Hawks Lose A Late Lead
PHILADELPHIA, PA. 12/22/2012 – The Saint Joseph’s Hawks expected more offense this season. They are not getting it. It was evident as the Fairfield Stags came into the Hagan Arena and left with a 60 – 57 victory. The Hawks made 17 of 51 field goal attempts (33.3%), and did not make a basket over the last 4:38 in the loss. Coach Phil Martelli believes his team has not been performing up to expectations.
“There are too many loose plays,” said Martelli. “We are struggling offensively. It’s been a dead struggle, and has been since the first of the year.”
In order to counteract some inconsistency in scoring, especially from the perimeter, the Hawks wanted to get the ball to the inside players. The strategy succeeded to a certain extent. In the first half the ball got inside to junior forward Ronald Roberts who scored 17 first half points. He was the main focus on the offense as the Hawks trailed 28 – 27 at halftime. Roberts scored a
team-high 19 for the game.
“We wanted the get the ball inside more,” Roberts said. “I played well in the first half, but in the second half not as well.
Junior center C.J. Aiken scored 13 points, 6 came from the foul line. The Hawks big men shot a combined 10 – 25 for the game.
“We thought it would be better trying to get the ball into the post,” said Martelli. “We have to finish. We can’t put the ball in there and not finish.”
Saint Joseph’s also did not have an answer for Fairfield guard Derek Needham who scored a game-high 24 points. Saint Joe’s lead 57 – 56 with 29.3 seconds left on a free throw by sophomore guard Chris Wilson. Needham made a three-pointer with 16.1 seconds to play to give the lead back to Fairfield at 59 – 57. It was the 14th lead change of the game. Needham converted a free throw with 5.9 seconds left to finish the scoring. Senior guard Carl Jones missed a shot at the buzzer to end the game.
Junior guard Langston Galloway scored 15 points, but Jones had only 3. Roberts added 11 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season.
The Hawks are playing deliberate basketball, but it is not fast enough at this point.
“We look like we’re playing in quicksand,” said Martelli.
“They played with a lot more energy that we did,” said Roberts.
The record of this promising season at this point is 5 – 4. The Hawks have three more games before they get into Atlantic 10 Conference play. There is time to get the situation rectified, but the play and players will need to improve.
“We’re a good team that hasn’t played well,” Martelli observed. “We’re not practicing well, and don’t have anyone exceeding how well they should play.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian