WASHINGTON – Four Hawks reached double figures, including freshman DeAndre' Bembry, who led all scorers with a career-high 22 points, but the Saint Joseph’s men’s basketball team saw its six-game winning streak come to an end with a 76-71 setback to George Washington at the Smith Center on Wednesday night.
Saint Joseph’s (21-8 overall, 11-4 Atlantic 10) led by as many as nine in the second half, as Ronald Roberts, Jr., finished a three-point play with 11:00 to go that gave the Hawks a 54-45 advantage.
George Washington (22-7 overall, 10-5 Atlantic 10) answered with a 9-0 spurt over the next 2:38, tying the game at 55-55 on a pair of free throws by Patricio Garino with 8:22 to go.
The teams traded baskets before Garino hit a layup and was fouled with 6:55 remaining. Senior Halil Kanacevic was charged with his fifth foul on the play, and from that point, the Colonials held on to the lead for the duration.
Bembry pulled the Hawks back within a basket at 62-60, but GW scored the next five points to take a 67-60 lead with 1:45 to play. Chris Wilson answered with a three-pointer to cut the margin to 67-63 with 1:23 left, but unfortunately for the Crimson and Gray, SJU could not get closer than four the rest of the way.
Saint Joseph’s took an early lead as Langston Galloway’s second three-pointer of the game at the 16:30 mark gave the Hawks a 10-4 edge. The Colonials then used a 9-0 run to take a 13-10 lead with 13:21 to go in the frame.
George Washington held a 15-14 lead when Kanacevic was charged with his second foul of the game with 12:02 to play in the half. GW took advantage of his absence, pushing the margin to 30-16 on a three-pointer from Joe McDonald with 5:32 to go.
From there, the Hawks clamped down defensively, keeping the Colonials off the scoreboard and scoring the final 16 points of the first half to take a 32-30 lead into the locker room. Roberts scored all six of his first-half points during the run, including a dunk with 1:09 to go to put the Hawks on top for the first time since early in the game.
Both teams had four players in double figures; Bembry’s 22 led all scorers, while Roberts (16 points, eight rebounds), Wilson (14 points), and Galloway (10 points) also reached double-digits. Maurice Creek led the Colonials with 20 points, while Joe McDonald (18), Garino (17), and Isaiah Armwood (15) reached double-figures for George Washington. Bembry also paced both squads in assists, tying his career best with eight.
By virtue of Saint Louis’ loss to Dayton, the Hawks are still in contention for a share of the Atlantic 10 regular season title. The Hawks can clinch the second seed in next week’s Atlantic 10 Championship with a win over La Salle on Sunday at Hagan Arena. A Saint Joseph’s win coupled with a loss by the Billikens at Massachusetts will give the Hawks a share of the league title for the first time since 2005.
Game time against the Explorers is set for 4:00 p.m. Sunday at Hagan Arena. The game will air on CBS Sports Network and Sports Radio 610 WIP. Before the game, the Hawks will honor their five graduating seniors – Galloway, Kanacevic, Colin Kelly, Daryus Quarles, and Roberts – in a pre-game ceremony.