In Dayton, Ohio on Wednesday night the St. Joseph’s Hawks (13-8, 4-4 A10) took on the Dayton Flyers (13-9,3-5 A10). The Hawks have always struggled to win games at Dayton, and last night was no exception. St. Joes fell just short of getting its first win against Dayton at Dayton since 2001, they fell 60-54.
The Hawks knew they were in for a tough test when they we trailing and halving baskets with the Flyers. Even with a slow start, as usual, with the offense their defense kept them in the game. The most the Hawks trailed by in the first half was three points. At the half the score was 27-26 SJU up by one.
A traditionally good second half team, the Hawks jumped off the blocks quick, but again they could not separate from Dayton. Kevin Dillard kept the Flyers in the game, he had 23pts, 1 rebound, 3asst, 1 steal. Coming down the stretch he was the difference between a St. Joes win and a St. Joes lose.
Towards the end of the game, when the Hawks were trailing by 4 with 1:24 left to play, you could not count the Hawks out. At this point, no Hawk stepped up and took the game over.
Senior Guard Carl Jones did not step up when the Hawks needed him, and stood around and almost watched at the end when Dayton started to pull away. Carl needs to step up, this Hawks team need to come around a leader like Jones on tough road games, if they want the win.
In the end Dayton made their Free-throws and separated from the Hawks to get the win. This snapped a three game winning streak, and might have ended the Hawks playoff chances.
The Hawks have a tough road ahead of them when they finish off their season with games against La Salle, St. Louis, and Charlotte. These are the tough games that need to be one, but none of the left over games are to be forgotten or looked over. The Hawks need to almost win out and make a run in the A10 tournament for their to be any chance of making the tournament.
Player of the Game:
The player of the game for the Hawks is Halil Kanacevic. Kanacevic has been crucial for the Hawks in all the games since his return from a death in his family. He had 9 pts, 9 rebound, 4 assists, and 3 blocks. For the most part of his return Halil has been playing the role of point guard, even though he is a forward.
Halil directs the SJU offense and keeps the defense moving with incredible passing. Last night he almost sealed the game for St. Joes by throwing a massive alley-op dunk to C.J. Aiken, who also played a good game. Halil is one of the best passers in the country, and can split any defense with an on the mark half-court pass.
Kanacevic needs to step up his leadership along with Carl Jones if the Hawks can make any push for the NCAA tournament.