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Gut Wrenching Loss to URI

A10 Homepage

Saint Joseph's Basketball

St. Joseph's Hawks
12-2 (4-1 Atlantic Ten)

by Patrick Wandalowski

January 19th, 2003

The Rhode Island Rams snapped Saint Joseph’s five game winning streak with a Brian Woodward lay-up at the buzzer, 58-57. 


It seemed like the Hawks literally had the game in hand.  In fact, they did.  Dwayne Jones corralled the rebound with 2.5 seconds left.  All the freshman had to do was cover the ball up and wait to be fouled.  Instead, Brian Woodward wrestled the ball away, spun towards the basket, and layed the ball off the glass before John Bryant could get his hand on the block.  The ball fell in the hoop.


The win by the Rams (11-4, 3-1 A-10) prevented the Hawks from having a 2 game lead over all A-10 East opponents.  It also gave Rhode Island major confidence for the rest of the A-10 regular season.


URI got off to a fast start, outscoring the Hawks 11-2 during the first 2:15 of the game.  The Rams accomplished this with an up tempo approach.  The Rams would push the ball up the floor quickly and not allow the Hawk defense to set up.  It was a strategy employed by Gonzaga.  It has been effective.


Saint Joseph’s trailed most of the first half.  Two free throws by Nelson tied the score at 21 apiece.  Over that 11 minute time span, the Hawk defense had settled in and only allowed 10 points.  Two more Nelson free throws gave the Hawks their first lead of the game, 23-22.


The Hawks closed the half on an 8-0 run.  Dwayne Jones scored in the post.  After a charge drawn by Chet Stachitas, Jameer Nelson finished on a lay-up.  He was fouled and made the free throw to convert the three-point play.  Off a steal, Delonte West drove the length of the court for a lay-up.  Pat Carroll hit 1-of-2 free throws to cap off the 8-0 run.  The defensive pressure held Rhode Island scoreless over the final 4:38 of the half.


Saint Joseph’s 31, Rhode Island 26 at the half.


Jameer Nelson and Delonte West combined for 23 points.  Philly native Dawan Robinson tied teammate Lazare Adingono for scoring honors with 5 points each.


Rhode Island established control of the game early in the second half.  The Rams outscored the Hawks 19-8 to take a 45-39 lead.  Dustin Hellenga finally got untracked, scoring 7 points during that run.  


But the Hawks fought back as Delonte West capped off a 9-0 Hawk run.  The Hawks seemed to have regained the momentum until Jameer Nelson picked up his 4th personal foul.  Saint Joseph’s was clinging to a 53-49 lead at the time with nearly 6:00 remaining.


Then the Saint Joseph’s nightmare started.  The team ended up scoring merely 4 points in the final 7:33 of the game, both baskets by Delonte West.  One of the West baskets came at the buzzer of the 24 second clock.  He was fed the ball off the inbounds pass and released the shot just in the nick of time.  Jameer Nelson was lucky to have not been whistled for his 5th foul at the 3:30 mark.  In transition, Nelson tried to dribble around a Ram defender near half court.  He lost the ball and knocked over the defender.  No call ensued.       


The Hawks received another break when Hellenga missed both free throws with 2:33 to play.  Then Pat Carroll had the ball stripped from him.  Instead of fouling the Ram either immediately or at the basket to make the Ram earn the two critical points, he just ran alongside him the length of the court allowing the player to score. 


The Hawks received another stroke of luck when two Rams fought each other over a rebound.  Both were wide open under the rim and could have put the ball in for the lead at the end.  Instead, traveling was called. 


The game seemed over when Brian Woodward missed a wide open jumper.  It looked dead on but was just long.  West rebounded the ball and the game again seemed over.  But since the Hawks were not in the 1-and-1 bonus yet, they had to inbound the ball. 

Facing a trap, Nelson fired the ball to midcourt where a Ram easily picked off the pass.


It looked like the Rams were down to their last chance.  They in bounded the ball but were called for charging as Tyrone Barley hit the floor hard.  Hawks had the ball again.


Jameer Nelson tried to throw the ball to a teammate out-of-bounds who would then throw the ball in, but a traveling violation was called.  That play is only legal after a made basket by the other team.  Otherwise, running the baseline or tossing it to another player on the baseline is illegal.


Then Nelson missed the front end of the 1-and-1. 


The final play ensued and the nightmare became a reality.


Brian Woodward led Rhode Island with 12 points while Dustin Hellenga added 11 points and 7 rebounds.


Delonte West was the lone bright spot for Saint Joseph’s.  He is having a breakout season.  West had 26 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists.  Nelson had 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists.  But he shot only 4-for-14 and committed 6 turnovers.  It seemed like 10 turnovers.


A missing person report has not yet been filed for Pat Carroll, but maybe it should.  He has been struggling as of late.  He is being counted on to be the team’s third scorer.  Five points on only 4 attempts won’t cut it. 


The frontcourt was exposed again.  To their credit, they did combine for 8 blocked shots and 16 rebounds.  But only 7 points.

Jameer Nelson had two of his fingers taped for the second straight game.  This had better be a minor injury or it will have major repercussions.  Also, the superstar of the A-10 is not getting the calls that great players get, regardless if that is right or wrong.  He is being called for too many offensive fouls.  


The Hawks look to regroup against Fordham Wednesday night at 7pm


E-Mail the Author: Patrick Wandalowski

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