PHILADELPHIA, PA. 2/15/2014 – The Saint Joseph’s are rolling along winning 13 of their last 16 games. A combination of offensive balance and senior leadership led the Hawks to a 75 – 64 win over the La Salle Explorers at the Gola Arena. Five Saint Joseph’s player scored in double figures led by senior guard Langston Galloway with a game-high 18 points. Saint Joseph’s Coach Phil Martelli credits his team staying together as the reason for winning
“It’s them, it’s all about them,” Saint Joseph’s Coach Phil Martelli said about the seniors.
“After we lost to Temple and Villanova the same week, the confidence left,” Martelli said. “I met with the players and begged them to keep believing in each other and what we were trying to do, and everything would be all right. It’s them. The players have done this. Their character is much more impressive than their physical play.”
Saint Joseph’s was able to answer every La Salle charge. Midway through the second half the Explorers cut a 16-point Hawk lead to eight at 56 – 48 on a three-pointer by La Salle senior guard Tyrone Garland with 10:54 to play. Saint Joseph’s answered by scoring the next seven led by freshman DeAndre Bembry who scored 5 points in the run. Bembry ended the game with 16 points, all scored in the second half.
The Explorers cut the lead back to 68 – 62 on a three-pointer by senior guard Taylor Dunn. However, the Hawks would close out the game making 7 of 8 free throws by Galloway, senior forwards Halil Kanacevic and Ronald Roberts. The Hawks seniors combined for a 43 of the 75 points scored in the game.
The Explorers stayed in the contest, but could not get a lead. Senior forward Jerrell Wright led La Salle in the second half in which he scored all of his team-high 16 points. Wright was on the bench with fouls in the first half.
La Salle could not get the sustained run to erase the deficit, Explorers Coach Dr. John Giannini feels his team has not played hard enough to match the success of last season.
“To play at a high level you need to bring a minimal amount of passion and energy,” said Giannini. “We have great kids. They want to do well, but we are at a deficit of the intangibles of passion and energy. It’s not attitude. It’s an intangible.”
Roberts scored 15 points for Saint Joe’s, while Kanacevic contributed 10 points, 6 rebounds, and a game-high 6 assists. Junior guard Chris Wilson added 10 points.
“Our balance is what makes us go,” said Galloway. “Ron (Roberts) and Halil (Kanacevic) got us going. Then we got going outside a little bit. Then we finished it off going back inside.”
La Salle also got 15 points each from senior guard Tyreek Duren, who scored the first 8 points for the Explorers, and Garland.
Saint Joseph’s improves to 17 – 7 on the season and 7 – 3 in Atlantic 10 play contending for third place in the conference. The Hawks prepare for a February 19 game at Rhode Island. La Salle drops to 12 – 12 on the season and is 4 – 6 in the Atlantic 10. The Explorers travel to Dayton for their next game on February 19. This game did not count in the Big Five standings. The March 9 game on Hawk Hill is the city series game.
Written By: Glenn Papazian