Despite Saint Joseph's having won 9 of their last 10 games, many Hawk fans were still skeptical because they felt most of their wins had come against sub-par competition.
Instead, Saint Joseph's laid an egg.
In one of their poorest overall performances of the entire season, Saint Joseph's fell at Richmond 77-62 on Saturday afternoon, putting an end to their four-game winning streak.
Early on, DeAndre Bembry and Halil Kanacevic got off to strong starts for Saint Joseph's, scoring the Hawks first 13 points as the Hawks took a 16-15 lead with 12:12 left in the first half after a three-pointer by Chris Wilson.
Deion Taylor knocked down a three-pointer a minute and a half later to put Richmond in front 18-16. The Hawks would never lead again.
Richmond (14-6, 4-1 Atlantic 10) got hot from three-point range, knocking down 7 of their first 14 three-point attempts as Saint Joseph's (13-6, 3-2 A-10) continually gave the Spiders wide-open looks from beyond the arc as Richmond took a 35-28 lead into the locker room.
Richmond carried their momentum into the second half as they started on an 11-2 run punctuated by a Terry Allen three-pointer to give the Spiders their largest lead of the game, 46-30, with 15:41 to play. Allen, a sophomore forward who comes off the bench for Richmond, scored seven straight points during the Spiders spurt.
Saint Joseph's continued to struggle on both sides of the floor, eventually falling behind by 19 points after a Trey Davis dunk with 4:34 remaining.
The Hawks attempted to make a late charge with Langston Galloway reaching a milestone as he knocked down his second three-pointer of the game with 3:48 to play, cutting the Richmond lead to 64-50 while setting the Saint Joseph's program record for three-pointers made in a career, passing former Hawk Pat Carroll.
Another Galloway three-pointer extended the Hawks run to 13-2 and suddenly Saint Joseph's was within single-digits, down 66-58 with 2:22 left.
Bembry had a chance to bring St. Joe's closer, but he missed a running one-hander from short-range and Richmond knocked down their free throws from that point forward to keep Saint Joseph's at bay.
It was a balanced scoring attack for Richmond with five players scoring in double-figures, led by Kendall Anthony with 19 points while his back-court mate Cedrick Lindsay netted 16 points on just six field goal attempts in the win. Davis notched his first career double-double as he scored a career-high 14 points while corralling 12 rebounds. Taylor matched a season-high in scoring, finishing with 11 points in the Spiders victory.
Kanacevic led all scorers with 21 points along with a career-best 19 rebounds to put up his fourth double-double of the season. Galloway finished with 13 points, Bembry netted 11, while Wilson finished with 10 points. However, Galloway, Bembry and Wilson shot a poor 14-of-45 combined from the field for the game.
A main point of contention for those who doubt Saint Joseph's credentials was certainly exploited by Richmond during the course of this contest. The Hawks depth has been a question mark and in this game it was a big problem as the Spiders bench outscored their St. Joe's counterparts 24-2 for the game.
Saint Joseph's will look to bounce back on Wednesday evening as they face off against the Dayton Flyers in Dayton, Oh. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. tip and will be broadcast regionally by The Comcast Network. Dayton has struggled recently, as they are off to a 1-4 start in Atlantic 10 play. The Flyers are coming off of an 88-76 loss at the hands of Rhode Island on Saturday afternoon.
Saint Joseph's has not won at Dayton since the 2001 season and lost to the Flyers in Dayton 60-54 last season.