Saint Joseph's fell short on "Senior Day" as La Salle, led by Tyreek Duren's 27 points, scored a 71-63 win over the Hawks in the regular-season finale at Hagan Arena.
Saint Joseph's earns the fourth seed and a bye in the Atlantic 10 Championship and will play in the quarterfinals at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, March 14, facing the winner of the Dayton-Fordham/George Mason game. The tournament at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn begins with an opening round game on Wednesday, March 12, culminating in the championship game on Sunday, March 16.Langston Galloway scored 27 points for Saint Joseph's (21-9; 11-5 A-10; 1-3 Big 5) in his final game in Hagan Arena. DeAndre' Bembry had 15 points and eight rebounds and Ronald Roberts posted 13 points and eight rebounds. Halil Kanacevic grabbed 12 rebounds for the Hawks, who have lost two in a row for the first time since early December.
Duren hit on five field goals but went 16-for-17 from the line to lead the Explorers (15-15; 7-9; 3-1). Jerrell Wright added 17 points and 12 rebounds for La Salle.
Galloway made his first four three-point attempts and the Hawks took an 18-12 lead in the early going. But La Salle went on an 8-2 run to take its first lead of the contest, 20-18, with 7:41 remaining, and then built it up to 32-21, helped by five points from Steve Zack. The Explorers went into the lockerroom with a 33-23 lead.
The Hawks were careless with the ball in the first half, committing 10 turnovers, and made just 30.9 percent from the field.
Saint Joseph's scored the first seven points of the second half to close to 33-30. La Salle then rattled off six straight to go back up by 39-30, and then took their biggest lead of the game, 47-34, with 12:05 to play.
The Hawks made another run with a three by Galloway and layup from Chris Wilson to pull within 47-42 with 10:21 to play but that was the closest Saint Joseph's could get the rest of the way.
"Congratulations to La Salle. Ingenious plan really. They ran a box-and-one on Langston Galloway. They did some things with Ron (Roberts) and Halil (Kanacevic) early in the game. I just apologized to the team because I didn’t have them ready. I didn’t see it coming," said SJU coach Phil Martelli. "And really, for the first time in my time here, I think Senior Day might have been too emotional for them."
Foul shooting has plagued the Hawks all year and today was more of the same as SJU made just 12-of-22 from the line, while La Salle converted 25-of-31.
Saint Joseph's seniors - Galloway, Kanacevic, Roberts, Daryus Quarles and Colin Kelly -were honored in a pre-game ceremony for their final game in Hagan Arena.