St. Joseph's Coach Jim Lynam said there was no special feeling when he faced his former team tonight, but it was easy to see he was enjoying himself as he watched his Hawks bury American University, 92-68, at the Palestra.
La Salle defeated Villanova in the second game, 84-78.
St. Joseph's normally is a deliberate team. Earlier this season it beat Georgetown, 37-36, 92 points tonight were 13 more than it had scored in any game this season.
St. Joseph's led, 40-25, at the half and started the second half with eight straight points. AU turned the ball over the first five times it had possession after intermission, and there went the game.
The Hawks led by as many as 30 points in the second half.
Norman Black and Luke Griffin each scored 18 points for St. Joe's Leon Kcarney had 20 for AU.
Russell (Boo) Bowers, AU's leading scorer with a 23.2-point average-made only five of 19 shots tonight and had his second lowest point production of the season -- 13. He had five assists.
The Hawks played a zone defense that collapsed inside and forced Bowers out to the corners.
After halftime, AU abandoned its zone and came out gambling with a man-to-man defense and heavy full-court pressure.
St. Joe's simply remained patient and kept finding the open man. Lynam's team went into a four-corner offense with 10 minutes left. All the points his team scored from then on were either on layups or from the foul line.
"We might have been able to lose by only 15 if we hadn't gambled on defense in the second half," AU Coach Gary Williams said, "but we wanted to try and win. If it's a one-point game, that's one thing, but we were losing by 15. We were going to either get blown out or we were going to catch up."
Things started out, however, as if AU had things under control. St. Joe's missed its first six shots and fell behind, 7-0.
The Hawks didn't even score until Black made a short jump shot five minutes into the game.
AU then promptly turned the ball over four straight times.
Then the Palestra roof fell in on AU.
The defeat dropped AU's record in the East Coast Conference's East Division to 6-2. The Eagles are 11-9 overall.