NEW YORK — It would be too easy to say Langston Galloway fought tooth and nail for Saint Joseph’s on Friday night.
The junior guard had a tooth knocked out when he dived on the court for a loose ball with 5 minutes to play in regulation.
He missed less than a minute of play and returned to score six points including the final baskets of regulation and overtime as the Hawks beat No. 20 Notre Dame 79-70 in the semifinals of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at the Barclays Center.
“I dove on the floor and someone jumped on top of me and my face went into the floor,” Galloway said. “I got the tooth and they tried putting it back but it hurt too much so they stopped. Hey we won.”
Ronald Roberts had 21 points and 16 rebounds for the Hawks and he scored the first seven points of the overtime as the Hawks pulled away, outscoring the Fighting Irish 13-4 in the extra 5 minutes.
Saint Joseph’s closed regulation on an 8-0 run to tie it at 66.
“We had a couple of wild plays but we passed those tests and were down six and to come back against that veteran group and the way they were shooting it, I am really happy we have advanced our game,” Saint Joseph’s coach Phil Martelli said. “We will have to be better tomorrow than we were tonight.”
The Hawks (2-0) will play Florida State in Saturday night’s championship game. The Seminoles (3-0) beat BYU 88-70.
Jack Cooley had 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Fighting Irish (2-1), who didn’t score over the final 4 minutes of regulation and first 4 minutes of overtime.
“What an unbelievable November game,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. “We’re disappointed because we were up eight but they got second shots but what hurt us when we had control is that we had some open looks but couldn’t hit them. I’m disappointed with our effort against their frontline which is a very good one.”
Chris Wilson had 19 points for the Hawks while Halil Kanacevic had 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
The Hawks are going to play the three big men together.
“We’re going this way,” Martelli said. “We’ll work the kinks out as we go with the big guys because they are three of our best players.”
Kanacevic said the coaches have been “talking about the three of us playing since the end of the last game of last season. We’re learning and we’re developing some chemistry.”
Scott Martin had 13 points for Notre Dame while Eric Atkins had 12 points and 10 assists.
Atkins hit a 3 with 4 minutes left to give Notre Dame a 66-58 lead. Galloway had four points in the closing spurt, including the drive that tied the game at 66 with 1:39 left.
Jerian Grant missed a drive for Notre Dame, Kanacevic missed a 3 for the Hawks and C.J. Aikens got the offensive rebound but missed a shot as he was falling.
Atkins stood dribbling alone with 19 seconds left as Notre Dame held for the last shot. Atkins drove but missed the shot and Cooley couldn’t really get control of the rebound.
Atkins fell to the court screaming in pain with cramps in both legs. He was attended to by trainers and returned to the game with 2:30 left in the overtime.
“We had good looks but we just couldn’t knock them down in a timely manner at the end of the game,” said Atkins who came to the postgame news conference with ice bags on the back of each leg. “They did a great job defending us the whole game.”
Galloway capped the game with an impressive dunk as the final buzzer sounded. He finished 13 points.
“Those two shots will give me more confidence as we go along,' he said.
This was the last game of a three-game suspension for senior guard Carl Jones who led the Hawks in scoring the past two seasons. He was suspended for violation of community standards.