At Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, the St. Joseph’s Hawks (20-13) faced the St. Bonaventure Bonnies in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament, only 10 days after losing a double-overtime heartbreaker in their regular season finale to these same Bonnies.
The Hawks knew they needed to shut down forward Andrew Nicholson, the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, but they failed at this task. Nicholson scored on demand and ended up with 25 points and 10 rebounds. The Bonnies won the game, 71-68. Bonnies guard, Charlon Kloof, also played a good game, scoring 19 points.
It was tough to watch near the end, as some controversial calls riled up Hawks coach Phil Martelli. There was a charging call on guard Langston Galloway with 24 seconds left that had some fans wondering how it was called. Even so, the Hawks battled and nearly won the game in the end.
For St. Joseph’s, Carl “Tay” Jones ran the show. He scored a team-high 24 points and dished out 4 assists. Langston Galloway scored 12 points, as did Daryus Quarles, only his fourth double-digit scoring output. Hawks’ center, CJ Aiken, was virtually a non-factor in this game with only 5 points and a mere 4 rebounds. Even after being named the A10 Defensive POY, he wasn’t able to handle Nicholson, which cost them the game.
The Hawks were only down 3 at halftime, and kept the game close throughout. It was an exciting game that had 24 lead changes. In the end, however, Andrew Nicholson’s superior play in the paint allowed the Bonnies to sneak away with a win late.
The Hawks will most likely find themselves playing in the NIT this post-season as a #3 seed.