Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ronald Roberts Jr. Leads St. Joseph's Upset Win over #20 Notre Dame

College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, November 16, 2012

With plenty of tip-off tournaments and Thanksgiving tourneys underway, there was plenty of college hoops action on Friday, a weekday that later on in the season will be fairly bland, unless you're a big fan of Ivy League basketball.

Anyhow, for now, we're loving it, and the biggest upset of the night had to be Colorado's 60-58 victory over #16 Baylor. The Bears had a shot at the buzzer that would have sent the game into OT, but missed.

That makes six ranked teams that already have lost a game. The others are Kentucky, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Kansas. Quite a list, considering we're only a week into the season. Surely, there will be more to come.

One of those ranked teams suffering defeat was Notre Dame, beaten by St. Joseph's, out of the traditionally-tough Atlantic 10 conference. The two met up in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, and it was a classic, with the Hawks winning, 79-70, in overtime.

The main contributor to the demise of the Fighting Irish was St. Joseph junior forward, Ronald Roberts Jr., who tallied 21 points on 5-for-12 shooting, making good on 11 of 16 free throws and doing serious board damage with 16 rebounds, nine of which were on the offensive glass. Roberts also had a pair of blocked shots in his second straight double-double for the 2-0 Hawks, the first coming in St. Joseph's, 61-35, rout of a pretty good Yale squad, back on Monday, November 12.

St. Joseph's win may not have been pretty, but their defense, especially on the interior, was effective, limiting the Irish to 39% shooting, though Notre Dame did hit 10 threes on 28 shots. The Hawks had fewer shot attempts than the Irish, but cashed on 47% of their opportunities. They also went to the free throw often, making 19 of 24 attempts (79%).

Another player with a huge game was Roberts' front court running mate, Halil Kanacevic, who went 6-12 for 15 points, adding eight boards, six assists, three steals and three blocked shots.

As Dick Vitale might put it, that's some serious stat sheet stuffing, baby!

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