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Saint Joseph's University Basketball

St. Joseph's Hawks
17-3 (7-2 Atlantic Ten)

by Patrick Wandalowski

February 11th, 2003



Saint Joseph’s raised its overall record to 17-3, 7-2 in the A-10 after a convincing victory over the Fordham Rams, 82-64.  It was the Hawk’s 2nd win against the Rams.  It was also the Hawk’s 7th road win in 10 chances this year.


Saint Joseph’s stormed out in front.  Like the Villanova game in which the Hawks led incredibly 40-9, Saint Joseph’s nearly duplicated the feat.  The Hawks built a 41-16 lead at Rose Hill gym.


Needing only 4 assists to reach the 500 plateau for his career, Jameer Nelson wasted no time.  Nelson dished out 7 assists in the first half alone.  Nelson’s crisp passing and Delonte West’s scoring explosion (20 points in half) were the keys to a 48-22 halftime lead.


Saint Joseph’s led by as many as 26 points in the first half on two separate occasions.  Two significant scoring runs aided the Hawks in capturing such a large lead.  Saint Joseph’s utilized a 12-4 run to begin the game.  After putting together a 17-4 run, the Hawks had accumulated a 34-14 lead.  Seven three-pointers were the major reason for the big lead.


By halftime, Saint Joseph’s was shooting a blistering 58%, including 9-for-17 from beyond the arc.  Besides Alex Sazonov’s two points, the Saint Joseph’s deep backcourt had racked up all of their points.  In addition to West’s 20 points, Pat Carroll netted 10 points.  Nelson and Barley each totaled 5 points.


As for Fordham, Glenn Batemon and Drew Williamson led the Rams with 7 points apiece.  However, Fordham shot a dismal 6-for-21 (29%) in the opening half, connecting on only 1-of-8 three-point attempts.


Personal fouls, turnovers, and sloppy play characterized the second half.  For a considerable time in the second half, both teams played stretches with only 1 forward each on the floor.  And that’s if you consider Pat Carroll of Saint Joseph’s and Michael Haynes of Fordham as forwards.  Both are wing players.  An astounding 49 fouls were called for the game. 


Despite having basically 5 guards on the floor, Saint Joseph’s struggled in-bounding the ball and bringing it up past half court.  On 3 consecutive possessions, the Hawks turned the ball over to the Rams. 


The poor play enabled the Rams to roll off a 10-1 run and close the gap to 16 points, 61-45.  The lowest the lead got for the Hawks was 13 points.  Subsequently, Delonte West scored his 29th point of the game and Pat Carroll connected on one of two free throws to fend off the Fordham comeback.  The lead was restored to 16 points, 74-58.  The Rams never threatened from that point on.


Delonte West established a new career-high with 31 points.  Coupled with the Villanova game, the sophomore has totaled 56 points in two games since coming off a suspension.  It was West’s 5th game of the season with 25 or more points.


Pat Carroll, the Atlantic Ten three-point percentage leader, did nothing to hurt his reputation.  In fact, his percentage increased.  He converted 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.  His 18 points were crucial.  His consistency as a regular contributor has been cemented by his recent play.


Coming off his 5-star effort against Villanova, Nelson was held to a modest 5 points, 4 rebounds, and 7 assists.  He injured his wrist and that may have contributed to the performance.


Tyrone Barley added 12 points for the Hawks.


The Hawks surrendered 42 second-half points to Fordham.  Even so, Saint Joseph’s held the Rams to 35.7% for the game, including 26.3% from the three-point line.  Fordham out rebounded the Hawks 36-25.  Haynes and Wilson each tallied 15 points to lead the Rams in scoring.  The Hawks ended up shooting 51% from the field and 50% from three (10-for-20).


With some tough games down the stretch, the Hawks needed a solid win against Fordham.  The forecast is definitely more dangerous with Temple, Dayton, and Saint Bonaventure looming as the next 3 opponents.


It is quite amazing that Saint Joseph’s has been so dominant this season, yet remains mostly unrecognized.  Most people know Nelson.  He recently made the cut as the Wooden Award list was trimmed down to 30 players from the original 50 selected.  But how many know Delonte West?  He is experiencing a breakout season that few players can compare to in the A-10.  Who really knows the contributions of a Pat Carroll?  Do the pundits and fans realize he is shooting nearly 50% from three-point land?  Do they know that Dwayne Jones leads the A-10 in blocks?  Do they know how stifling the defense has been all season?  They are allowing just 57 points and 35% FG.


What do the Hawks have to do to get ranked?  What do they have to do to secure a 4, 5, or 6 seed in the NCAA tournament?  They have weaknesses and flaws, like ALL teams.  But they are not Cinderella.  They have not been transformed.  They have been PRETTY the entire season.  Give them their due.  Regardless if they falter against Dayton or Temple or Xavier, they have earned everything they have done up until this moment, and their accomplishments deserve to be recognized.




E-Mail the Author: Patrick Wandalowski

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