The Saint Joseph’s Hawks played right with the Richmond Spiders for thirty minutes. However in the last ten minutes Richmond behind all-Atlantic 10 performer Kevin Anderson pulled away for a 69 – 54 win before 3,651 at the Hagan Arena. Anderson scored a game-high 22 points, 20 in the second half. Saint Joseph’s Coach Phil Martelli knew the Richmond Senior Guard was the determining factor in the game.
“Anderson played like an all-league guy,” said Martelli. “He went wherever he wanted to go. They hit a couple of three’s late that separated it, but it was our inability to shut Anderson down.”
Saint Joseph’s trailed 20 – 19 at halftime. In the second half the Hawks tied the game on two occasions. With 10:20 remaining in the game Sophomore Guard Carl Jones made a three-pointer to bring the Hawks to within one at 40 – 39. Richmond began a 23 – 8 run to take a 63 – 48 lead at the 3:06 mark. Anderson put up 13 points in the run. Forward Justin Harper added 5 points of his 16 points in that stretch. Harper also grabbed a game-high 9 rebounds. In the second half Richmond out-scored Saint Joseph’s 49 – 35.
“In the second half they played better than we played,” said Martelli. “They hurt the zone. We got shredded at that end of the floor. We felt we could win if we held them to 63 (points).”
Springfield, PA native Dan Geriot contributed 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists for Richmond. Anderson handed out 6 assists and had no turnovers.
Jones scored a team-high 18 points for Saint Joseph’s. Freshman Forward Ronald Roberts scored 10 points. Freshman Center C.J. Aiken pulled down 7 rebounds and had 3 blocked shots in addition to his 8 points.
Saint Joseph’s drops to 8 – 21 overall, and are 3 – 12 in the Atlantic 10. The Hawks visit Charlotte on March 5 in what could be the play-in game for the last spot in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. It was Senior Night for Forward Idris Hilliard and Guard Charoy Bentley who played their last game at the Hagan Arena. Hilliard wants to extend the season further than next Saturday.
“It’s a playoff game, win that and keep on playing,” said Hilliard.
Key Run of the Game
With 10:20 remaining in the game Sophomore Guard Carl Jones made a three-pointer to bring the Hawks to within one at 40 – 39. Richmond began a 23 – 8 run to take a 63 – 48 lead at the 3:06 mark. Anderson put up 13 points in the run. Forward Justin Harper added 5 points of his 16 points in that stretch.
Key Stat of the Game
In the second half Richmond made 16 0f 29 shots for 55.2%. The Spiders also were successful on 5 of 6 three-point shots. Saint Joseph’s made 11 of 29 from the floor for 37.9%, and made just 3 of 11 from beyond the arc.
Key Players in the Game
For Saint Joseph’s – Carl Jones scored 18 points making 6 of 13 shots and 5 of 9 free throws.
For Richmond – Kevin Anderson scored a game-high 22 points, 20 in the second half. Anderson made 6 of 12 from the field, was a perfect 9 for 9 from the free throw line, handed out 6 assists, and did not commit a turnover.
Point Where the Game Was Decided
Richmond completed a 23 – 9 run on a 3-Pointer by Anderson with 3:06 to play. Saint Joseph’s would get no closer than 13 the rest of the way.
Thoughts and Musings
This was a tough season for the young Hawks. They go into another win and in situation like last year. However, the Coach is not disappointed to be in this position. There was improvement shown that can be the basis of success in upcoming seasons.
“Four and four in the back half of the league, a road team,” Martelli pointed to as indicators of improvement. “This season we have some road wins to build on going into a game-seven at Charlotte. Hopefully, you buy two games winning on Saturday (at Charlotte).”
It was Senior Night for Idris Hilliard and Charoy Bentley. This was not the way they wanted to go out, but in time they can think back to a magical time when they played for the Hawks.
Written By: Glenn Papazian