By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — St. Joe’s now sits at 11-4 on the season, after finding a way to win on the road at Duquesne University last night, taking an 84-82 decision in overtime.
The Hawks were down 16 in the second half, but rode strong performances by several players, including CJ Aiken (15 points, nine blocks) and Halil Kanacevic (11 points, 15 rebounds), to victory.
Head coach Phil Martelli says it wasn’t pretty but they’ll take it.
Hear Matt Leon’s entire interview with Phil Martelli in this CBS Philly SportsPod…
“We’re very, very fortunate to have won that game,” Martelli told KYW Newsradio this morning. “The beauty is that we did get a win. And the beauty is that we have very serious reasons to be practicing the next several days.”
This was the first game of the Atlantic 10 schedule for the Hawks, and Martelli is looking forward to getting into the familiar rhythm of a conference schedule.
“(Games on) Wednesday, Saturday. Wednesday, Saturday,” he repeats. “The players know what the tempo of practice is going to be on a Monday. They know what it is going to be like on a Thursday. They know the day before the game, Tuesday and Friday, what it’s going to be like. When you go to present a scouting report and you talk about a (junior forward) Chris Braswell from Charlotte, well, all of our juniors and sophomores have played against him. They know who we are talking about.”
And Charlotte is next up on the schedule for St. Joe’s, on Saturday afternoon. The 49ers are 8-5 this season, coming off a win over Richmond in their A-10 opener on Wednesday night, 75-70.
In that game they enjoyed a 50-20 advantage over the Spiders in points in the paint, and Martelli says that is no accident.
“Well, they really do have tremendous size. Braswell is a big guy (6’9″), (senior guard Javarris) Barnett (6’7″) is a big guy. The guys coming off the bench, (6’7″ junior forward KJ) Sherrill is a big guy. They have a very interesting post-up game in that sometimes they are posting up their small forward and they are bringing their bigger players away from the basket. We really have to address that in our practice preparation because it’s not the usual guys who are being posted up — sometimes it’s going to be our wings who are somewhat light and not physically the biggest, strongest guys on our team.”
Braswell is the 49ers’ leading scorer at 13.9 points per game.
St. Joe’s and Charlotte battle at Hagan Arena on Saturday, beginning at 2:00pm.