The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

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

Open season in the A-10

The St. Joe’s bench celebrates Demery’s dunk (Photo by Luke Malanga ’20).

St. Joe’s finishes the regular season off strong

The St. Joe’s men’s basketball team capped off Senior Day with a 78-70 victory over La Salle University on March 3. With this final home game victory, the Hawks secured the fourth seed in the Atlantic 10 Tournament.

Senior guard Michael Booth, senior forward James Demery, senior guard Shavar Newkirk, senior guard Kyle Thompson, senior guard Christian Vega and senior forward Jai Williams were all honored at the Senior Day celebration.

In a post-game ceremony, St. Joe’s inducted athletics director Don DiJulia into the Athletics Hall of Fame in acknowledgement of his services to the university.

“It takes a team, the St. Joe’s community team,” DiJulia said. “The committed, passionate, dedicated and spirited St. Joe’s community has inspired me on many occasions.”

The Hawks got off to a rough start in the first half of play. Within the first seven minutes, La Salle’s redshirt junior guard Pookie Powell scored three straight threes to put the Explorers up 13-7.

“We were most concerned with Powell on the fast break where he came at us,”  head coach Phil Martelli said. “In the second half, we paid a little more attention to where he was.”

Freshman forward Anthony Longpre delivered a quality shooting performance in the first half. This allowed the Hawks to fight back and gain control of the game with a score of 39-33. He finished the half 4-5 from the field and 3-3 from three with 11 points.

Demery said that better communication allowed them to fight back toward the end of the first half.

“It was our defense and communication that gave us that spark,” Demery said. “When we picked our defense up, it started to get better.”

St. Joe’s didn’t give up their lead throughout the entire second half. However, La Salle kept it close and even tied it up around the eleven minute mark.

The Hawks maintained a five point lead for the next seven minutes. However, with three minutes left, Demery threw down a monstrous dunk, posterizing La Salle’s 6’10” center Tony Washington. The  St. Joe’s bench was left to uncontrollably hold each other back from the floor.

“It was a momentum dunk,” Demery said. “I went up strong. He’s a seven footer so I had to finish.”

From this point on, the Hawks rallied to finish the game 78-70. Demery led  St. Joe’s with 18 points. Newkirk finished with 16.

We haven’t won the Senior Day game since my freshman year,” Newkirk said. “It was good to break that losing streak and get the win.”

Martelli said that Rhode Island is the team to beat headed into the A-10 Tournament.

“It’ll be fantastic and I hope it’s a great atmosphere,” Martelli said. “But this league goes through Rhode Island right now.”

Demery said the Hawks need to build off their current momentum headed into the A-10 Tournament.

“We need to play off our confidence,” Demery said. “If we work hard and practice hard, sky’s the limit.”

Thanks to a double bye secured by their fourth seeding, St. Joe’s won’t have to take the court again until March 9. They kick off tournament play against the winner of game four, which will be between George Mason University and the winner of  game one.    

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Hawk News

Your donation will support the student journalists of St. Joseph's University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Hawk News

Comments (0)

All The Hawk News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *