PHILADELPHIA, PA. 1/3/2019 – Tip off time for the Atlantic 10 portion of the schedule for the Saint Joseph’s Hawks as they hosted the Patriots of George Mason University. It was also the curtain raiser for the conference.
The teams went toe to toe with each other until midway through the latter stanza. The Hawks went cold late in the second half and lost the conference opener 85 – 60 to the Patriots.
“Home games are gold and we just gave away gold,” said Saint Joseph’s Coach Phil Martelli.
More concerning for Saint Joe’s was how the loss happened. With 10:16 to play Hawks guard Jared Bynum sank two free throws to cut the deficit to 57 – 54. That was the last points Saint Joseph’s would score for the next 5:14 when forward Charlie Brown, who scored 17 points, made a short jumper. In the meantime Mason scored 19 consecutive points to take control of the game.
“Some of it was our shots were too quick, the release of our shots were too quick,” Martelli said about the lack of offense during that span. “We’re trying to search to find scoring. We have not shot the ball well at home.”
Other factors working against Saint Joseph’s was the three-point shooting by GMU. Coming into the game the Patriots shot 32% from distance. In this game they converted 15 of 28 (53.6%), and set a season-high for made three-point baskets. Justin Kier led the way with 4 from deep, a career-high, in getting 18 points. Otis Livingston II had 3 three’s on his was way to 17 points. He also added a game-high 7 assists. The Hawks would make 7 of 30 from beyond the arc with Lamarr Kimble and Anthony Longpre sinking three apiece. It was a season-high for made three-pointers by Longpre and in points with 10. Kimble scored 17 points.
On the offensive glass the Hawks were beaten by a 15 – 8 margin. Mason pulled down 11 offensive boards in the first half. Gonar Mar had 4 offensive rebounds. Kier pulled down a career-high 14 boards.
“We got our feet under us defensively when they missed ten straight shots in the first half and they had eleven offensive rebounds,” Martelli said about the impact of the Mason performance off the glass.
The Hawks fall to 7 – 6 overall while Mason evened its record at 7 – 7. They will conclude their four game homestand on Sunday hosting George Washington where SJU will try to get on the winning side of the ledger in the Atlantic 10.
“We’ll have to lift ourselves up,” Martelli said.
Written By: Glenn Papazian