#4 Seed Saint Joseph’s Hawks 65 #2 Seed VCU Rams 61
The Saint Joseph’s Hawks are the Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball champions winner a thriller 65 – 61 at the Barclays Center. Along with the championship the Hawks earn the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Saint Joe’s led from the start. The Hawks held a 28 – 24 halftime lead, a lead they held until the 12:37 mark when VCU took their first lead of the game on back-to-back three’s by Rob Brandenberg and Treveon Graham that tied it and gave the Rams a 43 – 40 lead. The deficit for SJU grew to 6 points at 48 – 42 with 10:23 to play. Saint Joseph’s responded by scoring the next sis-points to tie the game at 48 on a basket by senior forward Halil Kanacevic at the 7:32 mark.
The game would remain tight. The Hawks regained the lead at 54 – 52 on a three-point play by freshman forward DeAndre’ Bembry with 3:15 on the clock. VCU tied the game that senior guard Langston Galloway untied with a three-pointer with just under two and a half minutes to play. One minute later senior forward Ronald Roberts put Saint Joe’s up 59 – 54 with a dunk. Form there the Hawks held off the Rams by making 6 out of 10 free throws.
Galloway led Saint Joseph’s scoring a game-high 19 points. He made 5 of 8 from beyond the arc. Kanacevic registered a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds. Roberts also had a double-double scoring 15 points and taking down 11 rebounds. Bembry scored 13 points and handed out 8 assists.
Brandenberg scored a team-high 18 points, and Graham added 15 points.
Saint Joseph’s came into the tournament looking to strengthen their tournament resume. The Hawks came out as Atlantic 10 Champions.