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Hawks continue hot shooting in blowout win over Penn

Halil Kanacevic was just one point short of his first career triple-double as Saint Joseph's defeated Penn 85-68.
Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

On the opening possession of the game, Halil Kanacevic lobbed the ball towards the basket where Ronald Roberts was waiting for an alley-oop to give Saint Joseph's a 2-0 lead 13 seconds into the contest.

Welcome back Ronald Roberts.

That opening play helped set the tone for the entire game as Roberts scored 10 points in his return from injury while Kanacevic had a career-high 12 assists as Saint Joseph's continued their red-hot shooting in a 85-68 win over Penn in a Big 5 game at The Palestra on Saturday night.

The story for the second consecutive game for Saint Joseph's was their incredible first half shooting display.

The Hawks didn't quite lead wire-to-wire in this contest as they trailed for 20 seconds in a first half where St. Joe's was absolutely unconscious from three-point range in the opening half.

Saint Joseph's (12-5, 1-2 Big 5) made an incredible 13 of their 15 first half three-point attempts as they opened a commanding 57-23 halftime advantage over a shell-shocked Penn (3-11, 0-4 Big 5) squad.

Saint Joseph's used a 12-0 run midway through the first half to extend their lead on the heels of three-pointers on three consecutive possessions from Papa Ndao, Langston Galloway and Kanacevic to put the Hawks up top 31-14 with 9:21 to play in the opening half.

Later in the half, the Hawks surged forward more by ending the first half on a 21-3 run to take their commanding 34-point halftime advantage. During one point of the Hawks spurt, they connected on five consecutive three-point attempts, including two made threes by Galloway and Chris Wilson while Ndao also added another trey.

Saint Joseph's cooled off considerably from three-point range in the second half and wound up finishing 16-of-24 from beyond the arc for the game, but the result of the game was never in doubt.

For the second straight game, the Hawks reserves struggled mightily in the final stages of the game as Penn put together a 21-3 run over the final five and a half minutes of the contest to make the final score look a bit more respectable.

Galloway led St. Joe's with 20 points and knocked down 6 of his 7 three-point attempts. The senior guard needs just three more makes from beyond the arc to set the Saint Joseph's program record for three-pointers made in a career, a mark currently held by Pat Carroll.

Wilson finished with 13 points while DeAndre Bembry also finished with 13 points in the Hawks victory. Kanacevic fell one point short of a triple-double, as he added 15 rebounds to his impressive 12 assists in the game.

Penn was led by Tony Hicks with 15 points while Steve Rennard finished with 13 points and Dylan Jones netted 10 points in the closing minutes.

This contest ended the non-conference part of the schedule for Saint Joseph's. The Hawks are back in Atlantic 10 action on Wednesday evening as they will welcome Rhode Island to Hagan Arena for a 7 p.m. tip. The Rams grabbed their first conference win of the season on Saturday afternoon, defeating George Mason 71-69 in overtime.

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