With a 73 to 72 win over Davidson, Saint Joseph’s University was able to clinch their first win against an Atlantic 10 opponent this season. After being down 21 points in the first half, SJU was able to turn the tables in the second half by scoring 52 points. All while holding Davidson to minuscule 32 points in the second half! To add to the drama, The Hawks sealed the win with a buzzer beating three from Freshman Cameron Brown. This game had it all, and was undoubtedly the most exciting finish for the Hawks this entire 2019-2020 season.
What Stood Out
The theme for the Hawks this season has always been heart. Coach Lange’s sole mission was to ensure that this team played with passion on a nightly basis. However, SJU was missing a signature win for their A10 season. While the wins against UPenn and UConn were major victories, it was important that Coach Lange walked away this season with one win in the Atlantic 10. So securing a win against a conference opponent like Davidson is a good reason to declare this Lange’s best win.
Another one of the reasons this was Lange’s most important win was the fact that it came without SJU star Ryan Daly. It was the freshman duo of Cameron Brown and Rahmir Moore who helped lead SJU to victory. Senior Toliver Freeman also had a major impact on the game by scoring 16 points and securing 5 rebounds. While these players played an important role; the key to this victory was the fact the SJU had a deliberate approach to score in the paint. It illustrated the fact that this team can win if it invests in an offensive system that emphasizes the most efficient shot on the court, not the first available.
Making a Statement
Leading a team to victory after a twenty point deficit is not easy. It is tempting to quit when a team with a first year coach and freshmen players find themselves down 20 points. However, Saint Joe’s showed the mental fortitude to fight back after being down big. Programs with a veteran coach and players would struggle to overcome a deficit that large. Especially in a Hagan arena that was almost completely empty. Which was weird, because SJU fans on twitter swear that people come to the games that the pep band is at! But, I regress to my original point.
Coach Lange has been able to create positive momentum during a losing season by instilling this roster with some heart. So mark my words, if Saint Joe’s continues to play this hard they will be a force to reckon with next year. Bringing in talent is easy, it’s creating a culture with a winning attitude that is hard. This was Coach Lange’s best game on Hawk Hill, and I am pretty sure it won’t be his last either.
For more SJU coverage, follow me on twitter @Jelly_Morelli and check out my podcast “Tony’s Takes” on Apple iTunes.