BURLINGTON, VT. - Seniors Langston Galloway and Ronald Roberts, Jr., scored 21 points apiece to lead Saint Joseph's to a 74-64 win at Vermont in the season opener for both teams at Patrick Gym. Freshman DeAndre Bembry scored 11 points in his collegiate debut.
The Hawks shot a blistering 65 percent from the field in the first half, but cooled off in the second as Vermont cut a 17-point deficit to just three points at the 10-minute mark of the second. But SJU’s seniors – Galloway, Roberts, Daryus Quarles and Halil Kanacevic - pulled the Hawks through as the classmates scored all of the points in a 10-1 run to give them a more comfortable 64-53 lead with 4:21 to play.
Vermont, which was facing SJU for the first time since the 1970’s, would make another run with six straight points to come within 64-59 with over two minutes to play, but a three-point play from Roberts built the Hawk lead back up to 67-59.
Bembry hit the first two three-point attempts of his career in opening minutes as the Hawks took an 8-4 lead and would never trail. Galloway connected on 3-of-4 threes and had 13 points in the first half as the Hawks converted 6-of-12 three-pointers in the opening period.
“I’m happy for the players because of all of the hard work that they’ve done. When the situation got tight in the second half, they communicated to each other in a very positive way. I thought the guys who came in the game - Isaiah Miles and Daryus Quarles - gave us something. Going on the road against an older team and a team that came at us, I’m happy for the players,” said Phil Martelli, now in his 19th year as head coach. “Our zone defense was better than I had anticipated tonight. But we have to force more turnovers to get transition play in our game. We’re leaving happy, but not satisfied.”
Roberts, who shot 8-for-13 from the field, added nine rebounds while Kanacevic had seven as the Hawks outrebounded the Catamounts, 41-28.
SJU shot 7-for-26 in the second half, but connected on 17-of-24 free throws.
Saint Joseph’s will face Marist in its home opener on Wednesday at Hagan Arena. Game time is 7 p.m.