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St. Joseph's Wins Big 5

A10 Homepage

Saint Joseph's Hawks Basketball

St. Joseph's Hawks
20-4 (10-3 Atlantic Ten)

by Patrick Wandalowski

February 25th, 2003

 

Saint Joseph’s used two big scoring runs in the middle of the game on their way to their 20th win of the season 75-53 over the LaSalle Explorers.

 

With the score tied at 22, the Crimson and Gray closed the half on an 18-7 run to lead at the break 40-29.  The Hawks started the second half on a 10-2 run to increase the lead to 50-31.

 

LaSalle made the first half a tight game.  David Bell’s aggressive play earned him many trips to the free throw line.  Despite shooting only 21% in the half, LaSalle was in the game because they attacked the offensive glass to the tune of 14 offensive rebounds. 

 

Not even a sore bruised tailbone could stop junior point guard Jameer Nelson.  Despite grimacing in pain most of the night, Nelson led the Hawks in points (18) and assists (6).  He added 7 rebounds, which gives him 16 rebounds in the last 2 games for the 5’10 guard.  The six assists moved Nelson past Luke Griffin for 2nd place on the school’s career assist list.  Nelson now has accumulated 525 assists and trails only Rap Curry’s total (580).

 

Delonte West scored 10 points despite playing with a stress fracture in his lower right leg.  The injury would normally require 4-6 weeks of rest.  West will be limited in practice minutes and will be a game-time decision for the rest of the season.  West and the Hawks must hope that nothing else occurs which would further injure the bone.

 

West looked more hesitant than usual.  From his own recollection, his leg has been hurting since the Penn game.  In the 5 following games, he has averaged 26.4 points per contest.  But having missed the last game and having the thought of the injury in the back of his mind may have hampered his play this game.  He was only 2-for-13 from the field.

 

An MRI should be performed on West’s brain.  With the game well out of hand, West found himself in front of all defenders.  He dunked the ball (the best Hawk dunker in at least 15 years) so hard he came up limping. 

 

W—H—Y?

 

One: why does Coach Phil Martelli still have him in the game?

Two: why not just lay it in?  You know the leg is bad.  No need for a power dunk.

 

Dwayne Jones was a force in the paint.  The red-shirt freshman collected 14 rebounds and 3 blocks.  Pat Carroll and Chet Stachitas combined for 21 points.

 

Gary Neal led all LaSalle scorers with 13 points before leaving with an injury.  On a drive to the lane late in the game, Neal’s leg buckled.  Not a single Saint Joseph’s defender caused him to fall. 

 

David Bell added 11 points before leaving with an injury as well.  The injury bug has been cruel to LaSalle.  Star guard Mike Cleaves tore up his knee and hasn’t looked the same.  Season-ending injuries have landed Steven Smith and Fadipe on the bench as well.

 

Play of the Game.  Early in the first half, Jameer Nelson drove baseline and spotted center Dwayne Jones in the lane.  Jones grabbed the pass, elevated, and slammed home a monster dunk over Joel Jean-Baptiste. 

 

Sub of the Game.  With Alex Sazonov and Dwayne Jones on the bench with 2 fouls early in the first half, reserve center Chris Cologer provided a defensive spark.  He had 3 first half blocks.  He finished with 6 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 blocks.

 

With the win, Saint Joseph’s completed a perfect Big 5 campaign, the first time in 23 years for the Hawks.  They beat Temple, Penn, Villanova, and LaSalle by a total of 67 points.  Each win was by at least 10 points.  Counting the second game against Temple as well as the game vs. Drexel, the Hawks were a perfect 6-0 against Philadelphia teams.  The Crimson and Gray won the 6 games by 99 points.

 

Saint Joseph’s is 6-0 at the Palestra this season.  They currently are 8-0 at the Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse.  Two games (Richmond and Xavier) remain to secure an undefeated home record.

 

Saint Joseph’s is now 20-4, 10-3 in the A-10.  It is the Hawks’ 65th win over 3 seasons.  The next game is Saturday @ 7:00pm in the Fieldhouse against the Richmond Spiders.

 


 

E-Mail the Author: Patrick Wandalowski

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