10:15- That’s all for tonight; hope you enjoyed our live blog from the first ever game at the Hagan Arena. A thought to go home with: The Hawks lost their first game in the old Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse in 1949, a 62-46 loss to Rhode Island. Just some food for thought about what the next sixty years may have in store.
10:10- Well, it was far from pretty on both ends–“Not a thing of beauty,” as Martelli put it–but the Hawks were able to get it done tonight, and all with Garrett Williamson as a spectator for most of the overtime period. Govens stepped up big in the waning minutes to add some shine to an overall lackluster performance in which Martelli said he “started the first half too slow, and then in the second half, played at a pace he’s not capable of.” He still finished with a game-high 23, 18 of which came in the second half and overtime.
Lots of credit has to go to the youngsters, with Carl Jones (who missed out on the start only because of a missed class this week) and Todd O’Brien coming up huge down the stretch. O’Brien nailed the eventual game winner, and finished with nine points and eight rebounds. Jones was Martelli’s go-to guy down the stretch, logging 31 minutes and finishing with 13 points, including 9 of 12 from the line.
Also in double figures for the Hawks was Idris Hilliard, who slowed in the second half with only one field goal, but still managed 16 points and seven rebounds while leading the Hawks with 40 minutes played. Williamson, despite eight turnovers, also chipped in 11. He and Govens combined for 13 of the Hawks’ 19 turnovers, against just 11 total assists on the game, which was one of Martelli’s biggest post-game concerns.
The Dragons were led by 20 points from Jamie Harris, and a double-double total of 16 points and 12 rebounds. Derrick Thomas added 14 on 4-11 from three. Evan Neisler was held in check tonight, managing just three points on 1-3 shooting against five fouls. Despite a 45-34 rebounding edge for the Dragons, they committed eight more fouls and allowed the Hawks over twice as many free throw opportunities (42 to 20), which the Hawks converted at a 78.6 percent clip (33-42). The Dragons also had three players, including two starters, foul out to go along with a technical foul and two intentional fouls.
But the star of the show tonight, according to Martelli, was the at least 1,700-man strong student section, which he admitted “choked him up”.
“If I had dreamed what it would look like, not that I did, but that would have surpassed my dream,” he said. “They lifted our team with their energy, and I salute them for that.” Continue reading