Saint Joseph's stays home to beat Villanova 74-58
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Langston Galloway scored 20 points to lead Saint Joseph's to a 74-58 victory over Villanova on Saturday night.
Maalik Wayns had 19 points to pace the Wildcats (6-5), who have lost five of seven.
The matchup was played for the first time in the 69-year history of the rivalry at the Hawks' cozy campus site, Hagan Arena. And it might never have sounded louder.
Traditionally, Saint Joseph's has hosted Villanova at the Palestra, the storied gym on the University of Pennsylvania campus that is home to Philadelphia Big 5 games. But this year, Saint Joseph's coach Phil Martelli wanted to create a buzz and regain the homecourt advantage that has been missing for the Hawks in recent seasons.
The Hawks wowed the overflow crowd with numerous highlight plays, including several alley-oop and fast-break dunks. Saint Joseph's finished with six slam dunks in the second half alone.
Besides the dunks, Aiken produced several fan-pleasing rejections. The 6-foot-9 forward entered leading the nation with 4.8 blocks per game, and he finished with four.
The Hawks extended their 30-27 halftime advantage to 44-31 with 15:05 left. The Wildcats cut the margin to seven, 44-37, less than a minute later with consecutive 3-pointers by Darrun Hilliard and Wayns. But Saint Joseph's went back up by 13 points 7 minutes later, 60-47, after a behind-the-back assist from Jones for an Aiken one-handed slam dunk.
It was one of several dunks on the evening for Aiken, who along with Roberts and Galloway made the game a personal highlight reel.
In the first half, Galloway tossed an alley-oop pass from just over half-court to Aiken, who threw it down.
Villanova shot just 18.5 percent (5 for 27) from 3-point range and 33.3 percent (21 for 63) overall.
Saint Joseph's shot 50.8 percent (31 for 61) from the field, including 43.8 percent (7 for 16) from long range.
The Hawks, despite a size disadvantage, outrebounded Villanova 42-34.
Updated December 17, 2011