With seven seconds to play, they let off some Steam in Philadelphia.
St. Joseph’s student section began singing the chorus from that band’s 1969 hit “Na Na Hey Hey,” as their Hawks closed in on a 82-72 victory over No. 22 Temple at Hagan Arena on Saturday night.
St. Joe’s Langston Galloway led all scorers with 22 points on an impressive shooting night, going 6-of-9 from the field, 4-of-6 from three-point range, and sinking all six of his free throws.
Coach Phil Martelli also got a key contribution from sophomore Ron Roberts off the bench, as his 18 points and seven rebounds helped St. Joe’s to snap a 10-game losing streak against Temple, a drought that spanned nearly half a decade.
Temple was plagued by fouls on Saturday night, with four players racking up four fouls apiece, including freshman Anthony Lee, who had four fouls in four total minutes.
Because coach Fran Dunphy had to be cautious with his team’s foul situation, it negated much of the influence of the Owls’ normally impressive backcourt trio of Juan Fernandez, Ramone Moore, and Khalif Wyatt.
For an important stretch of the second half, both Fernandez and Wyatt had to sit because of foul trouble.
That, in combination with a gameplan from Martelli that dared Temple to shoot from three-point range, and St. Joe’s was able to get their first signature win of the season.
Temple had 42 points in the paint, but shot just 4-of-15 from three-point range, while St. Joe’s shot 9-of-24 from deep.
This game holds importance for both teams.
As was mentioned, St. Joe’s can take this win and add it to wins over Drexel and Creighton, and the Hawks are trying to build themselves a resume for an outside shot at the NCAA Tournament.
The Hawks would have been helped tonight by a Xavier loss to Richmond, but the Musketeers were able to pull away for the win.
Temple, on the other hand, missed out on the chance to clinch at least a share of the Atlantic 10 title.
The Owls have games remaining against Fordham and Massachusetts, as St. Louis breathes down their neck in pursuit of the regular season title.
Moving forward, Temple will have to get their guard play back to where it has been all season, with Moore, Fernandez, and Wyatt combining for more than 46 points per game.
And, though they didn’t look the part Saturday night, expect the Owls to be tourney-bound, come Selection Sunday.