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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Breakthrough at the Palestra


Men’s basketball picks up first Big 5 win

Hawk fans gathered at The Palestra on Saturday Jan. 21 to cheer on the Saint Joseph’s University men’s basketball team in a Big 5 matchup against the University of Pennsylvania Quakers. The Hawks prevailed with a score of 78-71, putting an end to their three-game losing streak.

Sophomore Lamarr Kimble and freshman Charlie Brown led the effort, scoring 22 and 19 points, respectively. Much of St. Joe’s scoring came from foul shots – 31 out of 43.

Junior James Demery scored 15 points and sophomore Chris Clover scored 10 points.

According to Head Coach Phil Martelli, the 43 foul shots the Hawks attempted were due in part to one-on-one situations early in the game, playing to the rim, and playing downhill.

At the start of the game, Penn won the tip-off and took the lead, 10-6, within the first five minutes. Their momentum was interrupted by Kimble’s 3-pointer, a dunk by senior Javon Baumann, and jump shots by Brown all in a row to give St. Joe’s a three point lead, 13-10.

From here, the Hawks took control of the game, creating an 11-point lead 14 minutes into the first half. Within one minute, Demery drained 4 free throws in a row to make the score 31-19 with just over five minutes left in the half.

St. Joe’s dominated the court, grabbing 13 defensive rebounds in the first half. With just over two minutes left, the Quakers began to make a comeback sparked by back-to-back 3-pointers. They gained enough momentum to cut the lead to four at halftime, 35-31.

The beginning of the second half proved productive for Penn as they took back the lead just two minutes in, making the score 36-35. Brown quickly took the lead with a 3-pointer to give St. Joe’s the advantage. Demery answered with a free throw and a layup, as did Clover with a 3 -pointer to increase the lead to 44-36 early into the half.

With just over 10 minutes left to play, sophomore Markell Lodge pleased Hawk fans by giving St. Joe’s a 52-47 lead.

Penn managed to bring the game within four points with two and a half minutes left of play, but a slew of St. Joe’s foul shots secured the win. The Hawks were able to hold off the Quakers and cruise to a 78-71 victory.

This win marks St. Joe’s first Big 5 win of the season, bringing their record to 1-2 in the Big 5 and 9-9 overall.

After going without a win for two weeks, Martelli was happy to defeat Penn before going into a conference game next week.

“To walk around for two weeks without a win, it’s been miserable” Martelli said.

The injured knee of the Hawks’ leading scorer, junior Shavar Newkirk has been difficult for the team, but Martelli does not see it as the reason for the team’s recent lack of success.

“We are not injured,” Martelli said. “This team is not injured. The team that was dressed in that locker room and came out on the court, that is our team.They [the injuries] have nothing to do with it.”

He sees their problems stemming from patterns seen throughout the season so far.

“The recurrent themes – the turnovers, shot selection, all of the insanity had to be corrected in a harsh way,” Martelli said.

Now sitting at a .500 record, Martelli’s goal is merely to be better.

When asked about whether this season can meet his high expectations, Martelli said that for all 22 years he’s been coaching, his team has only ever lived with the motivation of being better tomorrow.

With high hopes of improvement for the remainder of the season, the Hawks will travel to New York for an Atlantic 10 conference game against St. Bonaventure University, followed by another Big 5 game at home on Saturday, Jan. 28 against La Salle University.

The Hawks will also be supporting Coaches vs. Cancer.

As the chair of the Coaches vs. Cancer council, Martelli is passionate about the cause.

“We are no longer interested in beating cancer, that is not what we are in this for; it is time to start thinking about crushing cancer,” he said.

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