PHILADELPHIA, PA. 11/17/2014 – A layup by Aaron Brown with 1:30 to play gave Saint Joseph’s a two point lead they would hold, and survived a last second three-pointer by Drexel to earn a 52 – 49 victory at the DAC. It was a game that was going to be decided by determination as much a points.
“I was really happy with the compete,” said Saint Joseph’s Coach Martelli. “We knew that’s what it would take.”
With the score tied at 47 Brown made a contested shot. Drexel got back to within a point at 50 – 49 on two free throws by guard Damion Lee with 16 seconds on the clock. The Dragons sent the Hawks freshman guard Shavar Newkirk to the line 5 seconds later. He made both in a pressure situation to give Saint Joe’s their margin of victory.
“He has something in him, and I thought he fought,” Martelli said of Newkirk.
The Dragons still had an opportunity at the end. The ball got to Damion Lee, the leading scorer in the game with 23 points. Lee got an open shot from beyond the arc that bounced away as the horn sounded.
“I thought it was good,” Lee said about the last shot. “It was far out, but once it left my hand, I thought it was in.”
He was defended on the play by Saint Joseph’s forward DeAndre Bembry who scored a team-high 13 points.
Defense would be a determining factor. The Hawks used pressure defense most of the game. The Dragons wanted to make it a half court game, but the Hawks forced it to be more full court. It is a style that Saint Joe’s will use this season.
“We’re committed to it (the press),” said Martelli. “We’ve got to commit to it. I was insistent on doing it every possession.”
Drexel made 18 field goals on 53 attempts (34%) and turned the ball over 14 times. Lee was the only player for the Dragons to score in double figures for the Dragons. The hosts had an early lead, but were not able to put much distance between themselves and the visitors. The poor shooting plagued Drexel at Colorado and again in this game.
“We got decent looks, but if you don’t put the ball in the basket, it doesn’t matter,” said Drexel Coach Bruiser Flint.
Saint Joseph’s (1 – 1) heads west to visit Gonzaga in an Preseason NIT contest. Drexel (0 – 2) will go after their first win of the season in the Charleston Classic against Miami.
Written By: Glenn Papazian