CASTLETON, Vt. — The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's basketball team had its best shooting night of the season and its athleticism was too much to handle, dominating on both ends of the floor, to route the Castleton University Spartans, 87-41, on the road in non-conference action Monday night inside Glenbrook Gymnasium.
The victory marks the ninth straight win for the Blue Jays, who improve to 10-2 on the season, and it also marks the 899th career win for Hall of Fame head coach Jim Calhoun. Coach Calhoun will look for milestone win 900 this Friday when the Blue Jays host Pratt Institute at 7:00 p.m. inside the O'Connell Center.
For the third straight game, sophomore guard Delshawn Jackson Jr. (Hartford, Conn.) led the Blue Jays offensively, pouring in a game-high 29 points to go with five rebounds and five assists in just 30 minutes of floor time. 'DJ' was sensational, shooting 10-for-15 from the floor on the night, including an insane 8-for-11 from beyond the arc. His eight triples marks a new single-game program-record for made threes in a game.
Collectively, USJ had its best shooting night of the season, connecting on a season-high 57.6% (34-59) from the field. It was also by far the Blue Jays' best shooting night from distance as they connected on a season-high 53.6% (15-28) of their attempts from three. The 15 made three-pointers are the second-most in a single game all-time to when USJ sank 16 last season versus MCLA (Dec. 1). Prior to Monday night, the Blue Jays were shooting just 29.1% from deep on the season and had a season-high of seven made threes in a single game.
Joining Jackson Jr. in double figures in the win for USJ was sophomore guard Tyree Mitchell (East Hartford, Conn.) who chipped in with 10 points (4-6 FG, 2-2 3FG) in 18 minutes off the bench. A well-balanced attack saw 13 different Blue Jays score in the contest as USJ used high-intensity defense to create easy offense, while sophomore's Jake Sullivan (Branford, Conn.) and Kumar Brown (Enfield, Conn.) each grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. Junior guard Amadou Diakite (Harlem, N.Y.) paced the Spartans with 13 points, while freshman Remy Brown (Boca Raton, Fla.) added 10 points and a team-high four rebounds.
Saint Joseph used a huge 20-3 run in the middle of the first half, where they kept Castleton, who falls to 1-11 and has dropped its last nine straight, scoreless for over seven minutes, to pull away and never looked back. USJ led 43-21 at the break and would lead by as many as 48 points in the second half.
Score: Saint Joseph 87, Castleton 41
Records: USJ (10-2), Castleton (1-11)
Location: Glenbrook Gymnasium | Castleton, Vt.
COACH QUOTE [Jim Calhoun]
"To go on the road for only the third time all year, I'm happy about the fact that we jumped on [Castleton] and played exceptionally well. Delshawn had his second-best game of the year, Tyree coming off the bench was sensational in the first half, and our defense dominated which led to a great offense. Obviously the most glaring stat was the fact that we shot over 50 percent from three and made 15 of them. It was a really great win for the Blue Jays and now we will get ready for Friday."
- After trailing only briefly during the opening minutes, the Blue Jays used an 8-0 run, capped by a Jaecee Martin (Hartford, Conn.) three-point play, to take an 11-4 lead and never looked back.
- Castleton would get it back within three, 11-8, with 16 minutes left in the half, but then USJ rattled off a 20-3 run over the ensuing nine minutes to balloon the lead to 31-11.
- USJ grew its lead to as big as 24 (43-19) in the first half after a three from sophomore guard Tahj Brown (Bridgeport, Conn.). It marked the eighth three of the half, more than USJ had made in any full game all season.
- After the two sides traded baskets on the opening possessions of the second half, the Blue Jays again used a lengthy run to extend their lead.
- Leading 50-27 with 17:29 to play after a pair of Spartan buckets, Saint Joseph rattled off 21 consecutive points over a six-minute span to blow things wide open, 71-27.
NUMBER TO KNOW
15 - The Blue Jays made 15 three-pointers in the win over Castleton, more than double the amount of threes they have made in any single game this season.
- The Blue Jays have won each of the last nine games by double digits, defeating opponents by an average margin of victory of 27 points during the streak.
- USJ held Castleton to 33.3% shooting (16-48 FG). Entering Monday, the Blue Jays were tied for third in the nation in field-goal percentage defense, holding opponents to 36.2% shooting on the year.
- Saint Joseph won the battle inside and out. In addition to making 15 threes, USJ dominated the glass, 48-19, and outscored Castleton in the paint, 34-22.
- Castleton committed 13 turnovers to USJ's 17, but the Blue Jays scored 23 points off Castleton turnovers, while the Spartans could muster only six points.
- The Blue Jays' bench tripled up the Spartans' outscoring them 36-12.
- Saint Joseph is now 2-0 all-time against Castleton.
The USJ men's basketball team returns home to the O'Connell Center on Friday night versus Pratt Institute where the Blue Jays will look to make it 10 wins in a row and Coach Calhoun goes for career win 900. Tip-off between the Blue Jays and Cannoneers is slated for 7:00 p.m.