NEWTON, Mass.— The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's basketball team got off to a hot start and never looked back en route to its 17th consecutive victory, dominating the Lasell University Lasers, 94-57, on the road in a battle between the two remaining undefeated teams in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) on Tuesday evening inside the Lasell Athletic Center.
The Blue Jays, who received 55 votes and were one vote shy of being nationally ranked in the latest D3Hoops.com Top 25 Poll that was released Monday afternoon, controlled the Lasers from start to finish. USJ raced out to a 9-0 lead to start the game, holding Lasell without a field goal for the opening six minutes of play. The Blue Jays took an 18-7 lead midway through the first half and led by double digits for the remainder of the contest. They led by 21 (40-19) at halftime and would build their lead to as large as 41 in the second half.
Freshman guard Taelon Martin (Springfield, Mass.) led all scorers in the game, finishing with a game-high 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting, including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. The Blue Jays had two additional players finish in double figures and 12 players scored in total. Sophomore point guard Jaecee Martin (Hartford, Conn.) poured in 16 points (6-9 FG, 4-5 3FG) to go with five assists, while junior forward Jordan Powell (Middletown, Conn.) logged his third straight and sixth overall double-double with 10 points (5-10 FG) and 12 rebounds. Powell also added a career-high five blocks as the Blue Jays registered a season-high 11 rejections.
Lasell also had three players finish in double figures led by sophomore guard EJ Day (Norwalk, Conn.) who dropped a team-high 15. Junior forward Kevin Vanderhorst (Lawrence, Mass.) was one rebound shy of a double-double finishing with 13 points and nine boards, while junior guard Kevin Nunez (Dorchester, Mass.) chipped in with 10 points and eight rebounds to pace the Lasers.
Score: Saint Joseph 94, Lasell 57
Records: USJ (18-2, 6-0 GNAC), Lasell (8-12, 5-1 GNAC)
Location: Lasell Athletic Center | Newton, Mass.
COACH QUOTE [Jim Calhoun]
"Another road win, three in a row, it's pretty special stuff. I'm really really proud of what the kids are doing right now. I think it's been phenomenal to see us play 120 minutes on the road and have a substantial win margin during this stretch. We have it going pretty well right now, executing our offense and our fastbreak has been overwhelming. Looking forward to getting back home on Saturday for another good one."
- USJ raced out to an early 9-0 lead and never looked back en route to the blowout victory. The Blue Jays held Lasell scoreless for the opening five minutes and without a field goal for the first six minutes.
- A fast-break layup from sophomore guard Delshawn Jackson Jr. (Hartford, Conn.) put the Blue Jays up 18-7 with 10:58 left in the opening frame and USJ would lead by double digits for the remainder of the game.
- The Jackson Jr. bucket ignited a 10-0 spurt over the ensuing four minutes to balloon USJ's lead to 26-7.
- A quick 7-0 spurt by Lasell, with all the points coming from Vanderhorst, pulled the Lasers within 12 (26-14), but that would be as close as the hosts would get for the remainder of the contest.
- USJ outscored Lasell 14-5 over the final six minutes of the half to take a 40-19 lead into the break.
- The Blue Jays picked up right where they left off, starting the second stanza with a 7-2 run which was capped by a monster dunk by Powell over two Laser defenders.
- Saint Joseph built and maintained a 30-point cushion for the majority of the second half and led by as many as 41 as the Blue Jays rolled to their 17th straight win.
NUMBER TO KNOW
49 – The Blue Jays' bench nearly outscored the Lasers in the game and held a sizeable, 49-11, advantage in bench points. 12 of the 14 Blue Jays who got into the game scored.
- The Blue Jays take sole possession of first place in the GNAC and are now the only remaining undefeated team in league play.
- Saint Joseph made it through its longest road swing of the season unscathed, going 3-0 with an average margin of victory of 24 points.
- USJ shot 59.7% (40-67) in the win and held Lasell to 34.4% (21-61). Through six GNAC games, USJ is shooting a GNAC-high 53.8% and holding teams to a GNAC-low 39.9% from the field.
- The Blue Jays forced 21 Lasell turnovers and turned those into 27 points.
- Saint Joseph is now 2-0 all-time against Lasell.
The USJ men's basketball team returns home for a GNAC showdown with Saint Joseph's College of Maine on Saturday afternoon. Tip-off between the Blue Jays and the Monks is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. inside the O'Connell Center following the conclusion of the USJ women's game versus the Monks which will tip-off at 1:00 p.m. Tickets for both games can be purchased here.
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