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Hot-shooting Hawks notch first Atlantic 10 win over George Mason

Halil Kanacevic led Saint Joseph's with 23 points as the Hawks defeated George Mason 84-80.
Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Despite being short-handed due to injuries, Saint Joseph's notched their first conference victory of the season as the Hawks knocked off George Mason 84-80 on Saturday Evening at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va.

The Hawks were without two notable players as star forward Ronald Roberts Jr. missed the game with back spasms while Isaiah Miles missed his second consecutive game as he continues his recovery from a concussion.

Saint Joseph's (10-5, 1-1 Atlantic 10) overcame those injuries with their best shooting effort of the season as the Hawks shot 59 percent from the field for the game.

George Mason (7-9, 0-2 A-10) went into the locker room with the lead as the Patriots were red-hot from three-point range, knocking down six three-pointers in the opening half.

The Patriots also feasted on 10 Saint Joseph's turnovers in the opening stanza as George Mason led 45-40 at halftime.

Saint Joseph's re-took the lead early in the second half as they went on a 12-2 run over the first 3:35 to take a 53-47 advantage after consecutive close-range baskets by Halil Kanacevic.

George Mason clawed their way back to the lead with a 9-2 run of their own and with 6:34 remaining the Patriots found themselves in front 67-65.

That set the stage for a late surge from Saint Joseph's to take command of the game and secure the win.

The Hawks took the lead for good when Papa Ndao canned his third three-pointer of the game to give Saint Joseph's a 68-67 lead with 6:12 to play. Ndao played a key role for the Hawks in place of Roberts as he scored a career-high 13 points in 37 minutes including a career-high 3 made three-pointers.

George Mason went nearly six minutes without a made field goal as Saint Joseph's pulled away late and sealed the victory by going 6-for-7 from the free throw line over the final minute of the contest.

Kanacevic led all scorers with 23 points in the win for Saint Joseph's while Langston Galloway finished with 20 points and knocked down 3 three-pointers in the win. Freshman DeAndre Bembry continued his impressive freshman campaign and scored 17 points for the Hawks.

Bryon Allen and Jalen Jenkins each scored 20 points in defeat for George Mason. Jenkins also added 7 rebounds and 5 steals in an impressive freshman performance of his own. The Patriots lost despite making 11 of their 23 three-point attempts.

Saint Joseph's returns home for their first Atlantic 10 home game of the season on Wednesday evening as they'll host Duquesne at 7 p.m. at Hagan Arena. The Dukes won their opening A-10 game against Fordham on Wednesday and host La Salle on Sunday.