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St. Joseph's Basketball Update

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Saint Joseph's Hawks Basketball

St. Joseph's Hawks
22-5 (12-4 Atlantic Ten)

by Patrick Wandalowski

March 10th, 2003

3/8/03-Hawks Edge Minutemen, 3/5/05 X-Men Beat Hawks in OT, 3/1/03-Hawks Stomp on Spiders



Saint Joseph’s (22-5, 12-4) capped off its Atlantic 10 conference season with a close win, 52-49, at Amherst, Massachusetts.


The home finale for the Minutemen was also their senior day.  Senior day was officially scheduled for their previous game vs. Saint Bonaventure, but in light of recent events involving an ineligible player, the Bonnies boldly forfeited the game.


The Saint Bonaventure/UMass game was never played.  The Saint Joseph’s/UMass game was so ugly, maybe it shouldn’t have been played either.


The two squads combined for 64 missed shots, 32 turnovers, and 44 fouls. 


Saint Joseph’s shot 14-for-50 (28%) and still won the game.  The Hawks were a futile 4-of-21 (19%) in the second half.  They missed all 9 three-point attempts in the second half and were 3-for-20 for the game.


Massachusetts shot 16-for-44 (36.4%).  The only reason the percentage is that high is because they made 48% of their shots in the second half.  The Minutemen were 5-of-17 (29%) from the arc.  UMass couldn’t even hit their free throws (11-for-21).


The teams just didn’t get it.  They kept firing up threes.  And get this.  Micah Brand, UMass’s 7-foot center, he was the best of the lot.  He nailed both of his long bomb attempts.


How bad was the game?  Saint Joseph’s nearly blew a 6 point lead with 10 seconds to go.  Jameer Nelson made both free throws to give the Hawks a 52-46 lead.  Hawk John Bryant fouled Jeff Viggiano.  Viggiano made the first free throw to cut the lead to 5 points.  He missed the second, and Jackie Rogers came down with the rebound for UMass.  He scored to make it 52-49 with 5 seconds left.  Viggiano stole the ball from Pat Carroll and missed a three-pointer that could have sent the game into OT.


Jameer Nelson led all scorers with 28 points despite missing all 7 field goal attempts in the second half.  He was 6-for-18 and has hoisted 52 shots in the 2 games Delonte West has missed due to his stress fracture.  As Nelson has done all season, he did everything on the court.  He had a game-high 12 rebounds and a game-high 5 steals.  He was 15-for-20 from the charity stripe.  His only blemish was in the turnover column (4).


UMass almost forced the overtime.  If they did, I wonder if they could have made it the whole way.  Three Minutemen (Anthony Anderson, Mike Lasme, and Marcus Cox) fouled out in regulation.  Jackie Rogers finished the game with 4 fouls.


Anderson (18 points), Rogers (13 points), and Brand (11 points) combined for 42 of the 49 points.


Saint Joseph’s only trailed once in the entire game, 4-3.  The Hawks led 19-9 by virtue of a 7-0 run which featured a Carroll three-ball, a Nelson lay-up, and a jumper by freshman Dwayne Lee.


UMass counter-punched with an 8-0 run.  Anderson knocked down a three-pointer and 2 foul shots to trim the lead to 19-17.


Saint Joseph’s failed to score late in the first half.  The Crimson and Gray managed just 2 points in the final 4 minutes.  Despite not getting to the foul line even once, the Hawks built a 23-17 halftime lead.


By halftime, Nelson had 13 points and 7 rebounds.  Carroll hit two threes for his 6 points.  Anthony Anderson of UMass was responsible for keeping his team in the game.  He accounted for 13 of the team’s 17 points.  The teams had more turnovers (18) than field goals (15).


Five straight points by super-sub Tyrone Barley to start the second half resulted in a 28-19 lead.  Barley connected on a jumper.  The defensive stalwart then stole the ball and cruised in for a lay-up.


UMass’s Micah Brand had 5 straight points as well.  Hit canned a three-pointer and 2 free throws.  UMass kept itself between 4-8 points the rest of the way. 


The fouls mounted on the Minutemen.  The Hawks reached the double bonus with over 8 minutes in the game.  Foul trouble limited both teams.  Power forward Jackie Rogers was whistled for his 4th foul with 8:40 remaining.  Barley, playing in place of West, picked up his 4th foul with 8:26 to play.


Down 40-34, Micah Brand hit a three-pointer.  Just as improbable, Saint Joseph’s Dwayne Jones made 2 free throws, including his 3rd straight.  Not once had the center hit 3 straight free throws in a game.


Barley fouled out with 6:28 on the clock.  Then Nelson struggled a bit from the line.  He converted only 1 of 2 free throws on three consecutive trips.  And Jackie Rogers scored 6 straight for UMass to make it 50-46 with 0:15 left before the drama unfolded.


