January 9, 2021 –
The first win of the season against eight losses for the Saint Joseph’s men’s basketball team came via a 67 – 64 won over the Albany Great Danes at the Hagan Arena. It was a hastily arranged game caused by the pause in basketball activity by the Saint Louis Billikens, the originally scheduled opponent.
“In a season like COVID blessed are the flexible, they never get bent out of shape,” Saint Joseph’s Coach Billy Lange said.
While the team earned a reward, it was also another step in the process of becoming a winner in the eyes of Lange. This was a step along the way.
“They’re joyful but our program is joyful,” said Lange about the victory. “My job is to continue to teach and coach. There is this thing called the process of winning; it’s teaching, it’s learning, it’s expecting, and then it’s sustaining. We’re in the first stage with a very young team. I would hope that although they’re joyful for the win, they’re more joyful for our growth together.”
To get the win it would take an effort by the Saint Joe’s defense especially over the last 8 minutes. Albany lead 59 – 53 over the short handed Hawks playing without Ryan Daly and Anthony Longpre. SJU responded by scoring the next 7 points to draw even with 5:48 left to play. Later a jumper by Dahmir Bishop put the Hawks in front 66 – 64 as 1:47 showed on the scoreboard clock.
The Great Danes were stuck on 64 points over the last two and a half minutes. However, a three-pointer at the buzzer by Albany guard Anthony Rizzuto fell off the front of the rim.
“Mostly the defense,” Lange felt was key to the run. “We have to get better. We’re a young team playing a totally different style of defense than we were in Fort Myers and we are constantly trying to adapt and find new ways.”
Four Hawks scored in double figures led by Taylor Funk with 14 points and was the team-leader in rebounds with 6. Freshman Jordan Hall scored 13 and added to the offense recording 9 assists and 2 steals, a career-best in both categories. Jack Forrest tallied 12 points and 10 for Myles Douglas.
Jarvis Doles led Albany with 13 points while C.J. Kelly and Kellon Taylor contributed 11 markers each.
The teaching continues, the learning goes on for SJU. Next class is a Tuesday night league game at Davidson.
“We want to stay on a trajectory of being a high-level program,” said Lange.
Written By: Glenn Papazian