St. Joe's routs Duquesne with fast start
PHILADELPHIA — If you're Duquesne and looking for positives, the Dukes' second-half resolve against Saint Joseph's is something on which to build.
On the other hand, not even outscoring St. Joe's by 25 points after halftime was enough for a victory as Duquesne couldn't overcome a first-half onslaught in an 84-75 loss to the Hawks on Wednesday night.
St. Joe's (11-5, 2-1 Atlantic 10), playing without second-leading scorer Ronald Roberts (back) for the second straight game, led by as many as 37 points in a startling first half that saw the Hawks make 71.4 percent (20 of 28) of their field goals, including 66.7 percent (12 of 18) of their 3-pointers, on the way to a 52-20 halftime lead.
The Dukes (8-7, 1-2) played until the final whistle and outscored St. Joe's, 55-32, in the second half, though much of that came against the Hawks' reserves.
“We said (at halftime), ‘Where are we going to go from here? Are we going to pack it in and quit? Are we going to show colors like that? Or are we going to fight?' ” Duquesne coach Jim Ferry said. “I thought the kids really fought in the second half.
“We're not going to pat ourselves on the back.”
It would be hard to do that after the opening half. St. Joe's, led by Langston Galloway's 24 first-half points and six 3-pointers, was making anything and everything in sight. The Dukes didn't help matters by going 6 for 27 from the field with nine turnovers on their offensive end in a forgettable opening half.
“It was a blitzkrieg, and us not being able to score made it worse,” Ferry said. “We got jumped. They did a great job, and we couldn't stop them. They couldn't miss, and we couldn't buy a basket and the whole thing started to snowball.”
Galloway finished with a game-high 26 points while the Hawks ended with a season-best 17 3-pointers, which was three shy of tying the school record.
Derrick Colter and Jerry Jones each had 14 points to pace the Dukes, who lost their second straight contest following a five-game winning streak stopped with Saturday's 75-56 home loss to La Salle.
Ovie Soko and Dominique McKoy also reached double figures, with 10 points apiece.
“We have to get better,” Ferry said. “We have to learn from every game. We have to become a little more efficient offensively, and we have to play with a tougher disposition on the road defensively. We let St. Joe's feel a little too comfortable to start the game.”
Ferry said his players didn't take consolation from the strong second half.
“They're highly disappointed,” Ferry said. “To come in here and get jumped like that, guys are highly disappointed. It's still a long year, a long A-10 season. We have to get better. That's the goal.”
Aaron Bracy is a freelance writer.