PHILADELPHIA, PA. 12/22/2016 – It was a busy week for the Saint Joseph’s Hawks between exams, holiday commitments, practice, and finally, the game. Coach Phil Martelli wanted a solid effort from his team. He got it as the Hawks got off to a quick start and easily defeated the Lafayette Leopards 92 – 63 at the Hagan Arena.
“Coming in here to be average is not what we need, and is not what is accepted,” said Martelli.
The guard duo of Shavar Newkirk and Lamarr Kimble continue to lead Saint Joe’s in scoring. In this game Newkirk led the Hawks with 24 points, and Kimble added 22 and handed out a game-high tying 4 assists. The guards made a combined 17 field goals on 30 shots. As a team SJU shot 35 of 67 (52.2%).
It was Newkirk that got it going at the start scoring the first 10 Hawk points leading to a 10 – 2 lead in the first four minutes of play. The lead would be 45 – 29 at halftime, and would grow to as many as 32 points.
However, it was the defense that set the tone for the game. Saint Joe’s forced 20 turnovers that led to a 26 – 7 advantage in points off turnovers, and allowed the offense to flow.
“The game was flowing more and we were able to get transition points,” said Kimble about the impact of the defense. “The defense created our offense.”
The 92 point effort was the highest offensive output for SJU this season. Charlie Brown contributed 13 points and had 8 rebounds. Chris Clover added 10 points.
For Lafayette (4 – 7), coached by Fran O’Hanlon, Nick Lidner had a team-best 14 points and Matt Klinewski put up 10 points and 7 rebounds.
Saint Joseph’s is now 6 – 5. Atlantic 10 play starts as George Washington pays a visit to Hawk Hill on December 30. Conference games will indicate the true evaluation of this team.
“We are what our record is,” Martelli said. “We are 6 – 5 and staring at what this league is to be in January and February.”
“We have nineteen league games, including Penn which I consider a league game, to see what we can make of this year.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian