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Second-Half Defense Lifts Men's Basketball Over Trinity, 83-73

Second-Half Defense Lifts Men's Basketball Over Trinity, 83-73

HARTFORD, Conn. — The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's basketball team locked in defensively, limiting the Trinity College (TC) Bantams to 29 second-half points, to pick up its first win of the 2019-20 season, 83-73, on the road Tuesday night in non-conference action inside Ray Oosting Gymnasium at the Ferris Athletic Center.

In the first-ever meeting against New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) and cross-town opponent Trinity College, the Blue Jays outscored the Bantams 44-29 in the second half to turn a five-point halftime deficit (44-39) into a 10-point victory. USJ held Trinity to 27.8% (10-36) shooting, including 22.2% (4-18) from three in the second stanza and shot 45.2% (14-31) themselves to complete the come-from-behind victory.

Freshman Taelon Martin (Springfield, Mass.) led the Blue Jays offensively with a game-high 21 points and team-high eight rebounds. Sophomore's Delshawn Jackson Jr. (Hartford, Conn.) and Ryan O'Neill (Litchfield, Conn.) were right behind him and finished in double figures with 20 and 19, respectively, and carried the load in the second half combining for 19 of USJ's 44 second-half points. Trinity was paced by freshman Steven Lora (North Providence, R.I.) who poured in 18 points off the bench (6-13 FG, 5-11 3FG), and junior Donald Jorden Jr. (Tampa, Fla.) who posted his second straight double-double with 13 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.

GAME INFORMATION
Score: Saint Joseph 83, Trinity 73
Records: USJ (1-1), TC (1-2)
Location: Ray Oosting Gymnasium | Hartford, Conn.

COACH QUOTE [Jim Calhoun]
"It was a great win for us. To beat a NESCAC school is terrific for our program. The things we didn't do the other night against RIC we did tonight. You can look at the jump shots and a lot of things, [Trinity] shot 27% in the second half after shooting 57% in the first, but it's our effort and our attitude and we became tough. That's a special win for us and helps set our season back towards where we want to go."

KEY MOMENTS

  • Back-to-back three-pointers by TC's senior Christian Porydzy (South Glastonbury, Conn.) and Lora followed by a Lora free throw made it, 17-11, with 12:21 left in the first.
  • USJ answered with a 9-2 run to regain the lead, 20-19, completed by a Jackson Jr. jumper with 9:49 left on the first-half clock.
  • Trinity scored 13 of the next 15 points, including six on two more Porydzy treys, to build its largest lead of the game, 32-22, with just under eight minutes left in the opening half.
  • Martin powered a 13-0 USJ response with 10 points in the run capped by a breakaway steal and slam to give the Blue Jays back the lead, 35-32, at the 4:25 mark in the first frame.
  • Lora buried a trifecta the next trip down the floor for the Bantams to spark a 12-4 spurt to close the half for the hosts.
  • Trinity led 53-46 three minutes into the second period, but USJ held the Bantams to just one field goal over the ensuing six minutes to chip away and even the game 58-58.
  • Sophomore Jake Sullivan (Branford, Conn.) drilled a jumper the next time down the floor to put USJ up 60-58 with 10:36 left and the Blue Jays would never trail again.
  • USJ would eventually build a double-digit advantage, 74-63, after a Jackson Jr. layup and led by as many as 14, 77-63, after Jackson Jr. drilled a three with 4:09 to play.
  • The Blue Jays made 6-of-10 free throws in the final three minutes to seal the victory, 83-73.

NUMBER TO KNOW

21 – The Blue Jays shot 21 free throws in the second half and finished the game 25-for-32 (78.1%), while Trinity shot just 12-for-22 (54.5%) from the charity stripe in the game.

NOTES

  • The score was tied six times and changed hands 15 different times before the Blue Jays pulled away for good midway through the second half.
  • Porydzy and Lora combined to shoot 7-for-11 (63.6%) from three in the first half before being limited to 2-for-10 (20.0%) in the second.
  • The Blue Jays shot 2-for-11 (18.2%) from distance versus Trinity on Tuesday and are 3-for-16 (18.8%) from three in two games this season.
  • USJ is outscoring opponents 78-60 in the paint through its first two games.

UP NEXT
Men's hoops is back on the road facing its second straight NESCAC opponent in Tufts University on Saturday, November 23 in Medford, Mass. Tip-off between the Blue Jays and Jumbos is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. inside Cousens Gymnasium.

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