Hawks halt Owls' winning streaks

On Saturday evening, the Temple Owls walked into Hagan Arena riding an 11-game winning streak and a 10-game winning streak against the Saint Joseph's Hawks. The Hawks snapped both streaks with an 82-72 win over the Owls and placed themselves suddenly back on the tournament bubble.

Saint Joseph's bounced back from Wednesday's disappointing home loss to Richmond in a big way. On Wednesday, the Hawks scored only 49 points and appeared tentative and hesitant against the Spiders. Playing on Saturday in front of a frenzied Hagan Arena crowd, the Hawks had four players score in double-digits. Sophomore guard Langston Galloway paced the Hawks, scoring 22 points on only nine field goal attempts. Galloway was 4-6 from three and 6-6 from the free throw line. His backcourt mate, Carl Jones, had 18, with most of his damage done at the free throw line, where he went 9-10.

In addition to Jones and Galloway, the Hawks got 18 points and 7 rebounds off the bench from sophomore forward Ron Roberts. Roberts infused the Hawk lineup with energy and blew the roof off the arena with several thunderous dunks. Fellow sophomore forward Halil Kanacevic was his usual well-rounded self, with 14 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 assists, including one down the stretch to a streaking C.J. Aiken that led to a highlight reel slam.

Ramone Moore and Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson, who both had 15 points, led the Owls in scoring. Center Michael Eric was a monster in the paint for the Owls with 14 points and 14 rebounds.

Foul trouble plagued the Owls from the start of this one. Eric, Hollis-Jefferson, Anthony Lee, Juan Fernandez, and Khalif Wyatt all played through foul trouble in a game that was extremely tightly officiated. Fernandez in particular was called for several tough bumps on the perimeter.

Roughly halfway through the first half, the Owls and Hawks were tied up at 16. A layup and free throw by Ron Roberts gave the Hawks the lead, and over the next five minutes, the Hawks went on a 14-2 run. Roberts was the key during this stretch, scoring 12 points in that span.

Temple made a run to end the half, pulling within five at 37-32. The Hawks extended their lead to eight to begin the second half before a run capped by a Hollis-Jefferson jumper gave the Owls their first lead since the game's opening minutes.

Up six with just under four minutes to go, Roberts stepped to the line for the Hawks, missed both free throws, but Kanacevic got a critical rebound, was fouled, and made both foul shots. The Hawks made their free throws down the stretch to seal their second win of the year over a Top 25 opponent at Hagan.

Saint Joseph's was whistled for 18 team fouls, compared to 26 for the Owls. That led the Hawks to shoot 34 free throws for the game, compared to only 23 for the Owls.

With the win, Saint Joseph's improves to 19-11 on the season and 9-6 in Atlantic 10 play. Saint Joseph's now sits at 51st nationally in RPI according to RPIForecast.com. According to ESPN's Joe Lunardi, Saint Joseph's is also now the last team in the NCAA tournament.

Saint Joseph's travels to Saint Bonaventure Wednesday for their final regular season game.

From a recruiting perspective, there were a number of Saint Joseph's top targets in attendance. 2012 Saint Joseph's commit Kyle Molock sat directly behind the bench. Davon Reed, Jared Nickens, Miles Overton, Rashard Figures, Phil Booth, Basil Thompson, and B.J. Johnson also took in the game. A more detailed breakdown on the recruits, including reaction from some of them, will be up live later today.

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