West helps Saint Joseph’s remain unbeaten
Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) – Delonte West had a perfect day, going 12-
for-12 from the field and 6-of-6 from the free throw line for a career-high 33
points, leading the sixth-ranked Saint Joseph’s Hawks to an 81-73 win over the
Xavier Musketeers at the Cintas Center.
West also contributed six rebounds and five assists, and Jameer Nelson scored
28 points, as the Saint Joseph’s starting backcourt combined for 61 points.
The Hawks won their 15th straight (15-0, 5-0 Atlantic-10) to remain one of
four undefeated teams in the nation.
“I’ve never seen a show like those two put on, from the standpoint of where
and when they hit them,” said Xavier head coach Thad Matta said. “One time
when the shot clock was winding down, West penetrated and we grabbed his arm
and he still made it.”
In the game, Nelson jumped five places to second on the Hawks’ all-time
scoring list. He now has 1,747 career points, passing Norman Black (1,726),
Maurice Martin (1,726), Cliff Anderson (1,728), Tony Costner (1,729) and Craig
Amos (1,735). Bernard Blunt is first with 1,985 points.
“You just saw the best player in America and the best backcourt in America,”
said St. Joseph’s head coach Phil Martelli. “They are what they are.”
Lionel Chalmers poured in 23 points and Romain Sato added 14 for the
Musketeers (9-6, 1-2), who lost their second straight after a four-game
Sato scored on a layup with 3:08 left to cap an eight-point run and give
Xavier the lead at 71-70. But the Hawks responded with a Pat Carroll three-
pointer and Dwayne Jones’ follow of a Nelson miss to put the Hawks up four at
75-71 with 1:48 to play.
Chalmers missed a jumper at the other end and sent Nelson to the line, where
he made 1-of-2. Xavier then went cold from the field and committed a turnover,
leading to four consecutive West points to make it 80-71 with 34 seconds
An Anthony Miles layup cut Hawks lead to seven with 25 seconds remaining, but
Dwayne Lee made a free throw in response to cap the scoring. Saint Joseph’s
closed the game on an 11-2 run.
Saint Joseph’s got out to an early 11-5 lead on a Jones dunk four minutes in,
but Chalmers made a three-pointer less than four minutes later to knot the
game at 15 apiece. That basket started a 10-2 run that put Xavier ahead 22-17.
The teams played each other even throughout the rest of the first half, and
Xavier led 41-35 heading into the locker room.
Nelson and West each had 15 first-half points to pace the Hawks, while
Chalmers was 3-for-3 from behind the arc on the way to 15 points.
The Hawks grabbed the lead midway through the second half, and held it until
the Musketeers’ 8-0 run with three minutes to play.