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St. Joseph’s finds a new gear ahead of Villanova matchup

By not looking too far ahead to Villanova, the Hawks took care of business against Binghamton.

Taylor Funk of St. Joseph's University shoots his shot.
Taylor Funk of St. Joseph's University shoots his shot.Read moreSJU Athletics

If the Hawks put forth this kind of effort on Saturday, they won’t be an easy task for Villanova.

Jordan Hall led the way in a 79-57 victory over Binghamton and notched his third double-double of the season, recording 15 points and 12 rebounds. The Hawks’ star hit a three only six seconds into the game, setting the tone.

“[Hall] continues to pass the ball, you know, he had three assists,” said head coach Billy Lange. “He got 12 rebounds and plus a lot of other passes he makes, it just gets the offense started.”

By comparison, Taylor Funk logged only 24 minutes on Wednesday, his lowest this season. Funk is still shooting an impressive 52.8% percent from downtown, after going 1-3 from three on Wednesday.

In a quality defensive performance, the Hawks collectively held Binghamton to 3-16 from three point range. Close out defense from Cameron Brown and Kacper Klaczek really frustrated the Bearcats’ shooters.

Lange will look for improvement on turnovers, as the Hawks are still struggling to take care of the ball. Funk accounted for 4 of the team’s 13.

Ejike Obinna was perfect from the field, shooting 5-5 along with three monstrous dunks. That boosts his field goal percentage to a strong 61.4 percent on the season. Klaczek poured in a season-high 8 points along with two emphatic blocks that had the Hawks student section on their feet. The freshman from Poland looked more confident out on the floor.

“He’s had a very transient last few years, so he hasn’t had a chance to be settled and learn a lot because of COVID,” said Lange, “I think the longer that he can just be one place at one time, focus on very simple things, the better he will get.”

Cameron Brown got his second start of the season on Wednesday and did not disappoint, scoring 13 points.

“Things are very flexible and fluid [with the starting lineup,”] said Lange. “[Brown] earned that from the coaches and the players. So, he’s there until he’s not there.”