PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Phil Martelli’s Hawks have dropped nine straight games as they get ready to host Massachusetts on Saturday.

Last time out the Hawks lost by 10 at Richmond on Wednesday 62-52, but Martelli says he saw some positive signs in that defeat. “I was encouraged by the fact that still, even though we are struggling, players committed to a plan, we stayed with the plan,” Martelli said.

Hawks are 5-17 overall, but the head coach says they continue to fight. “We are aware of where we sit. We are aware of our overall record,” Martelli said. “But the quality of guys that we have on this team lead me to believe that, starting with the UMass game, you’re going to see 40 minutes of fight from us.”

As for the match-up with the 13-8 Minutemen, Martelli says they are a good squad. “They have a superstar scorer in Anthony Gurley, averaging twenty points a game. Then they have great length. They have had a very impressive start to the Atlantic-10 (5-3) season, winning some big games,” Martelli said.

Tip-off at Hagan Arena on Saturday is set for 7 p.m.

Click to listen to Matt’s Conversation with Phil Martelli

Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio

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