In a game that was more highly anticipated in the preseason than it was the day of, Saint Joseph’s decided to come out to play but not until the second half. The Hawks were up 23-18 at the half but both teams shot poorly and there was little flow until the second half. SJU went on a 13-0 run at the end of the half but it was far from pretty.
Led by what was arguably CJ Aiken‘s best game of the season, the Hawks won 63-49. The junior forward scored 19 points on a perfect 6-6 shooting night. He also had six blocks to increase his season average to 3.2. Over the past two games, a rare aggressiveness has overtaken the NBA prospect and he has heavily contributed to the Hawks short two-game winning streak. Langston Galloway and Tay Jones both shot poorly from the field but contributed at key moments and added 13 and 11 points respectively.
Before the season began, Saint Joseph’s and Drexel were both favored by many to win their respective conferences but coming into this New Year’s Eve contest, they had a combined record of only 10-11 which, added to each student body being away for break, took much of the luster out of the matchup.
Halil Kanacevic returned in a non-starting role from his two-game suspension but he struggled offensively and defensively and played less minutes than he is accustomed to. He finished 1-8 from the field with 2 turnovers.
The Hawks return to action against Morgan State in Baltimore on January 5th before their highly anticipated home matchup and A10 opener against #17 Butler.