On Wednesday night at Hagan Arena, Rotnei Clarke poured in 28 points, Andrew Smith contributed 24,…
Hawks knock off Bears
Forward Dewayne Jackson led Morgan State with 16 points and 8 rebounds. His 16 points, however, came on 5-20 shooting. Shaquille Duncan, a Philadelphia native out of Frankford High, came off the bench for the Bears and chipped in 6 points and 4 rebounds.
The Hawks went on a 9-4 run over the closing minutes of the first half to extend their lead to seven, 32-25, going into the locker room. In the second half, the Hawks pushed the lead to 12 or 13, but then had defensive lapses that kept Morgan State in the ballgame. Two Blake Bozeman free throws brought Morgan State within 8 with just over six minutes to play, but the Hawks did just enough to stave off any late rally.
Saturday's game was one of the uglier shooting nights you'll see anywhere. The Bears went 1-13 from three, while the Hawks didn't do much better, shooting 5-18 as a team. Tay Jones was 3-4, meaning his teammates went an ice-cold 2-14 from three. Langston Galloway, who has been up and down this year, was 2-8 from three in this one.
While the Hawks got themselves a double-digit win on Saturday afternoon, turnovers and Morgan State's ability to corral offensive rebounds made the game much closer than it probably should have been. As a team, the Hawks turned the ball over 16 times, with Halil Kanacevic turning it over 6 times and Chris Wilson committing 4 turnovers. This is an area that SJU will need to improve upon when conference play begins on Wednesday.
Another area of concern is defensive rebounding. Morgan State grabbed 20 offensive rebounds on Saturday. This has been a trend as of late, and one that will need to be fixed if the Hawks are to contend near the top of the Atlantic 10.
The Hawks did go 9-deep on Saturday, once again starting Chris Wilson and bringing Halil Kanacevic off he bench. Daryus Quarles, who did not play against Drexel, got 9 minutes of action Saturday, while Isaiah Miles (6 minutes) and Papa Ndao (3 minutes) also saw some action. Miles, who was forced to sit two games with an ankle sprain, knocked down a jumper Saturday in front of his hometown crowd.
With the win, St. Joe's improved to 8-4 on the season. Their RPI, at the moment, is hovering in the low 50's depending on where you look, anywhere from 55 to 62.
Saint Joseph's will begin conference play on Wednesday evening against 17th-ranked Butler. The Hawks already have one top 25 win, over Notre Dame in November. A win Wednesday against a well-coached and extremely talented Butler squad would go a long way towards getting the Hawks fully back on track. Hawk Hill Hardwood will preview the Butler game on Tuesday.
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