Brooklyn, NY 3/11/2020 – The Saint Joseph’s Hawks men’s basketball season came to an end losing to the George Mason Patriots 77 – 70 at the Barclays Center in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament. The Hawks finish the season at 6 – 26.
In a game that was made up of runs, the Hawks had the last one, but time ran out as Mason found the range from the free throw line.
“Yes, we fouled, we executed some things, we made some threes,” said Hawks guard Ryan Daly, who scored a game-high 28 points. “We had a sense of urgency.”
George Mason had the early run closing out the first half with a 17 – 7 advantage to lead 38 – 27 at halftime. Saint Joe’s would pull to within a single point at 47 – 46 with 11:57 on the clock behind back-to-back-to-back three pointers by Tolliver Freeman. The Patriots stretched the lead to 14 points with just under three minutes to play before the Hawks made their final charge.
The lead would shrink to a possession as Freeman put five consecutive points on the board for the Hawks. And Mason was missing free throws converting 3 of 8 during that time.
Then, the Patriots began sinking free throws, 8 of their last 10, as well as the Hawks chances.
“We shoot fifty free throws in practice, it’s a point of emphasis,” said Jordan Miller who scored 19 points. “We have to trust the process, trust the work we put in, and keep our heads straight.”
George Mason outrebounded Saint Joseph’s 47 – 21.
Freeman scored a career-high 18 points and set a collegiate mark making 4 from beyond the arc. He was the SJU leading rebounder with 7. Cameron Brown added 10 points.
AJ Wilson scored a career-high 24 points and Javon Greene added 14. The pair also had a game-high 9 rebounds each.
This season concludes for Saint Joseph’s. Coach Billy Lange begins the assessment process on how to improve the team for next season. He has a foundation to build upon.
“This game was a testament to the season we’ve had,” said Lange. “The motto of the school is ‘The Hawk Will Never Die’ and I believe the team embraced that the entire season. I’ve experienced this with groups who didn’t want to play the last three weeks of the season. This group tried to improve every day. There is a delta between playing well and winning. Although we closed that gap, the season wasn’t long enough for this group. I’m proud of their effort.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian