MIAMI SHORES, Fla. — For the second straight game, a new face for the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's basketball team went off. This time it was sophomore guard Jacecee Martin (Hartford, Conn.), who dropped a career-high 26 points in his second-ever game, to give the Blue Jays their sixth-straight double-digit dub, 76-63, over Bates College in the HoopMIA D3 Holiday Shootout Thursday evening, inside the Health & Sports Center at Barry University.
Martin was 10-for-12 from the field, slashing to the rim at will. Junior forward Jordan Powell (Middletown, Conn.) continued his winning ways in the paint, pitching in with 20 (8-12 FG). Freshman forward Jalen Samuels (Franklin, Mass.) impressed off the bench with eight points and 10 big-time rebounds. Senior guard Kody Greenhalgh (West Warwick, R.I.) led the way for the Wildcats with 15 points. The lead exchanged hands multiple times over the course of the ballgame, but USJ was able to pull away at the halfway point of the second half, wearing down the Wildcats by the final buzzer.
Score: Saint Joseph 76, Bates 63
Records: USJ (7-2), Bates (5-3)
Location: Health & Sports Center | Miami Shores, Fla.
COACH QUOTE [Jim Calhoun]
"The coaches woke up, and we have become a much better defensive team this year, and quite frankly, we have to be. Going forward, I think that fans and all of us who watch will see that we are going to have more pressure in the backcourt. Like anything else, good teams know what they are."
- The Wildcats took a one-point lead into the locker room, 33-32, as Martin and Greenhalgh reached double figures with 11 and 10 respectively. Greenhalgh gave Bates their largest lead of the night of four, but it came early on.
- Martin and Powell did their damage to start the second half, but every four to six-point spurt was answered by Bates, who made it 48-47 with just over 10 to go in the ballgame.
- Freshman forward Taelon Martin (Springfield, Mass.) scored all six of his points at the right time to lead the charge, as the Blue Jays opened up their first double-digit lead of the game on an 18-2 run, capped by a two-handed flush from Samuels. USJ walked off the floor unbeaten in South Beach.
NUMBER TO KNOW
56.8 - The Blue Jays are allowing just under 57 points per game over the last five games (5-0). They allowed more than 83 points a game the previous four (2-2).
- USJ has scored 200 more points in the paint than its opponents this season.
- USJ has won the last three games despite making less than five threes each game.
- Saint Joseph is now 1-0 all-time against Bates.
Men's basketball is headed home for the inaugural USJ Holiday Tournament, presented by Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast. The tournament tips off on Saturday, December 28, in the O'Connell Center, when the Blue Jays square off with Fisher at 1:00 p.m.