BALTIMORE – It was a tale of two halves, but the Saint Joseph’s men’s basketball team held on for an 88-77 win over Loyola Maryland at Reitz Arena on Saturday afternoon. Four Hawks scored in double figures during a 60-point first half as senior Ronald Roberts, Jr., led the Saint Joseph’s offense with 20 points on the day.
Saint Joseph’s (6-4) was led early by senior Langston Galloway, who hit on his first four three-point attempts and first five field goal attempts over the opening seven-plus minutes. The Hawks scored the game’s first basket, and after four straight points by the Greyhounds, a layup by junior Chris Wilson put SJU on top, 5-4, with 18:34 remaining in the first.
After a 10-3 Hawk spurt, Loyola (5-5) scored five straight to close within 13-12 with 15:39 on the clock in the first half, which would be as close as the Greyhounds would get for the remainder of the game. Senior Halil Kanacevic then fed Roberts for two consecutive layups before Galloway’s fourth three-pointer of the game capped off a 7-0 run to push the lead to 20-12 with 13:49 to go.
The lead was cut to five, 24-19, with 10:42 to go in the first before a three-pointer from sophomore Isaiah Miles, a Baltimore native, kicked off a 36-5 run to close out the half. Miles scored 11 points during the string and finished the game with a career-high 17 points in his hometown.
Miles’ three began a 17-0 spurt for the Hawks that featured points from six different players and was highlighted by a 9-of-10 shooting stretch for Saint Joseph’s. Wilson capped off the run with a three to stretch the lead to 41-19 with 6:46 left in the half.
Dylon Cormier hit a pair of free throws for the Greyhounds to end the run, but Roberts then keyed a 9-0 spurt with four points and an assist to push the advantage to 50-21.
After a pair of free throws by Loyola’s Franz Rassman made it a 50-23 game, SJU scored 10 of the half’s final 11 points over the last 96 seconds of the frame. Wilson hit a three with 1:36 to go, junior Papa Ndao added two free throws, and Miles scored five straight points before R.J. Williams hit one-of-two from the line with six seconds left to make it a 60-24 game at the break.
During the first half, the Hawks shot a blistering 64.5% (20-31) from the field, including 8-of-12 from three-point range, and hit on all 12 of their free throw attempts. Galloway led four Hawks in double figures, joining Wilson (13), Roberts (12), and Miles (11).
In the middle of the second half, things turned around as Loyola outscored SJU 53-28 in the frame and held the Hawks to just four field goals. With Saint Joseph’s leading 72-42 with 9:30 to go after a Kanacevic layup, the Greyhounds raced out to a 20-5 run, closing to within 15 at 77-62 with 3:19 to play. Loyola then used an 8-1 spurt over a 40-second span to close to within nine at 79-70 with 1:35 to go.
Over the final minute and a half, the Hawks hit 9-of-11 free throws, including four from Wilson, to ice the game.
Roberts’ 20 points led SJU, while Miles and Wilson finished with 17 apiece. Galloway chipped in 14 points, while freshman DeAndre' Bembry led SJU with nine rebounds. Kanacevic filled his line of the box score with seven points, eight rebounds, and six assists.
Cormier led all players with 27 points and 11 rebounds on the afternoon, while Jarred Jones (15) and Eric Laster (10) reached double figures in scoring for the Greyhounds as well.
After a torrid first half, SJU went on to shoot 46.2% from the field. The Hawks converted 20-of-28 attempts (80%) from the free throw line, including 8-of-8 from Miles and 6-of-6 from Wilson. SJU also hit 15 consecutive free throws to start the game, two short of the school record set in 1993.
Saint Joseph’s is idle until Sunday, December 29, when the Hawks will host Boston University at Hagan Arena. Tip-off is set for 5:00 p.m.; the game will be broadcast on CBS Sports Radio 610 WIP, while live video streaming will be available on the Atlantic 10 Digital Network.