March 12, 2011
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - Saint Joseph's Atlantic 10 Tournament run came to an end as the 12th-seeded Hawks fell to ninth-seeded Dayton, 64-61, in the semifinals at Boardwalk Hall. The Hawks, which had won three in a row and six of their last 10, finished the year with an 11-22 record.
Chris Wright had 17 points, 15 rebounds and five assists for Dayton.
Down 11 with 5:33 left, the Hawks made their final run and pulled within two, 63-61, with 8.8 seconds to play on two free throws by Galloway. Dayton's Josh Parker hit a free throw with 5.8 seconds left for the final margin.
Saint Joseph's had a couple of chances to tie, but turned the ball over on an inbounds play in front of its own bench with 2.8 seconds to go.
The Hawks came out shooting poorly in the first half, going 5-for-22 to start. But despite a 31 percent shooting half, cut Dayton's nine point lead to 28-24 at halftime, with five straight points from Charoy Bentley and Jones.
SJU fell behind by as much as 13 points in the second half, but made their late run, paced by a three-pointer from Hilliard to cut it to 60-55. After Dayton increased it to 62-55, C.J. Aiken hit a three with :34 to go and then Galloway cut it to 63-61 with :09 on the clock.
"We turned the ball over three times on on out of bounds, twice on the baseline and once on that sideline at the very end. But we were a play not good enough if that makes sense. We belonged in the game and certainly all of these guys gave us 40 minutes of everything they had," said SJU coach Phil Martelli.
Despite the final record, this SJU team will be remembered for its play at the end of the season. The Hawks used a 71-70 win at Charlotte on the last day of the regular season to earn the final spot in the tournament. Then playing at fifth-seeded George Washington in the opening round, the Hawks gutted out an overtime win to advance to the quarterfinals at Atlantic City. Saint Joseph's played its second straight overtime game to defeat Duquesene and advance to the semifinals for the 14th time in school history. This squad graduates two seniors but will return three starters next year.