SJU gets back on track against Penn

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Langston Galloway beat the Penn Quakers for the first time on Saturday night and finished with 20 points. (Photo: Mark Jordan)

Langston Galloway beat the Penn Quakers for the first time on Saturday night and finished with 20 points. (Photo: Mark Jordan)

Garrett Miley @GWMiley

Behind big games from Langston Galloway and Ronald Roberts Jr., Saint Joseph’s defeated Penn 79-59 in front of a sellout crowd at The Palestra.

Saint Joseph’s led the Quakers, 17-11, nine minutes into the game after a Daryus Quarles jumper, but the Quakers battled back to tie it at 17 on a 6-0 run capped by a Patrick Lucas-Perry layup.  The Hawks countered with an 11-0 run of their own to take a 28-17 lead over the Quakers and carried that 11-point advantage into halftime, leading Penn 32-21.

Carl Jones led all scorers at halftime with 11 points, and freshman Darien Nelson-Henry led the Quakers with eight points and five rebounds in the first half.

Penn would never recover from the first-half deficit, as the second half was entirely Saint Joseph’s. With 13:49 remaining in regulation, Roberts Jr. threw down an emphatic dunk in transition with a pass from Galloway to push the SJU advantage to 16, and from that moment on it appeared that Saint Joseph’s would be too much for Penn.

The Hawks’ largest lead was 24 after Langston Galloway and C.J. Aiken knocked down back-to-back three pointers with 6:53 left in regulation.  From the moment on, Penn never got within 18 points of the Hawks.

“I still think it was the defensive end of the floor,” Hawks coach Phil Martelli said. “We got stops and we could get down the floor. Evan [Maschmeyer] had a pass ahead three to Langston in the corner. You need that kind of energy.”

Galloway’s terrific shooting performance in the second half propelled SJU to victory.  The junior guard made four second half three pointers and finished with a game high 20 total points and also pulled down nine rebounds.

Entering the game, Carl Jones, who finished with 15 points in the victory, was the only player on Saint Joseph’s who had ever beaten Penn.  Galloway and his teammates set out to change that before the game.

“That’s pretty much what our whole game plan was,” Galloway said. “Finally get a win against UPenn.”

Darien Nelson-Henry scored a team high 17 points in the loss to Saint Joseph's.

Darien Nelson-Henry scored a team high 17 points in the loss to Saint Joseph’s.

The Hawks were once again without junior forward Halil Kanacevic, who is still with his family in Montenegro after the passing of his maternal uncle.  For the third straight game, Daryus Quarles stepped up off the bench and was able to make shots.

Entering today’s game against Penn, the junior guard/forward was averaging just 2.1 points per game in a little over nine minutes per game.  However, Quarles asserted himself offensively and scored seven first-half points to help carry the scoring load in the first 20 minutes of action.

“It’s just crazy what a little bit of confidence can do for you,” Quarles said. “I started practicing better and in the Duquesne game I made a few shots and ever since then I’ve had a lot more confidence and it’s been showing on the court.”

Roberts Jr. finished with game-high 12 rebounds while also scoring 16 points, recording  his eighth double-double of the season.

For the Quakers, Nelson-Henry finished with a team-high 17 points on 8-12 shooting and was the only reliable scoring option the Quakers had on Saturday evening.  Nelson-Henry did, however, commit five turnovers in the loss.

Next up for Saint Joseph’s is St. Bonaventure at home on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. and on the same night Penn will head to Temple to take on the Owls, also at 7 p.m.

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