After putting together an impressive season, Saint Joseph’s suffered just its sixth loss of the season on Wednesday against Saint Bonaventure.
The Hawks looked to bounce back in their regular season finale against Duquesne on Saturday, only to suffer a 78-70 loss on Senior Day.
It was the first time all season Saint Joseph’s has lost consecutive games and couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Hawks, as they now head to the Atlantic 10 Tournament in Brooklyn and hopefully the NCAA Tournament shortly after.
“We still have a chance at the A-10,” Isaiah Miles said. “We can still win games. We still have a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament if we win games, so we just have to move on to the next one.”
After Duquesne stretched its lead to nine in the opening minutes of the second half, Saint Joseph’s would string together an 11-2 run – capped by a layup from Miles to surpass 1,000 points in his career – to tie the game at 56-56.
The Hawks would continue to threaten, but Duquesne would have an answer to Saint Joseph’s each time. In the end, the Hawks’ inability to stop the Dukes’ starting guard duo of Micah Mason and Derrick Colter – who combined to score 46 points – would leave them heading home with a 78-70 loss.
“We just have to get back the basics,” DeAndre’ Bembry said. “It’s playing defense. We can’t win games without playing defense. So I feel like if we do that, we’ll be back to normal.”
Saint Joseph’s received stellar performances from Miles and fellow senior Aaron Brown, who scored 21 and 20, respectively, but would be unable to pull out a win in their regular season finale.
Now the Hawks find themselves looking to right the ship that has suddenly veered off course at the most inopportune time.
“We just have identify these Achilles heels and we have to clean them up sooner rather than later, because there’s not a lot of laters left,” Saint Joseph’s Coach Phil Martelli said.
Saint Joseph’s will now head to Brooklyn, where it will open play in the quarterfinals of the A-10 Tournament on Friday. After suffering two straight losses to close the regular season, the Hawks find themselves with work still to do in Brooklyn if they want to secure a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
“We know we’re still a good team, and it’s on to the next one,” Bembry said. “It’s wins and losses and we lost one that we shouldn’t have. All we can do is prepare for the next one.”
By: Kyle Babcock
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