BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Senior guard Langston Galloway hit a three-pointer at 2:28 to break a tie and the Saint Joseph's men's basketball team never trailed again en route to a 65-61 win over VCU to claim the 2014 Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball championship at the Barclays Center on Sunday afternoon.
With the win, the Hawks clinch a berth in the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.
VCU held a 48-42 lead with 10:23 to play, but the Hawks would tie up the score two more times. Down 52-50, Roberts hit one free throw and freshman DeAndre' Bembry completed a three-point play to put the Hawks up, 54-52.
The Rams tied it 54-54 on a pair of free throws by Treveon Graham at 2:56, but Galloway hit a step-back three-pointer to give the Hawks the lead for good, 57-54. Roberts put down a dunk off a feed from Bembry at 1:29 to put SJU up 59-54, and the Hawks iced the game from the foul line. Galloway made 4-of-5, Chris Wilson made one shot and Bembry hit a free throw with :20 to play to provide the final margin.
It is SJU's third Atlantic 10 title in its history, and the first since 1997.
Saint Joseph's jumped out to an 11-4 lead to start the game, but VCU rallied behind a 7-0 run to tie the game at 11 all.
The Hawks would push their lead to as many as eight, before entering halftime up 28-24.
As a team, SJU shot 48 percent from the field (24-of-50), 35..3 percent from three-point range (6-of-17) and 55 percent from the foul line (11-of-20). On defense, the Hawks held VCU to just 36.9 percent shooting (24-of-65) and outrebounded the Rams 40-38.
Individually, Galloway led all players with a game-high 19 points, while Roberts finished with a 15-point, 11-rebound double-double. Kanacevic grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds to go with 11 points, while Bembry finished with eight assists and 13 points.
"Coach and this team, they put a lot of trust in me to take the big shot, and I just wanted to step up for my team. I knew it was a critical time and I had the ball in my hand, so I just wanted to make a play, and the ball fell," said Galloway. "Definitely a good way to knock down a shot for the team."
"I didn't really feel that fatigued, especially when we knew what we were playing for. They played the same amount of games as we did, so that's not an excuse. So we just wanted to go out there, play harder than them, have more energy, and it's a great feeling now and it's all worth it," said Roberts.