“We took some bad shots and our turnovers and bad shots led to some breakouts and dunks for them and layups,” Lonergan said.
The Colonials were held scoreless over the final 5:32 of the first half, unable to right the ship even after Lonergan called his team to the bench twice over that span. Once George Washington’s confidence took a blow, the entire performance started to crumble - the Colonials turned it over three times and were outrebounded 6-2 over the final 5 minutes of the first.
But the Hawks began to look shaky midway through the second half. Turnovers, missed rebounds and shots clanging off the rim revealed a team losing its rhythm - something Martelli attributed to the countless whistles.
“I think we solved (the 1-3-1) in the first half because we made some shots. In the second half, we got hurried. We needed to be able to take the ball down the floor and not just around the floor,” Martelli said.
The Hawks, who shot 44.6 percent, missed clutch shots down the stretch. Saint Joseph’s went 8 of 26 from the 3-point arc.
That, combined with the Colonials’ renewed inside-out offense off the hot hands of their four players in double figures, pushed George Washington to a crucial victory.
“They came back in the first half, and we got refocused, we came back out and just told our guys, we’re gonna calm down, we gonna make plays for each other and we gonna win this game today,” Creek said. “And that’s what we did.”