Dec. 29, 2009
ALBANY, N.Y. - Junior forward Idris Hilliard led the Hawks with 14 points, but three Siena Saints scored 20+ points each to send the Saint Joseph's men's basketball team down to a 92-75 defeat at the Times Union Center in Albany. Sophomore Bryant Irwin added 13 points off the bench, while senior Garrett Williamson tallied 12. Sophomore Todd O'Brien also chipped in with 11 rebounds off the bench.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair, with Saint Joseph's (4-7) taking a six-point lead at 10-4 just four and a half minutes into the game. The Hawks led by five with 2:07 to play in the half on a three-pointer by freshman Justin Crosgile, but the Saints would score the next seven points to take a brief lead. A pair of free throws by Alex Franklin with 28 seconds remaining gave Siena a 43-42 lead heading into intermission.
SJU started out strong in the second half as Williamson scored the first four points of the frame to give the Hawks a 46-43 advantage. Unfortunately for the Crimson and Gray, that would be their last lead of the game as Siena (8-4) used a 10-2 spurt over the next three minutes or so to take a five-point lead, 53-48.
After a Carl Jones three-pointer drew the Hawks within three at 58-55, the Saints went on a 7-0 run to take the game's first double-digit lead, 65-55. The Hawks would close to six, 71-65, on a three-pointer by Irwin with 9:50 remaining. However, a three-ball from Kyle Downey put the capstone on nine consecutive Siena points to put SJU in a 15-point hole with seven minutes to play. The Saints would stretch the run to 14-1 over the next two and a half minutes, posting a 19-point advantage with 4:31 remaining to essentially put the game away.
The Saints shot 59.4% from the floor in the second half on their way to a 49-point outburst in the period. Saint Joseph's shot 50% in each stanza, and the Hawks were 8-for-20 (40%) from long range over the course of the game. However, the Hawks were outrebounded by the Saints, 40-29. The Saints were also helped by a 30-11 advantage in free throw attempts; Siena converted 23 while the Hawks sank just seven.
Freshman Carl Baptiste got his first collegiate start in the contest, but ran into early foul trouble and played only four minutes. O'Brien came off the bench to collect a season-best 11 rebounds in 21 minutes.
Franklin led the Saints with 25 points, while Clarence Jackson had 23 and Edwin Ubiles contributed 22. Ryan Rossiter roped in 14 boards and Franklin added 12. Point guard Ronald Moore, a native of Plymouth Whitemarsh, Pa., had 12 assists and three steals.
The win was the 26th straight home victory for Siena.
"All credit to them; they played really good basketball," said Saint Joseph's head coach Phil Martelli. "Moore is just a dominant player with the ball. I don't know if we're going to see a better distributor of the ball all year long.
"We [allowed Siena to shoot] 59.4% in the second half and turned the ball over 19 times in the game," he said. "We shot 50% on the road, but we never gave them any game pressure in the second half."
The Hawks return to action with their first game of 2010 on Saturday, January 2. Tip-off against Princeton is slated for 2:00 p.m. at Hagan Arena.