Saint Joseph’s Defeats George Washington 57 – 34, Least Points Allowed This Season by the Hawks
PHILADELPHIA, PA. 2/20/2022 –
A Senior Day that celebrates those who have been a part of the program and left their mark at the school. For Saint Joseph’s Hawks the celebration was capped by a 57 – 34 win over the George Washington Colonials at the Hagan Arena. The team started strong with a senior starting lineup, then gave a glimpse of what might be in the future.
“The seniors have done an unbelievable job for us,” said Saint Joseph’s Coach Cindy Griffin. “They have started for us and I knew it would be seamless because they played so many minutes for us as starters and reserves. They were locked in and I knew it would be a balanced group and a very productive group. I was impressed by the way they came out.”
After one quarter the Hawks led 15 – 9. It was in the second quarter when Saint Joe’s began to pull away from GW winning the ten minutes by a 16 – 4 margin. The four points allowed was the least given up by the Hawks this season. During much of that stretch Saint Joe’s had four freshman and a sophomore on the floor. Illusions of a passing of the torch, and a tribute to the younger players.
“They set the tone from the start and the support of the upperclassmen have shown that the underclassmen better be on because if you’re not, we’re right behind you,” Griffin said of her group. “That’s a credit to the underclassmen and the older ones.”
The situation also illuminated the teaching by the seniors to their younger teammates.
“The freshman have been incredible,” said senior forward Katie Mayock, who contributed 8 points. “They came in on day one and they’ve worked harder than anyone else. It’s been great to be able to help them.”
And the appreciation was given back.
“They pushed us to really compete and be ourselves,” freshman forward Mackenzie Smith, who scored a game-high 21 points, said.
In the third quarter the Colonials made a come back cutting the lead to ten points. GW held SJU without a point for over 8 minutes in the quarter, and took down 12 offensive rebounds during that time. Saint Joseph’s kept their poise starting the fourth quarter with a 9 – 0 run led by Smith and Mayock.
“Our team motto is relentless,” Smith said about the response. “Even when things weren’t going our way, especially with offensive rebounds, we just looked at ourselves and said this isn’t happening anymore. They got their run and now it’s our turn.”
As the game ended it was time for the seniors to get that well deserved applause, a sign of appreciation for what they have done, accomplished, and pointed towards in the future. It doesn’t always end this way, getting that at the end of a win. But Saint Joe’s players did, and Griffin was happy the way it turned out.
“I’m very grateful,” Griffin said. “I shared in the locker room that I am really proud of them and happy we could do this for the seniors. Because they’ve been so loyal, they’ve been so committed. They truly embody what it means to be a Hawk.”
And for Mayock, it is all about the people.
“I’m really glad we got the win, and I’m lucky to be here with the group of people that I am,” Mayock said.
Prior to the game Saint Joseph’s celebrated six people that have been part of the program; Lovin Marsicano, Alayna Gribble, Katie Mayock, and Katie Jekot, who was unable to play. Also honored for their contributions to the program were Asia Whittenberger “The Hawk” and manager Michele Bilotta.
Now, back to work as Saint Joe’s hosts Dayton on Wednesday. The regular season closes on Saturday at Duquesne. Then, the conference tournament looms. Lots more for the upperclassmen and underclassmen to play for.
Written By: Glenn Papazian