WEST HARTFORD, Conn.— The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's basketball team made it 18 straight wins, decimating the Saint Joseph College of Maine Monks, 113-73, inside the O'Connell Center Saturday afternoon in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) action.
Sophomore guard Delshawn Jackson Jr. (Hartford, Conn.) led the way for the Blue Jays with a per usual 27, giving the sold-out crowd an assortment of pull-up three-pointers off the dribble (5-9 3FG). Sophomore forward Ryan O'Neill (Litchfield, Conn.) added 16 points (7-11 FG) and seven rebounds. Six players scored in double-figures for USJ, which tied a program record with 30 assists on its 44 made baskets. Junior guard Jack Casale (Portland, Maine), the GNAC's leading scorer, got his 25 points, but USJ forced him to do it on 21 shots. He also had six turnovers, and was put in foul trouble in the first half. The Blue Jays wore the Monks down a little bit at a time, and before you knew it, the lead had ballooned to 20 points and beyond.
Score: Saint Joseph 113, Saint Joseph's Maine 73
Records: USJ (19-2, 7-0 GNAC), SJC (8-13, 2-5 GNAC)
Location: O'Connell Athletic Center | West Hartford, Conn.
COACH QUOTE [Jim Calhoun]
"The biggest thing we had to do was take away their threes. They did make some (11-32, 34%), but at a cost, because the long rebounds set up our fastbreak, we were able to get the ball inside early, and then we came out in the second half pretty well focused. Quickness was our advantage, and we wore them down."
- USJ never trailed, sprinting out to a 13-5 lead, with all five starters scoring just three minutes in.
- The Blue Jays continued to expand the lead as the half went on. Casale picked up two quick fouls, but Monks Head Coach Rob Sanicola opted to leave Casale on the floor, knowing his team would need him to keep it close. By the eight-minute mark of the first half, the lead was 17, 36-19.
- A total team effort blew this one wide open, as an 11-2 run (anchored by countless fastbreak and transition buckets) made it 47-24 with less than five minutes to go in the first half. The Blue Jays continued to run the floor very well, capitalizing on any mistake the Monks made. It was all Blue Jays in the second half.
NUMBER TO KNOW
30 – USJ tied a program record with 30 assists on 44 made shots. USJ was also just three points away from the all-time team scoring total (116).
- The Blue Jays shot 66% from the field (44-67), the second-highest percentage this season (Suffolk, 68%).
- USJ made 12 threes once again Saturday afternoon, after making 12 at Lasell Tuesday. This is the first time this season that the Blue Jays have made double-digit threes in back-to-back games.
- USJ owned the team stat line, including points in the paint (60-30), rebounds (39-24), points off turnovers (30-8), and fastbreak points (29-2).
The USJ men's basketball team will have its final road trip of the season before returning home for the last two regular-season games of 2019-2020. USJ plays at Regis next on Wednesday, February 12 at 6:00 p.m.
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