PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's fell to 14th-ranked and undefeated Villanova, 98-68, in Big 5 action in front of a standing-room only crowd at Hagan Arena on Saturday evening.
Langston Galloway scored 18 points to lead four Hawks in double digits. DeAndre' Bembry scored 17, Ronald Roberts, Jr. had 12 points and Halil Kanacevic tallied 10 for the Hawks, who evened their record at 4-4 and 0-2 in the Big 5 with the loss.
JayVaughn Pinkston led all scorers with 27 points on 10-for-15 shooting while James Bell had 25 points and 14 rebounds, while converting 5-for-10 three-pointers, as Villanova improved to 9-0 and 2-0 in the Big 5.
Villanova took control of the game late in the first half and outscored the Hawks, 17-5, in the first six minutes of the second half to take a 59-40 lead. Saint Joseph's would come as close as 61-48 with 11:33 to play, but the Wildcats went up by 75-54 with 8:59 to play. The winning margin was their largest lead of the game.
Saint Joseph's held the lead in the early going as a drive by Bembry gave the Hawks their biggest lead of the game, 30-23, with 5:20 in the first half. But the Wildcats went on a 7-0 run to tie it, 30-30. After Galloway put the Hawks up 33-32, Villanova scored another seven in a row to take a 39-33 lead. A jumper by Galloway at the buzzer cut SJU's halftime deficit to 39-35.
"I have to step back and digest, just like I told the players. It seems simplistic, but we didn't win possessions, and that's what we have to be about. This possession, here's what we're trying to do. This possession, this is what we're trying to do. We didn't do that," said Hawk coach Phil Martelli.
Saint Joseph's struggled from three-point range, as Galloway and Bembry were the only Hawks connecting from beyond the arc with two each. SJU missed all nine three-point attempts in the second half.
The Hawks now take a break for final exams and return to action against Drexel on December 18 at Hagan Arena.