In honor of the Hawks’ 10th season at Hagan Arena kicking off tonight, longtime Saint Joseph’s Sports Network commentator Joe Lunardi shares his top 10 games played in the Arena. Here they are, presented in chronological order:
November 13, 2009
Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse re-opens as the Michael J. Hagan ’85 Arena. Senior Darrin Govens poured in a game-high 23 points to lift the Hawks to a 77-67 overtime victory over crosstown rival Drexel, coached by SJU product James “Bruiser” Flint ’87. Govens and fellow senior Garrett Williamson converted clutch baskets in the final seconds of regulation as the Hawks overcame a 10-point second-half deficit before a record on-campus crowd of 4,200.
January 23, 2010
Williamson tallied a game-high 15 points and blocked Dayton’s final field goal attempt with four seconds remaining as the underdog Hawks (7-11) upset the league-leading Flyers (14-5), 60-59, before another capacity crowd of 4,200. The game marked the Flyers’ first visit to Hagan Arena, where Dayton has yet to win in the building’s nine seasons.
November 26, 2011
The Hawks exploded at the start, building a 22-0 lead and coasting to a 65-47 victory over Penn State over Thanksgiving weekend. SJU (4-2) forced the Nittany Lions (5-2) into 0-for-18 shooting to open the contest; Penn State did not get on the scoreboard until 11:27 remained in the first half.
December 10, 2011
The Hawks knocked off a ranked opponent for the first time at Hagan Arena, besting No. 19 Creighton, 80-71, behind 29 points from junior guard Carl “Tay” Jones. It was the Hawks’ first on-campus win over a nationally-ranked team since they toppled another Jesuit rival, Xavier, on March 6, 2008, in the final game at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse.
December 17, 2011
For the second time in eight days, the Hawks scored a resounding victory over a marquee opponent, blasting archrival Villanova, 74-58, in the first edition of the rivalry ever contested on the SJU campus. Sophomore Langston Galloway led the way with 20 points, and multiple highlight-reel dunks by fellow sophs Ronald Roberts, Jr., and C.J. Aiken electrified the standing-room only crowd and national television audience.
February 25, 2012
Another ranked opponent goes down at Hagan Arena as the Hawks upset No. 22 Temple, 82-72, ending a 10-game losing streak against the Owls and clinching a share of the Philadelphia Big 5 crown. Galloway led four Hawks in double figures with a game-high 22 points.
February 1, 2014
Senior Halil Kanacevic led the Hawks with 18 points and five assists as the Hawks prevailed over No. 21 UMass, 73-68, avenging a four-point loss to the Minutemen earlier in the year. Six weeks later, Kanacevic would be named M.O.P. of the Atlantic 10 Tournament as Saint Joseph’s won the conference championship and earned its first NCAA bid since 2008.
February 22, 2014
Galloway, now a senior, connected on a school-record 10 three-pointers and scored a career-high 33 points as the Hawks rolled past Fordham, 87-72. Galloway’s record 10th three-point basket came with 10:09 to play, lifting SJU to a 71-42 lead.
February 11, 2015
Senior point guard Chris Wilson drained a three-pointer from the left corner with seven seconds left to lift the Hawks (11-12) to a 65-64 come-from-behind win over Rhode Island (16-6). Sophomore DeAndré Bembry led the Hawks with 19 points and nine rebounds.
February 17, 2016
Bembry’s double-double (16 points, 13 rebounds) paced five Hawks in double figures as SJU prolonged Dayton’s woes at Hagan Arena, knocking off the No. 15 Flyers, 79-70. Senior Isaiah Miles (12 points, 12 rebounds) also notched a double-double as the Hawks (22-4) moved into first place in the Atlantic 10. A month later they would win their second A-10 title in three years on the way to their first NCAA tournament victory since 2004 and the second-most wins in school history (28-8 final record).