With their NCAA tournament hopes hanging by a thread, the Saint Joseph’s Hawks (20-12) showed up to play last night on City Line Avenue. The Hawks played the #12 seed, Charlotte 49ers, in a first round Atlantic 10 tournament game. Being clear favorites, the fifth-seeded Hawks won the game by a comfortable 16-point margin, 80-64.
The 49ers never led throughout the course of the game. At half the score was 34-27 favoring the Hawks. Carl Jones scored a team-high 23 points and Halil Kanacevic led the team in rebounds with 11, and chipped in 16 points for a double-double. The Hawks had a balanced scoring attack with 5 players in double-figures.
Atlantic 10 first-team member, Chris Braswell, scored 20 points and grabbed 7 rebounds for Charlotte. The 49ers shot 41% from field goal range, and 26% from beyond the arc. DeMario Mayfield accounted for 12 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists.
The Hawks take on the #4 seed, the St. Bonaventure Bonnies, on Friday in the quarterfinals at 2:30 PM EST. St. Joe’s needs to get to the finals of their conference tournament if they want to have a real shot at an at-large bid. This very same St. Bonaventure team handed St. Joe’s a heartbreaking double-overtime loss in the Hawks’ last regular season game. This will be a revenge game for SJU with a lot on the line, including their post-season destiny.