Saint Joseph’s fell behind early and couldn’t recover as La Salle defeated the Hawks, 83-68, in an Atlantic 10 and Big 5 game at Gola Arena.
James Demery scored 18 points for the Hawks while Charlie Brown and Chris Clover each added 13. Freshman Nick Robinson had 10 points for SJU (10-16; 3-11 A-10; 1-3 Big 5), which has dropped its last six straight.
B.J. Johnson and Jordan Price led La Salle (14-11; 8-6; 1-3) with 18 points each as Price connected on five three-pointers. Amar Stukes had 15 points, making 3-of-3 three pointers, and Pookie Powell scored 13 points.
La Salle jumped out quickly to a 13-3 lead and with over 50 percent shooting, expanded it to
21-8 as Amar Stukes made his first three three-point attempts. The Explorers had a 14-point lead, 24-10, by the 9:35 mark of the half. An 11-4 run increased it to 35-14 with over seven minutes to play.
The Explorers took their biggest lead of the half, 41-16, but SJU went on a 10-3 run in the final four minutes of the half, to enter the intermission trailing 44-26.
La Salle led by as much as 27 points, 69-42, in the second half but Saint Joseph’s trimmed it to 71-60 with under five minutes to play on dunk by Clover. The Explorers answered with six straight points to secure the win, holding a 77-60 advantage with 3:48 remaining.
La Salle shot 46.7 percent in the first half, while making 7-of-16 three-point field goal attempts.
For the game, the Explorers made 12 three-pointers while Saint Joseph’s made just 2-of-11.
“It’s just numbers. You can throw these numbers into a computer and they’re going to come out. If you say one team is going to make 12 three-pointers and the other two, then I would say the team with 12 wins. Basically it’s the story. We’ll keep going. We’re not collecting uniforms yet,” said SJU coach Phil Martelli. “They went to their advantages, which is scoring the ball. And they leaned on it."
"Even when we got it to 11, then we gave up a layup. Lose to the jumper, not the layup. We've got to walk in here like big boys and we've got to leave here like big boys. It's the cards that we have, we've got to play the hand."
Saint Joseph’s returns home on Wednesday to face St. Bonaventure in the second meeting this season.
Photos from today's game are available for purchase at sjuhawksphotos.photoshelter.com