Saint Joseph’s rolled past Saint Bonaventure 75-58. The Hawks raised
their record to 10-1, 2-0 in the Atlantic-10. Delonte West and Pat
Carroll each had 17 points to lead the way for Saint Joseph’s. West
also tallied 8 assists.
The game was billed as a battle between the A-10’s best offense (Saint
Bonaventure averages 80.8 ppg) and the A-10’s best defense (Saint
Joseph’s allows 57.1 ppg).
Something had to give. Saint Joseph’s performed its defensive duty,
limiting the Bonnies to 58 points.
The Hawks came out firing on all cylinders. The team connected on
6-of-7 three-pointers, including their first five, to build an early
22-13 lead. A Dave Mallon basket capped off a Saint Joseph’s 10-0 run
to give the Hawks a big lead, 32-16.
The teams traded buckets for a few minutes until a Jameer Nelson
three-point dagger extended the Hawks’ lead to 18 points, 41-23.
Delonte West sank a trifecta right before the buzzer as the Hawks
capped off an electric start with an 8-0 run, 44-23.
The Hawks’ passes were leading directly to baskets. A Hawk player
assisted on 14 of the 18 first-half field goals. West, still a little
bothered by a sprained ankle, had 15 points at the half. Pat Carroll
dropped in 11, including all three of his attempts from beyond the
the other hand, Mike Gansey seemed to be the only member of the
Bonnies to show up in the 1st half. The sophomore
sharpshooter led the team with 10 points at the break. The Bonnies
were held to 9-for-29 shooting (31% FG).
Saint Joseph’s put the game away on a 9-0 run early in the second
half. Two freshmen, Dwayne Lee and Chet Stachitas, combined for 7 of
the 9 points. It was the second productive game for Stachitas, a
highly touted scoring threat out of Florida.
Only two things went wrong for the Hawks in the second half. Jameer
Nelson injured a finger. Later on in the game, he re-aggravated the
injury. Not that the injury stopped him.
This game was also billed as the battle of the best point guards in
the A-10. Nelson once again ended up on the winning side. Nelson’s
teams have amassed a 5-0 record over A-10 East counterpart Saint
Bonaventure. Don’t be fooled. A couple of the games have been real
barnburners. One of the games required a 40-ft bomb by Nelson to send
the game into overtime.
Though the duel never materialized, Nelson and Green both had good
games. Jameer Nelson had 11 points, a game-high 9 rebounds, and 6
assists. Marques Green of Saint Bonaventure collected 12 points, 8
rebounds, and 6 assists.
The second thing to be concerned about for the Hawks was that they
didn’t attempt their 1st free throw until nearly 10 minutes
into the second half.
The Hawks won despite being out rebounded 37-29. They did outshoot
the Bonnies (55% vs. 37%). Saint Joseph’s hit 10 three-pointers and
held Saint Bonaventure to only 2. The Bonnies were averaging 9.38
threes per game, tops in the A-10.
Dwayne Jones added 6 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 blocks. The red-shirt
freshman may be evolving into one of the better big men in the A-10,
at least defensively. With the 3 blocks, Jones leads the conference
in blocks per game, at 2.0 bpg.
The Hawks have placed themselves in a great position. In their first
11 games, they have played 4 at home, 5 on the road, and 2 times at
the Palestra. This is not a team racking up home wins vs. bottom
feeders. They have been tested. Wins at Boston College and at
Gonzaga exhibit the team’s toughness. The Reilly Center in Olean is
arguably the toughest venue in the A-10, definitely in the A-10 East.
However, the Hawks were fortunate that they caught the Bonnies while
most of the student section was still on Christmas break.
Saint Bonaventure is a pretty good team. They only lost to #4 Alabama
by 9 points. They lost to #3 UCONN by 17 points, the same margin that
Saint Joseph’s won by.
The question remains—What’s the difference then between Saint Joseph’s
and Connecticut? Maybe the voters in the poll should actually look at
who UCONN beat as well as how well the Hawks are playing.
No, the Hawks aren’t world beaters, but their win total, margin of
victory and strength of schedule warrant a top 25 ranking.
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