The Georgia Bulldogs and Saint Joseph’s Hawks will look to continue their strong starts to the season as they battle for a spot in the championship game of the Sunshine Slam when they meet on Monday in Daytona Beach, Fla.
The Bulldogs (3-1) opened the Sunshine Slam by knocking off visiting Bucknell 65-61 behind Terry Roberts’ 20 points on Friday in Athens, Ga., before departing for Florida.
Jabri Abdur-Rahim added 10 points and four rebounds, while Frank Anselem and Jaxon Etter chipped in eight points apiece for Georgia.
“(Roberts) is just a baller,” Etter said. “When the lights come on, he gets competitive. I’ve never seen more of a competitor in my entire life.”
The Bulldogs saw their 14-point lead cut to 63-61 on Andre Screen’s dunk with eight seconds left, but Justin Hill made two free throws with 5.9 seconds left to secure the win.
The Hawks (2-1) started the tournament with a 99-79 win over visiting Albany in which Saint Joseph’s jumped out to a 15-0 lead and were up by 30 at halftime on Thursday in Philadelphia.
After a season-opening loss to No. 3 Houston and a 63-59 win over Lafayette, the Hawks exploded for 99 points in their win over the Great Danes.
Erik Reynolds II scored a career-high 32 points by going 10-for-15 from the field, including 5-for-7 from 3-point range, to go along with six rebounds and three assists.
Cameron Brown collected his second consecutive double-double, scoring 17 points and adding 11 rebounds, while Lynn Greer III went 6-for-7 from the field to finish with a career-high 19 points to go with seven assists. Ejike Obinna was the fourth Hawk to score in double figures, finishing with 13 points and seven rebounds.
“We’re just starting to find our identity as a team, and we came out and played some hard defense at the start. That was our main focus,” Greer said. “We wanted to play as hard as we could on defense, and that translated to offense.
“We need to keep being dogs defensively. That’s the only thing I really care about, because the offense is going to come.”
The winner will face UAB or South Florida in the championship game on Tuesday, with the losers meeting afterward.
–Field Level Media