St. Joseph's puts on a show in win over Scranton

Posted: November 14, 2011

It's unusual to play an exhibition game after opening the season, but St. Joseph's gave fans a glimpse of this year's basketball team that by all accounts is expected to be an improvement over last year's 11-22 squad that suffered the growing pains associated with youth.

After Friday's 72-61 opening win at Western Kentucky, the Hawks introduced themselves to their fans at Hagan Arena on Monday with an exhibition game.

Even though the game was against Division III Scranton, an enthusiastic crowd of 3,821 turned out to see the Hawks fastbreak their way to a 90-52 victory.

According to a school official, St. Joseph's had a potential game that fell through but wanted to give the fans a chance see the team in action.

The first regular-season home game is Nov. 26 against Penn State.

The Hawks didn't treat this like an exhibition, diving for loose balls and crashing the boards with fury against the Royals.

"I was pleased with the attitude of the players," coach Phil Martelli said. "They didn't look at this as Division I against Division III; they prepared hard and played hard."

After last season's struggles, opening with Friday's win on the road was a huge confidence builder for the Hawks.

"it's great to get a positive result like that, and it is something to build on," Martelli said.

This new-look St. Joseph's team actually contains several old faces, although they aren't very old. There is not a single senior on the roster.

The starters were the same crew that began the game against Western Kentucky. St. Joseph's started 6-foot-2 sophomore Langston Galloway and 5-11 junior Carl Jones in the backcourt, with 6-6 sophomore Daryus Quarles, 6-8 sophomore Halil Kanacevic, and 6-9 sophomore C.J. Aiken manning the frontcourt.

Kanacevic, a transfer from Hofstra, didn't enjoy a stellar debut, fouling out in just eight minutes of action against Western Kentucky, but Galloway and Jones combined for 35 points in that game.

Against Scranton, Kanacevic had a double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds). He will bring a lot of intensity to the court. At one point, Kanacevic even helped clean up a wet spot from the floor, taking it upon himself to mop it up.

The Hawks hope he can clean up off the glass this year.

Sophomore forward Ronald Roberts Jr., providing high energy off the bench, led the Hawks against Scranton with 14 points, all in the second half.

So this turned out to be a good workout for the Hawks, who meet Georgia Tech in the first round of the Charleston (S.C.) Classic on Thursday. That one, like the rest of them, will be for keeps.


Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225, mnarducci@phillynews.com, or @sjnard on Twitter.

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