The Hartford Hawks stepped onto the court in Jersey City, N.J., looking to tie up their record after two losses on the road. With their final game as part of a four game stretch, it was a little obvious that the guys were tired.
The first half started out in full swing with a 3-pointer from Cleveland "Pancake" Thomas to give them the lead at 3-2. Having just come off a game with a new career high, it was assumed he would dominate the game once again. While he did end in double digits (10 points) he wasn't the one causing St. Peter's problems.
Unfortunately, that lead didn't stay long as the St. Peter's Peacocks managed to rack up at most a 12-point lead. Chazz Patterson dominated, ending the game with a team high 16 points. By the first media time out he had eight of the team's 10 points.
Justin Graham was relatively silent during their outing against Louisville. Every so often he would sneak through the defense for a layup, but never drew much attention to himself.
All that changed.
Graham not only tied his most threes in a game (3), but put up a new career high of 22 points. He hit 8 of his 14 field goal attempts, including 3 of 4 shooting from the free throw line. He also picked up two rebounds and a steal.
John Carroll was on a bit of a roll as well, battling in the post, but once again fouled out of the game. At least this time he managed 10 points and five rebounds.
While Graham may have put up the points, it was some of the defensive plays that really set things in motion.
"You gotta give it up to Dougal Weir, man... Dougal was huge," said Hartford coach John Gallager. "Evan Cooper was huge too."
Weir had his most productive game of the season so far with three rebounds and generally being a menace standing at 6-9. Cooper not only brought up a huge defensive rebound when they needed it, but he hit the second three that sparked four in a row to give them the lead at 6:27 in the second half.
But if we're going to talk about threes, there's only one that's worthy of mention. The Peacocks had just hit two free throws to make the game 66-64 with only 11 seconds left on the clock. Hartford called a time out while the home crowd started cheering, assuming they had won. It was obvious that Hartford was going to try to win the game with a three, but that's not always a fool-proof plan. Once Graham had the ball and let it fly, the Hartford bench erupted as they watched the net swish.
With only two seconds left on the clock, and having to inbound the ball through Weir, it wasn't enough for a comeback and the Hawks could board their bus back to Hartford 2-2.
The next time the Hawks take the court will be at home on Tuesday against Niagara at 7pm.