Nov. 13, 2009
PHILADELPHIA - Todd O'Brien's short jumper with 46 seconds to play in overtime lifted Saint Joseph's (1-0) to a 77-67 win over city rival Drexel (0-1) in the inaugural game in the Michael J. Hagan '85 Arena. A sellout crowd of 4,200 saw the Hawks win in their return to campus after the 16-month renovation of Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse.
After O'Brien's shot, senior Darrin Govens stole the ball on Drexel's next possession and went the length of the court for a layup. The Dragons were whistled for an intentional foul and Govens hit both free throws. He followed that with two more, scoring six points in seven seconds to break the game open.
Senior Govens scored a game-high 23 points, and helped send the game into the extra period on a 3-pointer with 14.6 seconds to go in regulation. The play was set up when Idris Hilliard attempted a short shot that was blocked by Drexel's Leon Spencer, but the ball landed in Govens' hands on the baseline. Govens knocked down the shot to knot the score at 60-60. After Drexel went ahead, 62-60, on two free throws by Jamie Harris at :09, Garrett Williamson took the ball the length of the court and hit a foul line jumper to tie the game, 62-62, and send it into overtime.
Govens' game-tying shot finished a comeback for the Hawks, who trailed by 51-41 midway through the second half. Saint Joseph's used a 12-4 run, highlighted by three-pointers from Govens and Bryant Irwin to close to 55-53 with 6:20 to play.
"I think it speaks volumes for Philadelphia, that Bruiser (Flint) accepted the invitation to come here, even though he knew it would be frenzied. And I appreciate that, I think that he's a good friend and has a hard-playing group of guys and for them to withstand all that and really kind of handle us most of the second half. I'm delighted to call him a friend an alum and a player here at Saint Joseph's," said Hawk coach Phil Martelli. "Not a thing of beauty but I'm pleased with the defensive effort, pleased with guys getting in and kind of getting their feet wet. Darrin made a big shot, Garrett made a big shot, but I thought overall everybody really dug in and defended when we needed it."
Hilliard finished with 16 points and seven rebounds while O'Brien had nine points and eight rebounds in his Hawk debut after transferring from Bucknell after the 2007-08 season.
Sophomore Chris Prescott scored the first points in Hagan Arena with a jumper at the 19:07 mark.