Late in the second half, while diving for a loose ball, St. Joseph’s guard Langston Galloway hit the deck hard and so too did his mouth.
The game aired on TruTV, and the clip of Galloway’s face colliding with the court is enough to make you cringe. The image of Galloway’s tooth flying onto the court revealed the brutality of the injury.
The St. Joe’s medical staff kept the tooth in a cup on the bench as Galloway missed only one possession due to the injury. The Hawks and Notre Dame were in a dog fight late and the toughness of their junior guard was on display when they needed him the most.
Geared by a 13-0 run that carried over from regulation and into overtime, St. Joe’s came back to upset the Fightin’ Irish by a final score of 79-70.
The victory on Friday night pushes St. Joe’s into the championship round against Florida State as part of the 2012 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
Following the win, the instant reaction circled around the toughness and overall ability that the Hawks feature this season. Head coach Phil Martelli has a squad with an increasingly high expectations after being dubbed the preseason favorite to win the Atlantic 10 Conference. Naysayers aside, the Hawks proved their worth on Friday night.
Martelli played only seven guys in the upset win, while three of his five starters, playing all 44 minutes. That number includes Galloway, minus the one possession to address the issue with his tooth.
As regulation winded down, Notre Dame appeared to have the advantage, but it was that late run that fueled St. Joe’s to victory. The Fightin’ Irish will move forward, now looking to salvage one victory in Brooklyn, as they face BYU in the consolation game.
Yet, what’s the most impressive part of St. Jose’s upset victory? They did so without starting guard Carl Jones.
Jones, a senior guard was suspended for the first three games of the season. The team’s play maker and senior leader has averaged 17.0 points per game in each of the past two seasons. Jones will not play in the team’s championship contest against Florida State, but will return next week against Harvard.
St. Joe’s and Florida State will tip-off at 9:30pm (EST) on Saturday.
Paul Seaver is the College Basketball Network Manager at Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter: @TheArenaPulse