Thursday, February 12, 2004

Hawks show they're Atlantic 10's best

Saint Joe's improves to 21-0, sends UD to 1st league loss

The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's ended the only losing streak it has known lately.

Delonte West had 24 points and Jameer Nelson added 16 points and seven assists to help the third-ranked Hawks remain undefeated with an 81-67 victory over Dayton on Wednesday night.

Tyrone Barley was 3-for-4 from 3-point range and had 14 points for the Hawks (21-0, 10-0 Atlantic 10) who snapped a three-game losing streak against Dayton in extending their school-record winning streak.

Saint Joseph's and No. 2 Stanford (20-0) remain the only unbeaten teams in Division I. Rhode Island is the only team with a winning record remaining on Saint Joseph's regular-season schedule.

"We've gotten a lot of notoriety in the Atlantic 10, but (the Flyers) are the champions from last year," West said. "They flat-out beat us last year. I think we showed them something today."

The matchup was the first in A-10 history between teams that were 9-0 in conference play.

Saint Joseph's trailed 9-8 early, but not for the rest of the game. Each time Dayton made a run, the Hawks answered with a timely basket or clutch defensive play.

Forward John Bryant and center Dwayne Jones, overshadowed much of the season by the Hawks' superior backcourt, helped shut down the interior and hold Dayton to just seven assists.

Dayton trailed by six points early in the second half before Nelson made two free throws and a jumper to push the lead to 10. After the Flyers' Ramod Marshall made a 19-footer, Pat Carroll answered with a 3 that restored the lead to 11 points at halftime.

The lead would be trimmed to eight three more times, but it got no smaller.

With 4:38 remaining, Nelson delivered a quick bounce pass in the lane to West, who finished the play with a spectacular reverse layup. West made a 3 on the next possession and another layup with under 2 minutes to go that gave the Hawks their biggest lead of the game.

It was a disappointing second half for Dayton, which got off to a promising start.

The Flyers kept Saint Joseph's off balance early and played tough perimeter defense, holding the Hawks to a 1-for-7 start from 3-point range. But Dayton struggled early on offense, hitting just five of its first 19 field goal attempts.

Nelson was held scoreless until he stole a crosscourt pass and took it the length of the floor for a layup that put Saint Joseph's ahead by eight with 5:22 left in the first half. Nelson made a running layup on the next possession and Carroll knocked down a 3 from the corner to extend the lead to 13.

Nelson had two 18-footers over the next 3 minutes to give the Hawks the 36-25 halftime lead.

"They're a veteran team with unbelievable court savvy because of Nelson and West," Dayton coach Brian Gregory said.

Keith Waleskowski had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Dayton (19-4, 9-1), which had won nine straight games.

DAYTON (19-4)-Bennett 4-6 0-0 11, Waleskowski 6-16 7-10 20, Finn 3-6 2-4 8, Marshall 6-13 3-3 16, Jones 1-10 0-0 2, Scott 1-4 0-0 2, Williams 2-4 2-2 8, Iguodala 0-0 0-0 0, Cripe 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 23-61 14-19 67.

SAINT JOSEPH'S (21-0)-Carroll 3-5 0-0 9, Bryant 2-2 2-2 6, Jones 3-6 0-2 6, Nelson 6-13 4-5 16, West 9-16 5-5 24, Lee 0-0 0-0 0, Barley 4-5 3-3 14, Stachitas 1-5 3-4 5, Mallon 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 28-52 18-23 81.

Halftime-SJ 36-25. 3-Point goals-UD 7-19 (Bennett 3-4, Williams 2-3, Waleskowski 1-2, Marshall 1-2, Scott 0-1, Jones 0-7), SJ 7-15 (Carroll 3-3, Barley 3-4, West 1-2, Nelson 0-3, Stachitas 0-3). Rebounds-UD 37 (Waleskowski 10), SJ 30 (Jones 8). Assists-UD 7 (Waleskowski, Marshall 2), SJ 15 (Nelson 7). Total fouls-UD 20, SJ 16. Technical-Saint Joesph's bench. A-3,200.

No.3 Saint Joseph's 81, Dayton 67

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