After three consecutive losses, the Hawks faced a tough task tonight: breaking a losing streak against Tubby Smith-coached, 20th-ranked Minnesota. In the end, the Hawks fell 83-73, despite brilliant performances from sophomore guard Tay Jones and freshman guard Langston Galloway. In the losing effort, Jones had 29 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists, while Galloway contributed 21 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 7 steals.
Coming into the game, Minnesota had a significant advantage in the frontcourt, and they took advantage of it tonight. Forward Trevor Mbakwe had 12 points and 16 boards for the Golden Gophers. Ralph Sampson III was also a factor, scoring 10 points and grabbing 5 rebounds. While he is not the most famous player in his family, guard Devoe Joseph was a huge factor for Minnesota, hitting 4 3's en route to a 19 point performance. Devoe's brother, Corey, is a freshman at Texas this year and was a McDonald's All-American last year.
The officiating in the game came into question on a number of occasions, including one specific instance in the second half. Hawk freshman Ronald Roberts, who had a solid night with 6 points and 6 boards in 20 minutes, was hammered while going up strong at the rim. When the whistles remained silent, the Hagan went wild, with one person in particular vehemently disagreeing with the call. Saint Joseph's head coach Phil Martelli ripped his suit coat off while arguing the call, and hurled the coat down his bench.
As mentioned above, the Hawks were led by Jones and Galloway, but also got solid performances from a number of other players. Daryus Quarles had 6 points and 5 assists and CJ Aiken led the team with 7 rebounds.
There were a few familiar faces in the building tonight. First, foremost, and tallest was Ralph Sampson II, who stood head and shoulder above everyone else in the Hagan. Current Philadelphia 76er Jodie Meeks was also in attendance, behind the Minnesota bench. Meeks was recruited by and played for Tubby Smith while he was at Kentucky.