That was the frustration faced by Phil Martelli and his Saint Joseph’s squad on Saturday afternoon at Hagan Arena.
After falling behind by as much as 20 against George Washington, the Hawks made a frantic rally, pulling to within three points in the final seconds of the game before falling to the Colonials by a score of 64-60.
The Colonials would assert themselves from the early moments of the game, taking a 13-6 lead on a jumper by Kethan Savage, who scored eight of the George Washington’s first 13 points.
Saint Joseph’s struggles would continue throughout the first half, as DeAndre’ Bembry appeared to be the only Hawk who came to play.
Bembry would notch 10 first half points for Saint Joseph’s, but the Hawks would shoot just 26.9 in the half and be out-rebounded 27-10 as they headed to the locker room trailing 31-18.
The Colonials would dominate the paint early, scoring 18 first half points in the lane and grabbing 10 offensive boards to overwhelm the Hawks’ defense.
George Washington’s dominance would continue into the second half, as the Colonials began the second act on a 15-10 run to stretch their lead to 20 midway through the half.
The game would seemingly be in the books for George Washington, as a visibly frustrated Saint Joseph’s squad could have easily thrown in the towel.
The Hawks would have a different idea, however, mounting a furious comeback over the final minutes of the game.
Saint Joseph’s would clamp down on defense, holding George Washington without a field goal over the final 6:54 of play.
With the help of a 27-10 run, the Hawks would close to within just three points of the Colonials with six seconds remaining.
Senior guard Chris Wilson would kick in 13 points for the Hawks over the course of the final 3:44 of play, including the Hawks’ final seven points, to help fuel the Saint Joseph’s rally.
In the end, however, a furious rally by the Hawks was thwarted, as George Washington held on for a 64-60 win to improve to 11-3 on the season.
Martelli was not ready to take solace in the fact that the Hawks finished the game strong though.
“It means nothing. It’s just meaningless. It’s a loss,” Martelli said. “And, it was a loss where we didn’t engage in the fight for 40 minutes, and that’s the only way we’re going to do this. We’re going to have to engage in the fight for 40 minutes.”
Bembry would lead the Hawks in the loss, notching 22 points and eight rebounds, while Wilson added 15 points and nine boards.
Isaiah Miles, who had set a new career-high in points over each of the Hawks’ previous three games (all 20+ point performances), would be held scoreless in the loss, dropping Saint Joseph’s to 6-6 on the season and 0-1 in conference play.
“We’re a team that’s like a puzzle. Puzzles all have to fit together. Isaiah Miles went back-to-back [-to-back] games of career-high and then had zero points,” Martelli said.
“A lot of credit to GW. They played with tremendous swagger,” he said. “Not just confidence, but they had a real swagger about what they wanted to do.”
By: Kyle Babcock
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