"That was probably the flashiest pass I'll ever make," Nelson
said. "I like to keep it straight."
The Hawks (4-0) dominated from the outset, scoring the first 10
points and holding leads of 27-4 and 34-14 en route to a 46-18
Nelson opened the game with a 3-pointer from the top of the arc
and Carroll followed with one of his own two possessions later. The
rout was on, as the Hawks made 12 of their first 18 shots.
"We really put our foot on their throat and kept it there,"
Nelson said. "We were just having fun out there."
Nelson, a preseason All-America selection, showed flashes of why
he's considered a potential first-round pick, turning a couple of
steals into layups, hitting some pull-up jumpers off the break and
dishing some crisp passes underneath for easy layups.
His bounce pass to West came early in the second half and
energized a crowd that was growing as bored as the Dons (3-4).
"He's the best in America," Hawks coach Phil Martelli said.
"He's just special. We'll never see another one like him."
San Francisco coach Phil Mathews stood the entire game with his
arms folded starring passively as the Dons committed 15 turnovers
in the first half.
James Bayless led the Dons with 16 points.
"They jumped on us quick. We had nothing," Mathews said.
Stachitas and West sank consecutive 3-pointers, giving Saint
Joseph's a 41-14 lead.
The Hawks had 14 assists on 18 baskets in the half, including
six from West and five from Nelson.
"I'm just glad I'm on the other side of that," West said. "We
sensed it during tipoff. We could tell they were a little
reluctant. We just took advantage of that."
Saint Joseph's forced 24 turnovers and had 22 assists.
"This team is predicated on ball pressure, sharing the
basketball and trying to run the floor as hard as you can,"
Martelli said. "We held to our standard tonight."
The Hawks smothered San Francisco and the Dons seemed to panic
and rush shots as their deficit widened. The Dons went 7-for-24
from the floor in the first half and had only two free-throw
The Hawks were 11-of-25 from 3-point range.
Saint Joseph's starters sat out most of the last 10 minutes of
the game, but the Hawks still stretched the lead to 41.
"We're not good enough to put our jersey out there and think
they're scared of us," Martelli said. "I don't ever get concerned
about it being too easy."
San Francisco scheduled the game for guard John Cox, of
Philadelphia, to play in his hometown. Cox, however, is out four to
six weeks with a knee sprain.
"That would have been a treat for that kid," Martelli said.
"He works out here more in the summer than my players do."