The Hawks hosted the Charlotte 49ers who had handed St. Joe's their first home loss of the season back in January. This time the Hawks would take care of business on their home floor, 80-64. With seven minutes left in the game Charlotte pulled within three cutting the lead to 63-60; however, the last seven minutes belonged to the Hawks.
St. Joe's (20-12) was led by their backcourt. Carl 'Tay' Jones paced the team with 23 points, while Langston Galloway added 18. Hofstra transfer Halil Kanacevic did his part in the middle contributing 16 points and 11 rebounds. The Hawks move on to Atlantic City to face the number 4 seed, St. Bonaventure. In St. Joe's final regular season game Bonaventure edged the Hawks in double overtime so the Hawks will be out for revenge. Tip-off is set tentatively for 2:30 on Friday at Boardwalk Hall (or 30 minutes following the conclusion of the first game of the day).
La Salle hosted the Richmond Spiders, looking to avenge a disappointing 78-76 loss earlier in the year at Richmond. Both team's came out strong trading baskets for the majority of the first half; however, La Salle superior guard play and the improved defense of forward Devon White proved to be too much for the Spirders as the Explorers would hang on to win, 80-72. The game wasn't even that close as several of Richmond's final points came in garbage time.
The Explorers (21-11) were paced by South Carolina transfer Ramon Galloway who led the team with 17 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds. Three others hit double digits in Earl Pettis (15), Jerrell Wright (14), and Devon White (13). Unlike the game at Richmond, La Salle limited turnovers and, beginning with the final four minutes of the first half, was able to dictate the tempo. Richmond was led by Darien Brothers who carried the Spiders with 22 first half points (the team only scored 32). Brothers would finish with 31. Next up the Explorers will face Saint Louis in Atlantic City. The Billiken's handed La Salle one of two home loses on the year during the regular season. Tip-off is set for 6:30 on Friday at Boardwalk Hall.
The #24 Temple Owls won the regular season A-10 Title outright and with it captured a first round bye. The Owls (24-6) will face the UMass Minutemen following their 92-83 victory over Duquesne last night. Last week Temple defeated UMass at home on senior night in overtime. Tip-off is set for noon on Friday at Boardwalk Hall.
Here is my bold prediction (see what I did there?): all three Philly teams win on Friday setting up a Big 5 showdown in one semifinal, Temple vs. St. Joe's, and a La Salle vs. Xavier rematch in the other. See you in Atlantic City