In what was not the prettiest game of basketball Saint Joseph's has ever played, the Hawks were able to notch their first victory of 2013, knocking off Morgan State 70-60 on Saturday afternoon at the Hill Field House in Baltimore, MD.
Saint Joseph's (8-4) got off to a strong start as they used a 10-0 run after Morgan State (3-8) hit the first bucket of the game to take a 10-2 lead, forcing an early timeout from Bears coach Todd Bozeman less than three and a half minutes into the contest.
However, less than a minute later C.J. Aiken picked up his 2nd foul and was relegated to bench duty for the rest of the first half. The Hawks would struggle on offense as a result for long stretches as Morgan State eventually took a 14-13 with 11 minutes left in the 1st half.
Late in the 1st half, Saint Joseph's went on a 12-2 run which was buoyed by 5 points each from Carl Jones and Langston Galloway, giving the Hawks a 30-21 lead with 1:39 remaining in the 1st half after a Galloway trey. The Hawks took a 32-25 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Morgan State kept the deficit in the single digits for the majority of the second half as the Hawks continued to struggle with turnovers, but the Hawks put the game away late led by the guard tandem of Jones and Galloway once again. The duo combined to knock down three three-pointers in a two minute and fifteen second span and Galloway's second three-pointer of the night gave Saint Joseph's a 65-53 lead with 3:08 left.
The Bears fought hard to stay in the contest, but they could not come up with the type of run needed to make the Hawks sweat late and Saint Joseph's came away from their final tuneup before conference play with a 10 point road victory, their 3rd true road win of the season.
Jones led all scorers with 17 points and was 3-of-4 from three-point range in the contest. Jones also continued his climb up the Saint Joseph's all-time scoring list as he moved to 13th all-time in points.
Galloway added 16 points in the win and had 11 points in the second half after a relatively quiet first half while Ronald Roberts notched yet another double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Hawks, who shot 44 percent from the field for the game but struggled to take care of the ball, committing 16 turnovers.
Morgan State was led by DeWayne Jackson who scored 16 points and added 8 rebounds in the losing effort for the Bears, who shot a putrid 30% from the field as a team. Morgan State was only 1-of-13 from three-point range while they were out-rebounded by the Hawks 50-45 despite corralling 23 offensive rebounds in the game.
Saint Joseph's now gets ready for what should be a challenging Atlantic 10 slate as they will host nationally-ranked Butler at Hagan Arena in the Bulldogs debut in the conference on Wednesday evening. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and local TV coverage will be provided by The Comcast Network in the Philadelphia area.