Another road game. Another quick start by the Hawks. Another run by
the opponent to close the half and make it a tight game. Another
dominant second half to deliver the Saint Joseph’s Hawks their second
blowout win of the season?
Saint Joseph’s defeated Canisius, 70-63. Spurred on by explosive
scoring from the backcourt of Jameer Nelson and Delonte West, the Hawks
stormed to an early 18-4 lead. The Crimson and Gray played it even for
the next 10 minutes, leading 34-15 with about seven minutes until
Then the re-enactment of the Shootout at the OK Corral occurred.
The gunslingers were Delonte West and Hodari Mallory. West and Mallory
went back and forth, dropping in bucket after bucket. But Mallory’s
team was getting the best of the gunfight. Canisius started launching
three after three—and they all kept finding the bottom of the net.
Three straight shots from beyond the arc by the Golden Griffins cut the
lead to 36-24. Finally, West and the Hawks cooled off, but the Golden
Griffins kept reloading. Canisius kept firing and produced a 13-6 run
to end the half, trailing 42-37. The 19 point advantage had been
trimmed to just 5 points.
The Hawks shot 17-for-30 for 57% FG, including 6-of-14 from
downtown. Delonte West had a career-high 22 points at the break,
combining with Nelson to score 34 of the team’s 42 total points. The
Golden Griffins shot 15-for-32 for 47% FG, hitting 7-of-13
three-pointers. Mallory led his squad with 13 points.
What was Coach Martelli of Saint Joseph’s thinking by halftime?
Following the trouncing of Boston College a couple of days earlier, he
credited his team with a renewed commitment to defending the three-point
line. They had surrendered only one three to the Eagles. But at
halftime, his team had just been dissected from deep range.
The momentum continued for Canisius. Another three by Canisius
tied the game at 52-52. Another bucket gave the Golden Griffins their
first lead of the game, marking the first time that Saint Joseph’s had
trailed their opponent in the early stages of the season. The Hawks
were in the midst of a long drought. Ten minutes had elapsed in the
second half, and all the Hawks had to show for it were 10 points.
It was apparent. The mindset of the team had to change. No
longer could this team win by its offense, no matter how many points
West or Nelson were going to put up. The Hawks were going to have to
scratch and claw their way to a win. Defense was a necessity if the
Hawks were going to emerge with the victory.
Defense is something the Hawk faithful did not see much of last
season. That squad relied on scoring 80 to 90 points to win the game.
Coach Martelli insisted, “I have never seen a team win a game 2-0”.
But scratch and claw their way to a victory is just what this
squad did. Despite shooting 7-for-26 (27% FG) in the second half, the
Hawks outscored Canisius 28-26 to hold onto their second road win of the
season. The pivotal play occurred when defensive specialist Tyrone
Barley and Pat Carroll trapped a Canisius ball handler in the backcourt
and stole the ball, with a little under 3 minutes to play and with the
Hawks holding a slim lead.
Pat Carroll needed that defensive stop to contribute to the win.
The southpaw small forward ended up making two free throws to extend the
lead. They were the only 2 points on the night for Carroll, who
struggled with his shot (0-6 FG) just days after drilling all five of
his three point attempts against Boston College.
The Hawks were led by Delonte West with 28 points and 8
rebounds. Jameer Nelson backed up his impressive opening game against
B.C. with 20 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. Dwayne Jones
chipped in with 8 points and 3 rebounds. John Bryant (6 points, 4
rebounds) replaced Dave Mallon in the starting lineup. This was sort of
a homecoming game for Mallon, the East Aurora, NY native. He chose
Saint Joseph’s over Canisius. The freshman was a little jittery from
nerves as well as an elbow he received in the opener. He played only 9
minutes and was held scoreless. Key free throw shooting down the
stretch, 16-for-19 overall, allowed the Hawks to escape with the win.
Hodari Mallory led Canisius with 22 points and 6 rebounds. Point
guard Brian Dux helped his team’s cause with 10 points and 7 assists.
Richard Jones pulled down 9 boards.
Saint Joseph’s returns to Philadelphia and will play its first
home game of the season against Old Dominion on Sunday, December 1st.
Email: Patrick Wandalowski