Men's Basketball: Hawks open conference seasonJanuary 3, 2013

Rockhurst returns to the court for the first time since mid-December when the Hawks open their Great Lakes Valley Conference season Thursday against Saint Joseph’s in a 7:30 p.m. matchup at Mason-Halpin Field House.

The Hawks, 1-6 overall, will be shooting for their first victory since defeating Kansas Wesleyan in their season opener on Nov. 14. Rockhurst suffered a 71-64 loss at home to McPherson in its last game on Dec. 15.

Saint Joseph’s, 2-5 overall, brings a two-game losing streak into the game. The Pumas’ last victory came against Holy Cross College (95-77) on Nov. 29 in Notre Dame, Ind. Dayvon Sloan, a 5-10 senior guard, ranks 10th in the GLVC in scoring at 16.1 points per game to lead the Pumas. Damon Ellison Jr., a 6-3 senior, is averaging 15.1 points and a team-high 5.9 rebounds.

Brandon McCann paces Rockhurst with a 9.6 scoring average. The 6-1 junior guard ranks third in free throw percentage (93.3), seventh in 3-point field goals made (2.14) and ninth in minutes played (31.4) in the GLVC. Sophomore forward Cooper Beckett is among the conference leaders in blocked shots (1.3 per game) and offensive rebounds (2.4 per game).

Saint Joseph’s leads Rockhurst 3-2 in the all-time series. The Hawks won the last meeting, 84-76 in overtime, at Saint Joseph’s. This will be the third meeting between the teams played on the Hawks’ home floor in their six meetings.

Thursday’s game can be heard live on 610 Sports AM (www.610Sports.com), with Mark Miller delivering the call.

Rockhurst will continue its two-game GLVC homestand at 3 p.m. Saturday against Indianapolis. The 11th-ranked Greyhounds will take an 8-0 record into a Thursday night matchup at William Jewell before visiting Rockhurst.

HAWK NOTES

*McCann is the Hawks’ career leader in scoring among current players. He has scored 663 points in 60 games for an 11.1 scoring average.

*The Hawks rank third in the GLVC in free throw percentage (75.5) and blocked shots (4.0 per game).

*Junior guard James Robinson scored 17 points in his last game against McPherson to match his career high in scoring. He scored 17 points three times last season.

*McCann has scored in double figures in 13 of his last 16 games, dating back to last season. He scored a season-high 19 points in the season-opening win over Kansas Wesleyan.

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