George Washington rallies to 70-56 win over Saint Joseph’s

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PHILADELPHIA – A pair of big second-half runs propelled George Washington (5-9; 1-0 A-10) to a 70-56 come-from-behind win over Saint Joseph’s in Atlantic 10 men’s basketball action at Hagan Arena. Terry Nolan, Jr., led four GW players in double figures with 23 points and 12 rebounds.

Charlie Brown, Jr., led Saint Joseph’s (7-7; 0-2 A-10) with 20 points, Jared Bynum had 12 points and Taylor Funk scored 11 for the Hawks. Anthony Longpré grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds.

Justin Mazzulla had 13 points for GW, Maceo Jack had 12 and Justin Williams scored 10.

With the teams tied at 52-52 with 5:49 remaining, the Colonials scored 13 straight points, with four points from Mazzullo and Justin Williams, and closed out the game with a 16-4 run.

That mirrored a run at the start of the second half, which allowed GW to take its first lead of the contest. Trailing 32-25 at halftime, the Colonials opened the second half with a 9-0 run to take their first lead of the game, 37-34. SJU went scoreless for over four minutes and missed 10 straight shots before Brown scored on a putback at 14:38. The Colonials increased the run to 15-2 and took a 43-36 lead, with over 12 minutes to play.

SJU fought back with a three-pointer by Lamarr Kimble and basket by Bynum, pulling within 48-47 with under 10 to play. The teams were tied one more time, 50-50, before GW started its game-clinching run.

After starting the game shooting 40 percent from the field, the Hawks could only manage 25.7 percent (9-of-35) shooting in the second half to suffer their second straight loss. On the flip side, GW made 14-of-25 (56 percent) from the field in the second half, after going 9-of-32 (28 percent) in the first period.

“The numbers are the numbers here again. Nobody that played in the game shot 50 percent. We allowed a team to come into our building and score 40 points in the second half. We got exposed in some one-on-one match-ups,” said Saint Joseph’s head coach Phil Martelli.  “The ball went in the basket for us early and early and early. And we had a bounce in our step. When the ball doesn’t go in, you don’t have that same bounce. I’m more concerned defensively that we didn’t dig in. I kept saying to them that we have to get to the next stop and the next shot and the next play.”
“This is built to be a 72-to-75-point team. We haven’t been there now since [the] Loyola-Chicago [game]. And that’s a hard way to play,” said the coach. “Some of our shot decisions aren’t great [in reference to] time and score. But I don’t want to take away aggressiveness. You’ve got to step in a take your shots. We’ll look at it and we’ll break it down for them. But plays in the lane when we’re not finishing right at the rim. There are a lot of concerns.”

The Hawks controlled the first half and opened the game with a 12-0 run, taking a 14-2 lead behind six points from Longpre’. Saint Joseph’s shot 56 percent from the field in the early going and Brown had 13 of the Hawks’ first 26 points as he was 5-of-6 from the floor, to give SJU a 26-14 lead.

Saint Joseph’s goes on the road for a pair, starting on Wednesday at St. Bonaventure, followed by Saturday at Duquesne.

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