ATLANTIC CITY -- Saint Joseph’s trailed Charlotte by 13 points midway through the first half of its Atlantic 10 Tournament first-round game at Boardwalk Hall. The Hawks have given up more than a few big leads this season so there was no reason to think they could not overcome one.
When they second half began, they overcame it quickly and easily, scoring on 14 of 16 possessions and outscoring the 49ers 29-11 on their way to a 72-62 win.
St. Joe’s (17-14) will play Temple (19-11) tomorrow afternoon in the quarterfinals. It is the 11th A-10 meeting between the two schools that played for the championship Temple won last season.
St. Joe’s shot just 27.6 percent in the first half and trailed 30-23. The Hawks got to the foul line early in the second, converted just about every shot and opened up a 52-41 lead with 10:20 to go and nursed it to the wire.
Senior Tasheed Carr had 17 of his 22 points in the second half. You sort of knew the Hawks were going to win it when they trailed just 30-28 early in the second half and star Ahmad Nivins (15 points, 14 rebounds) was just 1-for-8.
St. Joe’s shot 61.9 percent in the second half and was 19-for-21 from the foul line. The Hawks shot 33 free throws to just 11 for Charlotte.
The 49ers (11-20) lost 19 regular-season games for a reason. They gave up the lead more quickly than they got it. And had no answer for a St. Joe’s team that once it got its rhythm never looked like it was going to do anything but win.
Now, St. Joe’s will have to beat a Temple team that swept the Hawks in the regular-season and has beaten them four straight. The winner plays in Friday’s A-10 semifinals.
To read our coverage of LaSalle's overtime loss in the quarterfinals, click here.