Saint Joseph’s was riding a two game winning streak, and hoped to get off to a winning start in the Atlantic 10. It didn’t happen for Coach Phil Martelli’s Hawks as the lose the conference opener 75 – 63 to the Duquesne Dukes at the Hagan Arena. Martelli was disappointed with not taking advantage of playing on their home court.
“Home games are like gold,” said Martelli. This one is more than just a loss. We have to get back to a swagger where people are afraid to come into this building, and that is not the case right now.”
A major reason for the loss was the turnovers. Duquesne averages getting 20 turnovers per game. Saint Joseph’s turned the ball over 19 times in the game leading to 19 Duquesne points. In the first half 12 Hawk turnovers resulted in 17 points for the opposition. Leading 22 – 13 with 11:54 left to play, the Dukes went on a 20 – 11 run fueled by 7 Saint Joseph’s turnovers.
The halftime lead of 42 – 26 increased to 56 – 30 with 14:50 to play as the Hawks started the second half with 8 missed shots on 11 possessions and committed 3 turnovers.
“The key going into the game was turnovers,” said Martelli. “They (Duquesne) were forcing 20 turnovers a game. If we could hold our turnovers to under 10, then I’d take every chance. And everything we told them would happen, happened. If we could catch and pass the ball we’ll be fine, and we didn’t do it. So, we got it handed to us.”
Saint Joseph’s made a charge and used a 23 – 7 run to cut the lead to 63 – 53 with 4:43 remaining, but got no closer.
“We strung together some stops and had an offensive charge in our game,” Martelli said.
Freshman Forward Ronald Roberts scored 13 points and had 10 rebounds. It was the first double-double by a Hawk player this season. Freshman Guard Langston Galloway had a team-high 20 points. Freshman Guard Daruis Quarles had 12 points and Sophomore Guard Carl Jones scored 11. Duquesne Forward Bill Clark had a game-high 24 points making 9 of 14 shots, and he was 4 of 7 from beyond the arc. Clark pulled down 9 rebounds. Forward Damian Saunders scored 17 points. Duquesne registered 14 steals.
The win was the first for Duquesne was their first at Saint Joseph’s since February 15, 1992. The victory has special meaning to Coach Ron Everhart.
“For me to be able to come into Philadelphia, play a Big Five team and win is a great thing,” Everhart said. “On top of that when you come into this arena and see the banners, a guy on the other bench who has been to Sweet 16’s, Elite 8’s, and everything else, it’s a pretty big deal.”
Key Run of the Game
Duquesne lead 42 – 26 at halftime. The Dukes opened the second half with a 14 – 4 run to take a 56 – 30 lead with 14:50 on the clock. The Hawks did get to within 10 with four and a half minutes to go, but that was as close as they would get.
Key Stat of the Game
Saint Joseph’s committed 19 turnovers leading to 19 Duquesne points. The Dukes had 14 steals as Guard Sean Johnson had 3 steals as did Guard T.J. McConnell who leads the Atlantic 10 in Steals.
Key Players in the Game
For Saint Joseph’s – Forward Ronald Roberts who had the first double-double of the season (13 and 10) for Saint Joseph’s. Langston Galloway had a team-high 20 points making 4 of 6 three-point shots.
For Duquesne – Forward Bill Clark who scored a game-high 24 points and grabbed 9 rebounds.
Point Where the Game Was Decided
Saint Joseph’s made a charge to get to within 10 at 63 – 53 with 4:43 on the clock. Duquesne responded with a 7 – 1 run on baskets by Saunders and a McConnell 3 to increase their advantage to 70 – 54 with 2:24 left to play.
Thoughts and Musings
Coach Phil Martelli wants a home court advantage. He should get that once his players grow through this experience. But there needs to be more energy in the floor and in the crowd. They shoud get to where they want to go, but it will take some time. Give them a chance.
Written By: Glenn Papazian