Saint Joseph’s Fights to the End, But the Tournament Run Does

Saint Joseph’s Loses 66 – 60 to VCU in the Atlantic 10 Semifinal Round

BROOKLYN, NY 3/16/2024 –

The of the hardest aspects of college basketball is the ending. This Saint Joseph’s wanted one more game together. It can be said they had earned it. Their coaches wanted another game tomorrow, but it will not happen as the VCU Rams win 66 – 60, and they will play for the championship tomorrow. There will probably be more games for this team. But the loss is in the immediacy of preparing for another game. And being together as a team.

“It’s been a blessing to compete with these guys,” said Saint Joseph’s Coach Billy Lange. “I wish we had one more day to grow. One more day to learn. One more day to unite. I told them in the locker room there’s elation in victory when you have a tight group. And there’s joy and suffering when you can do it with people that you know love you and care about you, and that’s the group we have. We fought like crazy.”

The game started well for VCU who went out to a lead. The Hawks fought back and behind a 13 – 2 run took a 25 – 23 lead at halftime.

The game remained close over the latter part of the second half. The ability by VCU to get to the basket became a determining factor. With 2:38 showing on the clock the Rams Sean Bairstow converted a fast break layup off a steal for a 59 – 55 lead. St. Joe’s answered, but so did Zeb Jackson who’s layup kept the lead at four points. Cam Brown drained a three for SJU to cut the gap to a single point with 1:12 to play. But with 43 seconds showing a dunk by Joe Bamisle spread the lead back to three.

Saint Joseph’s had to foul, but having only 2 team fouls, it would take five more stoppages to get VCU to the foul line. The Hawks got close, but could not produce the needed turnover. VCU put the game away at the foul line.

VCU would post a 42 – 26 edge in points in the paint.

Rams guard Max Shulga scored a game-high 25 points. He made 10 of 11 from the field which tied the A10 Tournament record for field goal percentage. Shulga was a perfect 7 for 7 in the second half, and was also clean from the foul line twice. His only miss was a three-pointer in the first half.

Erik Reynolds II led the Hawks with 18 points while Cameron Brown scored 13. Rasheer Fleming took down a game-best 12 rebounds.

The ride towards an Atlantic 10 title ends for SJU. But a great experience fuels their fire for better days ahead.

“It was definitely a great experience,” said Xzayvier Brown. “Just a great atmosphere. A lot on the line coming for a conference tournament knowing you have one game each day. It was fun just playing with my brothers. It definitely is a fire to gte back here next year and win it all.


Written By: Glenn Papazian


Erik Reynolds II who Scored 18 Points

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.