Saint Joseph’s Upends Top Seeded Richmond in Atlantic 10 Tournament

The Hawks Advance to the Conference Semifinals Downing the Spiders 66 – 61

BROOKLYN, NY 3/14/2024-

The start of the game was definitely in Richmond’s direction. The Spiders took a 10 – 0 lead and the Hawks missed their first nine shots. What would it take to turn the game around? Emotional maturity and a 30 point performance from Erik Reynolds II. Saint Joseph’s, the number 9 seed, defeats the #1 seed Richmond Spiders in the quarterfinal round of the Atlantic 10 Championships. St. Joe’s moves on to the semifinal round against the winner of the VCU vs. UMass game.

The Hawks needed to overcome the beginning of the game. The offense would settle into the play of Reynolds II, who made 11 of 19 from the floor and 3 of 8 from distance. Late in the game the junior guard scored 7 consecutive points to take the team from a two-point deficit to a 59 – 55 lead with just over two and a half minutes remaining. It gave the Hawks the edge they needed in a game that would swing in the direction of each team until the end. It can be called a sense of urgency, but Reynolds II felt it was the result of being ready to play their game.

“Like every game, we attack,” said Reynolds II. “We should have come out attacking because we respect our opponent, no matter who we play. So the sense of urgency should start even before the jump ball. I feel like we came out a little flat today, but we did pick it up for sure.”

What Is Fueling these Hawks

Falling behind by double-digits early in each half could have deflated the Hawks. But this team now plays with a certain amount of emotional maturity that results in a positive enthusiasm. It was necessary. Despite the deficits, the Hawks did not lose its will to play all the way to the end.

“I think the group has matured,” said Saint Joseph’s Coach Billy Lange. “The enthusiasm is now directed. I think the enthusiasm has greatly matured. So when you play a team tonight (Richmond) that’s in abundance, they have the physical maturity; in abundance, they have game experience. If you don’t have emotional maturity, you’re going to get your butts kicked. I thought we had it, and that’s why down 10, we were able to come back.”

What the Numbers Say

Cameron Brown was the other Saint Joseph’s player to score in double figures posting 10. Forward Rasheer Fleming, whose three free throws kept St. Joe’s in front at the end, took down 12 rebounds. SJU won the battle of the boards 40 – 29 which led to a 16 – 5 advantage in second chance points.

Center Neal Quinn was a force for the Spiders making 10 of 13 including a three-pointer to record a team-leading 21 points. Jordan King scored 17 points. Forward Isaiah Bigelow grabbed 11 caroms.

Up Next

The only thing for sure is that Saint Joseph’s plays on Saturday. Afterwards? That is to be decided. Enough for a NCAA Tournament berth? Not sure except win the tournament and do not leave it in the hands of the selection committee. Richmond’s record is 23 – 9. Good enough for an NCAA bid? That story will be told on Sunday.

Written By: Glenn Papazian


Erik Reynolds Pacing the Offense

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.