Galloway carries Hawks to semi-finals

On Friday afternoon, Dayton and St. Joe's met for the third time of the 2013-2014 campaign. This time, in the Atlantic 10 Tournament, the stakes were raised. Hawk senior Langston Galloway buried a three from the top of the key with 17.9 seconds remaining, and the Hawks escaped with a 70-67 win over the Flyers.

Langston Galloway finished with a game-high 31 points, and none were more critical than the three he earned with his game-winner. Down 67-66, Galloway coolly stepped back, got separation, and nailed what ended up being the game-winner. He spoke about the shot post-game.

"I said, let me put it in my hands," Galloway began. "And this team, they trust me with the ball at the end of the game, and I just tried to make a play. I made a step-back and just got enough room to shoot it and that's all I need to shoot the ball, and it went in."

Dayton jumped out to an early 8-3 lead over the Hawks, but led by Galloway's 20 first-half points, the Hawks stormed back and took a 35-34 lead into the locker room at halftime. In the second half, the Hawks were unable to get separation, despite opportunities, and watched as the Flyers retook the lead, at 48-47, roughly 8 minutes into the half.

Over the ensuing stretch, DeAndre Bembry and Galloway spearheaded a 19-12 run that saw the Hawks not only reclaim the lead, but establish a working margin at 66-60. Poor offensive execution by the Hawks, a three by Jordan Sibert, and two buckets by Matt Kavanaugh saw Dayton take a 67-66 lead with 39 ticks left on the clock.

Out of a Phil Martelli timeout, the ball was put in Galloway's hand, and he did what great seniors do: knocked down a game-winner where the implications couldn't have been much greater. Dayton had 19 seconds and the ball, only down 69-67, but all they got out of their final possession was an off-balance, contested three by Devin Oliver. The Hawks ended up escaping with a 70-67 victory.

One of the keys to today's game was Halil Kanacevic staying out of foul trouble, and he did in the first half. Kanacevic, who finished with 9 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 assists, did have to sit down the stretch, as he collected his fourth foul at the 7:32 mark. Kanacevic spoke about his foul trouble post-game.

" We've been there before. We have other two seniors, Ron and Langston," Kanacevic stated. "So I'm not worried, they know how to handle it. I've been in foul trouble, he's been in foul trouble, Ron's been in foul trouble. We are a veteran team, we have a little youth on our team but we have are a veteran-led team. So one person getting in foul trouble shouldn't affect it as much. You can't use that as an excuse."

Freshman DeAndre Bembry scored 9 of his 15 points in the second half, and also chipped in 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Ron Roberts shot 5-8 from the field, including several highlight-reel dunks, but only 1-7 from the free throw line. Roberts finished with 11 points and 7 boards in the win.

With the win, St. Joe's likely punched their NCAA Tournament ticket. At least, head Hawk Phil Martelli believes they did. "We'll now be under 40 RPI. We have 11, I think, road wins, rode or neutral. We played in this league and we're in the semi finals in this league. Enough said. Enough said."

St. Joe's has a quick turnaround, as they will face Saint Bonaventure tomorrow in the semi-finals at 1:30. Saint Bonaventure upset the tournament's number-one seed, Saint Louis, on a buzzer-beating three on Friday afternoon. St. Joe's and Saint Bonaventure will battle for a spot in the Atlantic 10 Finals.

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