In front of just over 5,000 fans last night at the Palestra, Saint Joseph's got their third consecutive win of the season, defeating Rutgers 76-70. The game was a homecoming of sorts for new Rutgers head coach Mike Rice, who spent time on Hawk Hill as an assistant before moving on to Pitt, Robert Morris, and now Rutgers. Last night's game was also a family affair, as Hawk head coach Phil Martelli's son, Jimmy, is on Mike Rice's Rutgers staff. Linked below is a terrific article on the Martellis from the Star Ledger's Brendan Prunty.
After being hammered at home by Western Kentucky in the season opener and losing at Penn State, the Hawks have now put together 3 wins in a row. The Hawks had nine players earn double-digit minutes in the contest. Despite getting his lip ripped open in the first half, the Hawks got yet another stellar performance from freshman Langston Galloway, who scored 20 points, had 8 assists, and pulled down 3 rebounds. Galloway was 4-5 from three, leading the way as the Hawks shot 38 percent from three on the night. Sophomore Tay Jones also had a big night, scoring 21 points, including a number of critical free throws down the stretch.
The Hawks led throughout, and even had a 10 point lead with 12 minutes left in the game. A number of costly turnovers allowed Rutgers back into the game. With 3 minutes to go, Rutgers had trimmed the lead to 1. After the Hawks expanded the lead to 6, senior Charoy Bentley hit what may have been the biggest shot of his Saint Joseph's career, drilling a 3 with just over a minute to go.
Although Rutgers is down this year, any win over a Big East school is an important one, especially considering the youth of the Hawks.
Seated courtside for the game was 2011 SJU recruit Chris Wilson, who will look to earn minutes alongside this talented group of guards next season. Another big name in the house last night was sophomore Chester wing Rondae Jefferson. Jefferson is a top 50 recruit nationally in his class, and just another name the Hawks look to be trying to get involved with. According to an Adam Zagoria article from earlier this month, the Hawks are also very interested in 2013 New Jersey guard Davon Reed. Last night's game was an exciting and entertaining game for Wilson, Jefferson, and everyone else at the Palestra.
Saint Joseph's looks to bring their winning streak to 4 on Wednesday at Drexel.
Star Ledger Article on the Martellis