baseline jumper as the shot clock was expiring and a second jumper that he banked in. Roberts accentuated the performance with a windmill dunk and ensuing free throw at 2:28 that built the Hawks' lead back up to 73-59.
"Ron is a starter - he just doesn't get his name called at the beginning of the game. Ron is an unbelievable listener and really takes it to heart whatever we bring to his attention. In that kind of situation, to shoot the fouls he did, 7-for-9 because people are just going to take him out at the rim," said Hawk coach Phil Martelli. "I think you're talking about a guy that's in the conversation and probably is a leading candidate for "Sixth Man of the Year: in a magnificent league. Some guys would pout but that's not the way hes been raised. He's really a special young guy and I'm delighted for him to have success because he is such a good person."
Dayton led for most of the first half, with the biggest lead being five points. The Flyers held SJU to shooting just 1-for-12 from three-point range and outrebounded the Hawks, 27-16, in the period.
"I think the first-half rebounding was cause for concern and then in the second half, even though Halil got a third foul, I thought guys like Ron and Daryus really did a great job of giving us a lot of spectacular play. Five turnovers in that kind of game against a team that leads the league is one of the things that we talked about," said Martelli.
Dayton (14-6; 4-2 A-10) was led by Chris Johnson and Kevin Dillard with 17 points apiece.
The Hawks will next visit crosstown rival Temple on Saturday, January 28 in a 4 p.m. game at the Liacouras Center.