NEWARK, Delaware (Ticker) -- Jameer Nelson's finish helped St. Joseph's match an impressive start.
Nelson scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half as No. 10 St. Joseph's remained unbeaten and matched the best start in school history with a 75-54 victory over Delaware.
One of the nation's premier point guards, Nelson struggled in the first half as he missed eight of 10 shots. But the 5-11 senior came alive after intermission.
Nelson and Delonte West each scored seven points in a 19-5 surge to start the second half, turning a close game into a 48-30 lead for the Hawks with under 16 minutes to play.
"We knew if we'd come out and play like we were capable of, it would be no contest," Nelson said.
"We played great team defense in the first half, but he (Nelson) got good looks in the second half and knocked them down," Delaware guard Mike Slattery said. "That's what good players do."
West added 18 points and Dwayne Jones had 14 and 11 rebounds for the Hawks (10-0), who matched the 1964-65 team for the best start in school history.
"I can't say we don't mention it," Saint Joseph's coach Phil Martelli said about his club's start. "To put your stamp on the season, to do what no other team - a resume of your team compiled at end of the season with your wins and losses. This is the group's resume."
Raphael Madera scored 16 points to lead the Blue Hens (6-3), who shot just 33 percent (19-of-58) and committed 17 turnovers in their first game this season against a ranked opponent.
"We were pretty confident going into the game," Madera said. "We were playing really well after a slow start, but we have to play smart against a talented team like St. Joseph's."
It was an unimpressive start for St. Joseph's, which went without a basket for eight minutes in the first half and settled for a 29-25 advantage. The Hawks had only seven field goals in the half, but were able to gain the lead by making 14-of-19 foul shots in the half.
"We played tough defense in the first half and we felt good going into the locker room," Delaware coach Dave Henderson said. "Fourteen of their points came from the free-throw line, so we felt overall we played good ball in the first half."
But the Blue Hens were just slightly better as they shot just 31 percent (9-of-29) in the opening half.
But the Hawks were able to find their rhythm after intermission. They made their first four shots in the decisive run and Nelson's 3-pointer with 15:42 left provided a 48-30 cushion.
Nelson finished 8-of-17 from the field and committed half of the Hawks' 16 turnovers.