Hawks Starts Slow, Finish Strong Against American
Saint Joseph’s avenged last year’s loss on the road to American despite a lack of power forward Halil Kanacevic and a sluggish first half. The Hawks only led by four at the half but prevailed thanks to a strong 14-28 shooting performance from beyond the 3-point line.
Langston Galloway led the Hawks with 18 including his 1,000th point becoming the 50th Hawk to reach that milestone. After the game, Galloway said he was “just trying to knock it out the way” so he can feel free in reference to surpassing the thousand point mark. The Louisiana native had struggled mightily from beyond the arc in the three games prior by shooting 3-16 but impressed against American going 4-7 from three and 6-9 overall. Unable to establish any sort of cohesive half-court offense, Galloway and the Hawks relied on three-pointers and it paid off in the end.
Lone senior Tay Jones also shot well from behind the arc going 5-9 after earning his first start of the season. For once, Jones struggled to break down the defense off the dribble and penetrate but it didn’t matter as he held the hot hand from three. Playing mostly off the ball due to sophomore Chris Wilson’s fantastic play thus far, Jones shined. Wilson added 15 points and 8 assists. The three-guard lineup is something the Hawks have seen little of this year with increased minutes for the highly touted frontcourt of CJ Aiken (16 points, 3 blocks), Ron Roberts, and Kanacevic.
Kanacevic, who led the team in assists entering the game, was unable to play due to a strained back. His absence made it difficult for SJU to exploit American down low and also left the offense in flux. He is listed as day-to-day but is expected to play in the team’s highly anticipated showdown with #11 Creighton in Omaha.
Roberts played without his counterpart and struggled to get shots as he recorded only one field goal the entire game after averaging over 10 shots per game in the first four. His 11 rebounds proved valuable for the team as they only recorded 26 total.
Freshman Isaiah Miles continued his perfect shooting season from the floor with a basket. He is now 5-5 on the season and for his career.
Where They Rank
Prior to the victory over the Eagles, the Hawks received 9 votes in the AP Poll and 10 in the Coach’s Poll. They currently stand at #27 in the KenPom rankings.