Saint Joseph’s hit 21-of-27 free throws, all in the second-half to pull out the victory.  Barley scored 7 points before fouling out.  Dwayne Jones and John Bryant teamed-up for 12 rebounds.


The Hawks received a first round bye in the A-10 tourney.  They are the East #1 seed.  They will face the winner of LaSalle/Fordham.  The next Hawk game will be held at UD Arena in Dayton, the site of the A-10 tourney.  A win by the Hawks would most likely result in a semifinal duel with host Dayton.    


X-Men Beat Hawks in OT


Saint Joseph’s point guard Jameer Nelson did all he could, but it was the play of Xavier’s frontcourt combination of Anthony Myles and All-American David West that led the #11 Musketeers to an 88-80 OT win at the Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse.


David West scored 25 points and had 14 rebounds to clinch the A-10 POY award for the third consecutive year.  The only way he was going to lose the award was if Nelson could lead the Hawks to a head-to-head victory over X.  When asked about David West, Saint Joseph’s head coach said, “[West] may well be the best player in the A-10 I’ve seen in 18 years.”  Marcus Camby of UMass is probably the only player he can be compared to in terms of conference greatness.    


About 15 NBA scouts were treated to a classic.  They saw the best of West and Nelson.  Nelson, playing mostly as a shooting guard, netted 33 points.  On Nelson’s chances of going pro, Phil Martelli said, “If he [Nelson] is guaranteed a 1st round pick, I will help him pack.”  Nelson’s burden was extra-heavy because Delonte West was unable to play.  And the NBA scouts also saw a great defensive effort by another NBA prospect, Romain Sato of Xavier.  Despite not scoring a lot of points, Sato’s defensive effort on Pat Carroll contributed to the victory.


Xavier had too many weapons for the Hawks.  Five players reached double figures: West (25), Dedrick Finn (18), Myles (17), Lionel Chalmers (13), and Sato (10).  Their pound-it-in-the-post offensive attack led to 31 free throw attempts to only 11 for the Hawks.


The Hawks had one golden opportunity to win the game.  Leading by 2 points, Chet Stachitas had a 1-and-1 at the free throw line.  The FRESHMAN missed the front end of the 1-and-1.  The 4th year JUNIOR Lionel Chalmers took and made the big shot.  He nailed a fade-away over the outstretched hand of Jameer Nelson to tie the game, 71-71.


Chalmers is a big-time player in that regard.  He can sometimes be out-of-control and force shots or make poor decisions.  But Chalmers is always willing to try to win the game.  He’s a great competitor.


David West was too much for the Hawks in overtime.  He outscored the Crimson and Gray 10-9.  He scored 3 straight baskets in the extra period to give the Musketeers an 80-76 lead.  Dedrick Finn made some important free throws in the final moments.


The first half was exciting.  Jameer Nelson was a one-man wrecking ball.  He scored all 7 points during a 7-0 run to put the Hawks up 15-12.  During one stretch, Nelson accounted for 14 of the Hawks’ 17 points.  He was hitting deep three-pointers.  He was quick on many drives past his defender.


The Hawks’ biggest lead was 8 points.  Pat Carroll’s only basket of the half, a three-pointer, made it a 35-27 game.    


Saint Joseph’s was collapsing on any Xavier player in the lane.  When West or Myles didn’t score inside, they did a wonderful job of finding an open shooter.  This attack led to a 13-4 run to close out the half.   


Xavier converted on 6 three-pointers in the half.  Nearly 4 of X’s players were in double figures by halftime.  Four players scored between 7-9 points.  Romain Sato made a deep two-pointer (foot on the line) at the buzzer to give the Musketeers the lead, 40-39.


The second half nearly turned into a blowout.  Fueled by an 18-5 run to start the half, Xavier gave itself a commanding 14 point lead, 58-44. 


But the Hawks gave everything they had in hopes of defending their perfect home court record.  They rattled off a 10-0 run to make it a 4 point game, 58-54.  Nelson had 5 points and set up Carroll for a wide-open three.  Barley stole the ball at the top of the key and scored to cap off the run.


Following a free throw by West, Tyrone Barley drilled a three-pointer.  Then Pat Carroll swiped the ball and the lefty layed in a beautiful right-handed shot off the glass.  Myles broke the tie with a basket.  Barley answered with another basket. 


When Nelson scored next, the Hawks had finally clawed all the way back from a 14 point deficit and taken a two point lead, 63-61.  But Myles worked the low post for another basket and West hit 2 free throws.


John Bryant streaked past David West for a dunk and then Nelson scored to reclaim the lead for the Hawks, 67-65.  Finn tied it at 67.  Nelson took the lead again.  And out of nowhere, John Bryant (nearly 40% on the season) hit two free throws.  West scored again to cut the lead to 2 points (71-69) before Stachitas had his chance.


