BOSTON, Mass.— A trio of Blue Jays powered the 22nd-ranked University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's basketball team past the Emmanuel College (EC) Saints, 95-83, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) showdown Saturday afternoon on Andy Yosinoff Court inside the Jean Yawkey Center. It marks the 20th straight win for the Blue Jays, who improve to 21-2 overall and remain unblemished in GNAC play at 9-0. The victory also clinches the 2019-20 GNAC regular season title for the Blue Jays as they secure the league's top seed in the upcoming postseason tournament.
Sophomore guard Delshawn Jackson Jr. (Hartford, Conn.) logged his third 30-point game of the season to pace the Blue Jays, finishing with a game-high 31 points on 11-of-23 shooting, including 5-of-12 from beyond the arc. It marks the third straight game 'DJ' has drained five three's. He was huge in the first half, pouring in 20 of his 31 points in the opening frame as the Blue Jays overcame an early 11-point deficit and took a 46-43 lead at the break.
Sophomore point guard Jaecee Martin (Hartford, Conn.) and junior forward Jordan Powell (Middletown, Conn.) each posted 20-point games to join Jackson Jr. in double figures. Jackson Jr., Martin, and Powell combined to account for 77 of USJ's 95 points as Martin turned in 24 and Powell added 22 to go with Jackson Jr.'s 31. Martin and Powell were the story of the second half as they combined for 32 of USJ's 49 second-half points to help the Blue Jays pull away.
Emmanuel was led by junior Jack Moulder (Newtown, Conn.) who registered a career-high with 26 points, finishing 9-of-17 from the floor, including 6-of-11 from three. Moulder was joined in double figures by three other Saints. Junior Marcus Fox (Danbury, Conn.) recorded his fourth consecutive and 15th double-double of the season, netting 17 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the setback, while senior's Blake Hardy (Waterbury, Conn.) and Emmett Riddick (Middletown, Conn.) finished with 13 points and 12 points, respectively.
Score: Saint Joseph 95, Emmanuel 83
Records: USJ (21-2, 9-0 GNAC), EC (18-5, 6-3 GNAC)
Location: Jean Yawkey Center | Boston, Mass.
COACH QUOTE [Jim Calhoun on Earning GNAC Regular Season Title and 20th Straight Win]
"A couple years ago we started this whole thing and to get to a championship level this early is a terrific thing. Today, the guys got beat up a little bit in the first half. Not sure if we were completely ready mentally to face a really good team, and they were a good team who made some big three's. But most importantly, we have two more left and then we will get ourselves ready for the playoffs."
- Emmanuel came out of the gate red-hot, building an 11-point lead, 29-18, following a long-range triple from Moulder with 8:20 remaining in the first half.
- The Blue Jays answered though, outscoring the Saints over the final eight minutes of the stanza by a 28-14 margin to take a 46-43 lead into halftime.
- USJ opened the second stanza on an 8-0 run to take control of the game, leading 54-43 following a pair of free throws by freshman guard Taelon Martin (Springfield, Mass.).
- Jaecee Martin then gave the Blue Jays their largest lead of the game with 10:41 to play, making a layup in transition to put USJ up 19 (72-53).
- EC fought back and pulled the score to 11 points with 5:31 to play following a three by Hardy to make it 80-69, but the Blue Jays would not allow the hosts to get any closer en route to their 20th straight victory.
NUMBER TO KNOW
14 - The Blue Jays were a perfect 14-for-14 from the free-throw line in the win. It marks the first time in program history that USJ was perfect from the charity stripe.
- USJ shot 50.0% (37-74) from the field in the win. It marks the fourth straight game the Blue Jays have shot 50.0% or better from the floor.
- Emmanuel assisted on 21 of its 28 field goals. Riddick and Hardy each had five.
- The Blue Jays owned a 43-37 advantage on the glass. Powell and T. Martin each pulled down nine.
- USJ dominated the paint, outscoring EC 44-26 in points in the paint. On the season, the Blue Jays have outscored their opponents 1,152-604 in the paint.
- Saint Joseph is now 1-1 all-time versus Emmanuel.
The USJ men's basketball team returns home for a GNAC matchup with Anna Maria on Tuesday evening. Tip-off between the Blue Jays and the AMCATS is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. inside the O'Connell Center following the conclusion of the USJ women's game versus the AMCATS which will tip-off at 5:00 p.m. Tickets for both games can be purchased here.
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