Saint Joseph’s Holds Off Mason to Advance in Atlantic 10 Championship

The Hawks Win Second Round Game 64 – 57

BROOKLYN, NY 3/13/2024 –

The Saint Joseph’s Hawks led the entire game, but the George Mason Patriots made it interesting at the end. Mason had chances in the final minute, but the Hawks responded and took a 64 – 57 decision at the Barclays Center. St. Joe’s moves to the quarterfinal round tomorrow and will play top-seeded Richmond.

SJU had four players score in double figures led by guard Cameron Brown with 16 points. Fellow backcourt mate Lynn Greer III added 13 points.

“I thought our guys hung in there,” said Saint Joseph’s Coach Billy Lange. “There’s ways to win that’s not always spectacular. It’s an offensive rebound. It’s a drive at the end of the shot clock. It’s a loose ball. It’s a deflection and a stop. I thought we handled Mason’s run well. When I look at what this event will be, it’s going to be a lot of your ability to handle the emotional ups and downs. I thought this was a big step for us.”

The Hectic Last Minute

The Hawks were comfortably in front. But the Patriots chipped away and a basket by guard Baraka Okojie, who scored a game-high 22 points, brought his team to within 60 – 57 with just under a minute and a half remaining. The Hawks turned the ball over, after an official review, with 54.7 left. The Patriots turned it back with just over a half minute on the clock. Hawks guard Xzayvier Brown missed a shot, but Rasheer Fleming came up with a huge offensive rebound forcing the Patriots to foul. Fleming made both free throws for a 62 – 57 edge. Mason missed the ensuing shot. Fleming rebounded and was fouled. He hit two more from the line to finish to scoring.

Strong Starts by SJU

The Hawks started the game strong and held an 18 – 6 lead in the first nine minutes of play. Greer, Reynolds and both Browns did the scoring. SJU led 33 – 24 at the half. At the beginning of the second half Saint Joseph’s scored 11 of the first 13 points to grow the lead to 44 – 26 in the initial four minutes of the stanza. George Mason began their climb back. Cameron Brown said the start of the second half was critical as it gave his team what they would eventually need.

“Second half energy is something we’ve been trying to search for a little bit throughout the season,” said Brown. “It’s big. We can’t come out flat in the second half and give teams hope. You want to control that start of the second half. We were able to do that today, and it was big for us, a big spark for us to start that second half.”

What the Numbers Say

Fleming scored 14 points and took down a team-high 8 rebounds. Xzayvier Brown added 10 points. Greer III assisted 5 times. SJU assisted 14 times on 23 field goals. The Hawks drained 10 of 27 three-pointers compared to the Patriots making 1 of 13 tries from beyond the arc.

Forward Amari Kelly added 14 points for GMU. Woody Newton had a game-best 10 rebounds.

Up Next

The 9th seeded Hawks of Saint Joseph’s advances to the quarterfinal round and face the Richmond Spiders, the number one seed. The Hawks just want to keep playing.

“Nobody wants to go home at this time,” Greer III said. “Going into these games we want to play as hard as we can.”

Written By: Glenn Papazian


Cameron Brown Shooting a Three-Pointer

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