PHILADELPHIA, PA. 12/19/2019 – It was nine days since the Saint Joseph’s Hawks played a game. This time of year can be tough with finals and holidays on the minds of the payers. And for the Hawks they wanted a bounce back win after the loss to Temple.
The Hawks got that needed victory 84 – 69 over William&Mary at the Hagan Arena. The win ended an eight-game losing streak, the first SJU win since November 13. But the importance of this win was not limited to what happened over the last nine days. It was more about the whole season to this point to Saint Joseph’s Coach Billy Lange.
“We were coming off a loss where it seemed like most of the city mocked us,” said Lange. “It was more about everything. Villanova game, emotion; losing streak, Temple game, being mocked. Understanding that it doesn’t define you. Just come out here and play, and I was proud of our guys energy. They were very focused.”
How did the Hawks do it? Saint Joe’s did it behind their three-point shooting. The Hawks made 16 of 43 from beyond the arc. It was the most three-pointers taken this season and tied the program single-game record set in 1997 against Boston College. The 16 made from distance was the most this season eclipsing by one the number of made three point baskets against Old Dominion.
“We are trying to learn to take what the defense gives us,” Lange said. “They gave us threes and we made some good ones. We want the guys to shoot it if they are open and stepping into it. The goal for us was to compete and have energy, and I think we did that.”
The three-ball became a weapon for Saint Joseph’s as it was an answer to every charge made by the Tribe. Three different time W&M cut the gap to single digits, SJU would answer with three-pointers.
The most significant responses came when the Hawks broke open a five-point game behind triples by Myles Douglas and Ryan Daly that widened the lead to 18 points early in the second half.,
After the Tribe got to within 7 with twelve minutes to play Anthony Longpre and Chereef Knox nailed trey’s to give Saint Joe’s control of the game.
“The three ball is worth three, but it’s like a dagger,” Daly said. “They come down and hit a three, they feel good about themselves. But we hit a three right back, so it’s negated. If we hit sixteen threes, we are going to be hard to beat.”
Daly scored a team-high 27 points with 3 made three-point baskets and added 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. Daly also had a team-leading 6 assists.
Douglas scored a career-high 19 points making 4 of 8 from downtown. He scored 11 in the first half and helped to start the SJU offense.
“I came in and got some shots early and felt good on the court,” said Douglas.
Knox finished the game with 10 points and a career-high 32 minutes. Longpre added 11 points.
Nathan Knight led the Tribe with 25 points. W&M went 8 of 26 on three-point shooting.
The Hawks take the floor again in 2020 travelling to Richmond on January 2nd which is the curtain raiser for the Atlantic 10 part of the schedule. Nationally ranked Dayton comes to visit on January 5th.
Written By: Glenn Papazian
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