PHILADELPHIA, January 7, 2012 – Saint Joseph’s did not score a basket over the last 6:36 of the game. Their late game lead of 5 points did not hold as the Charlotte 49’ers outscored the Hawks 11-4 over that stretch to leave the Hagan Arena with a 57 – 52 victory. Saint Joseph’s has lost two of their last three games. The game they did win was in overtime against Duquesne. The lack of playing with urgency is of concern to Coach Phil Martelli, and is a reason why they are not playing winning basketball.
“We had no pop, no juice,” Martelli said.
“We got exactly what we deserved, and the concern was this was a week of bad basketball. “Four of the last five halves we’ve had under 30 points, so there has to be a lot of soul-searching starting with me. There was no aspect of the game where I would say we looked sharp. They were aggressive and we didn’t play the ball to the basket at all. We’ve been making shots, but today we didn’t make shots.”
Saint Joseph’s started slowly in the game. The Hawks trailed 31 – 24 at halftime. Normally a good outside shooting team the Crimson and Gray missed all 8 of their shots from beyond the arc, and committed 9 turnovers. Leading scorer Junior guard Carl “Tay” Jones did not score and Sophomore guard Langston Galloway, their second leading scorer, had 4 points.
However, the Hawks did get going in the second half. Jones hit a three-pointer for his first points of the game with 16:28 to play. Jones and Galloway combined for a 10 – 0 run and a three by Tay put the Hawks ahead 38 – 36 with 13:16 to play. The Hawks kept the lead down the stretch. A layup by Sophomore forward Halil Kanacevic gave the Hawks their largest lead of 5 at 48 – 43 with 6:36 to play. Saint Joseph’s would get only two more free throws the rest of the way. Charlotte pulled to within 2 points at 50 – 48 on a three by guard Javarris Barnett. The 49’ers scored the next 6 points for a 54 – 50 lead with 1:21 to play.
“We didn’t come to play today, we were flat,” said Galloway. “We picked up our energy the first couple of minutes (of the second half), but we lulled around and lost this game.”
Despite taking the lead in the half with the run, Martelli was not impressed.
“That was just being at home, that meant nothing,” Martelli said.
Saint Joseph’s got only 2 free throws the rest of the way. They did have two near misses that might have made the difference. Freshman guard Chris Wilson put up a three-pointer with 1:21 and the team trailing by 4. The ball rolled around the rim, sat atop the rim, then fell off. Kanacevic fouled out on the rebound. Jones missed a three that would have tied the game with 13 seconds to play. The ball went halfway down, and then came back out.
Turnovers were a factor as Saint Joseph’s committed 16 that led to 18 Charlotte points off turnovers. The Saint Joseph’s starting guards combined for 9 turnovers. The 49’ers had 13 steals, 4 by Henry, 3 by center Chris Braswell. Henry and Briscoe led Charlotte with 11, DeMario Mayfield had 9 rebounds.
“We didn’t take care of the ball,” said Galloway. “We were lackadaisical.”
Jones scored a game-high 14 points, Kanacevic added 12. Sophomore forward Ronald Roberts pulled down 8 rebounds.
Saint Joseph’s is 11 – 5 on the season, 1-1 in Atlantic 10 play. The Hawks host Fordham on January 11 at the Hagan Arena.
Written By: Glenn Papazian