Saint Joseph’s 70, Kansas 67
NEW YORK (AP)—Saint Joseph’s knew it wasn’t the same teams as the last time it met Kansas.
Both were different and so was the result.
Senior forward Chet Stachitas had a career-high six 3-pointers and scored 27 points to lead the Hawks to a 70-67 victory over Kansas on Tuesday night in the Jimmy V Classic.
Last November, Kansas, then ranked No. 2 in the country, beat the Hawks 91-51 at Allen Fieldhouse.
“Last year we had no chance against Kansas,” Saint Joseph’s coach Phil Martelli said. “We got what we deserved last year and we got what we deserved tonight.”
Stachitas, who matched his career high for points, admitted last year was on his mind if only for a brief moment.
“A year ago flashed,” he said, “but it didn’t stay long.”
Stachitas made four 3-pointers in as many attempts over the game’s final 14:27, but it was his free throw with 17 seconds to go that gave the Hawks (4-1) a 70-67 lead. Micah Downs of Kansas (3-4) let a 3-point attempt go from just in front of the Jayhawks bench with 5 seconds to go but it bounced off the rim, and Saint Joseph’s grabbed the rebound.
“We got a good look, we just missed it,” Kansas coach Bill Self said.
Stachitas, who had 27 points last season against Cal-Davis, was 6-for-7 from 3-point range and the Hawks finished 10-for-21 from beyond the arc, 6-for-9 in the second half. He entered the game shooting 62.5 percent (10-for-16) on 3s.
“Chet’s 3-point shots are open shots and that means his teammates are getting him the ball when he’s open,” Martelli said. “He practices a lot. He has a lot of confidence.”
Self felt his young team helped that.
“Obviously we did a miserable job on Stachitas. He was great,” Self said. “We just haven’t put it together yet. We’re getting closer but we are always coming up a pass short.”
Dwayne Lee added 13 points and seven assists for Saint Joseph’s, while Ahmed Nivins had 11 points.
Freshmen Brandon Rush and Julian Wright each had 13 points for Kansas, which went 6-for-19 from the free throw line. Rush missed two with 4:47 left and the Jayhawks down 63-62, and Sasha Kaun missed two with 3:48 to go and the Hawks leading 66-62.
“If we make our free throws we probably win this game,” Self said.
Kaun, Kansas’ leading scorer at 14.5 points per game, finished with two and only took two shots.
“They doubled him but he didn’t play like he’s capable of playing,” Self said of the 6-foot-11 sophomore.
Kansas opened with a 17-4 run and was up 32-20 with 2:27 left in the first half when Wright made one of two free throws.
Stachitas had a 3 in the Hawks’ 11-2 run that got them within 34-31 at halftime.
Saint Joseph’s opened the second half with a 9-3 run, during which it took the lead for the first time.
“We weren’t shocked when we were down 17-4,” Martelli said. “On the board in the locker room it says `Believe in the plan.’ They did.”
Self said his team’s performance at the end of the first half was the difference.
“We lost that game in the final two minutes of the first half,” he said. “Instead of us having the momentum we gave it to Saint Joseph’s.”
Mario Chalmers scored on a fast break dunk to give Kansas its final lead, 62-61 with 6:19 left.
Nivins scored down low and Stachitas hit the last of his 3-pointers with 4:19 to go and the Hawks had the lead for good.
The doubleheader at Madison Square Garden raises money for the V Foundation which was started in the memory of Jim Valvano, the former coach at North Carolina State, and provides funding for cancer research.
“To have a chance to play on the big stage, in New York, on national television and against a storied program like Kansas, it was a special night for these kids,” Martelli said.