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
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
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
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
Tyrone Barley added 12 points for the
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:
Follow St. Joseph's Basketball each
week here at Collegehoopsnet.com!