The Saint Joseph’s frontcourt was effective.  They accounted for 17 first-half points.  Dwayne Jones gathered 12 rebounds.  In only 13 minutes, Alex Sazonov had 6 points and 5 rebounds.      


Saint Joseph’s has nothing to be ashamed about in losing to Xavier.  This was Xavier’s 14th straight win.  The X-men won all 8 conference road games this season.  The Hawks should have been in the polls for most of the year.  Coach Phil Martelli downplayed the top 25 earlier in the season, but recently he has been more outspoken.  On not being in the latest poll, Martelli said, “It’s an injustice [not being ranked]…people have missed the boat on this team.”  Before the game, Martelli added, “We’re for real…I am disappointed in the voters.”    


The Saint Joseph’s fans, however, do have something to be ashamed about.  With the game decided, a few fans were upset about some non-calls.  Replays indicated that the fans were wrong.  Disgusted by the refs and the loss, some fans littered the court with towels, water, and other debris.  It was a classless action that marred a fantastic game.  The fan support throughout the game was top standard.  Xavier nearly left the court with 2.3 seconds remaining.  After a stoppage to clean up the mess and restore order, the two teams finished the contest.


All the Atlantic-10 needs is another black eye this week.  Saint Bonaventure has been all over the news after having to forfeit 6 league wins.  Their team decision to quit the season with 2 games remaining has been a public relations nightmare for the league.  Secondly, Jim Harrick seems to be in violation of several NCAA rules.  The latest information had a Rhode Island booster giving money to a Harrick player at Georgia.  Harrick’s coaching stint at URI will be investigated.  So the A-10 does not need any more negative publicity. 


There is some good publicity.  Xavier (23-4), Saint Joseph’s (21-5), and Dayton (21-5) all seem capable of advancing to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA tournament.         

Hawks Stomp on Spiders


Saint Joseph’s (21-4, 11-3) clinched the A-10 East division with an easy 75-59 win over the Richmond Spiders.  Jameer Nelson netted a game-high 25 points.


The Hawks never trailed.  Saint Joseph’s led by as many as 19 points on multiple occasions.  The Spiders could not cut the deficit at all in the second half.


Saint Joseph’s utilized a killer combination of good offense and good defense.  While the defense held Richmond to only 9 second-half FGs and 59 total points, the offense shot a respectable 51.1% from the field.


Delonte West, despite leaving the game with 5:36 remaining in the 1st half, added 12 points while playing with a broken bone in his right leg.  West was 4-of-6 from the field before leaving with the injury.


Pat Carroll added 10 points while his brother Matt Carroll of ND took in the second half of the game.  Matt was in town playing Rutgers.


Several Hawks contributed to make up for the loss of West.  Alex Sazonov played an effective game.  He wound up with 7 points and 7 rebounds.  Freshman forward Dave Mallon set a career-high with 6 points.  Tyrone Barley (7 pts) and Chet Stachitas (4 pts) rounded out the scoring column.


Saint Joseph’s led 16-8 before UR’s Jamaal Scott led the Spider charge.  Scott accounted for 8 of UR’s initial 12 points.  Consecutive baskets by Scott trimmed the lead to 16-12.


Before leaving the game, West was very effective.  He managed to score 7 points on 2 Hawk possessions.  First he was fouled and still made the basket.  The free throw was good.  Then West knocked down a three-pointer while being fouled.  He added the free throw as well.  West’s outburst and a 12-3 run by the Hawks gave Saint Joseph’s a commanding 28-25 lead.  The Hawks made 12 of their first 16 shots.


The Crimson and Gray built a 12 point halftime lead 37-25.  Nelson and West had 12 points apiece.  UR’s Scott led the Spiders with 11 points.  The Hawks forced 8 turnovers and seemed to score on every one of them.  Richmond was slowed by some injuries.  Mike Skrocki played very little due to a banged-up knee.  Mike Zwayer played with an injury as well. 


Jameer Nelson scored 9 quick points in the second half.  His coast-to-coast lay-up capped off an 11-4 run, 48-29.  All that was left was the time on the clock.


Jamaal Scott scored 16 points.  Jeff Myers chipped in with 9 points.  The Spiders were the victims of some early foul trouble.  They were out-rebounded 31 to 22.  Despite hitting 44.2% of their shots, Richmond never was able to establish a rhythm.  The Hawk’s man-to-man defense was the major reason.

Saint Joseph’s faces Xavier Wednesday night @ 8:00 pm.  The match-up features the A-10 East division leader (Saint Joseph’s) and the A-10 West division leader (Xavier).  It also features the 2 best players in the A-10 (Nelson and David West).  An intriguing subplot will be Saint Joseph’s defensive stopper trying to stop Romain Sato.  A win by the Hawks would complete a perfect record at the Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse.


Right now David West of X is the frontrunner for A-10 POY.  A win by the Hawks and a huge game by Nelson could change that.    


E-Mail the Author: Patrick Wandalowski

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