By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – St. Joe’s will be on the road on Saturday, traveling down to Fairfax, Virginia, to take on George Mason in Atlantic 10 action.
The Hawks nearly pulled off a big win on Wednesday up at #19 UMass, they led by nine points with about six-and-a-half minutes left, but they eventually fell, 66-62.
“I believe that in that game, we competed very well,” St. Joe’s head coach Phil Martelli tells KYW Newsradio. “Particularly being on the road and being shorthanded, playing without Isaiah Miles with a concussion and then losing Ron Roberts (back) early in the second half. So we competed well, I don’t think we played well. We had 17 turnovers that led to 21 UMass points, we had a missed defensive assignment late in the game and we weren’t really able to execute in the last minute. The competition was good, the players were told that, execution has to be better. We put ourselves in position to win a game that we didn’t get done.”
Martelli talks about the health status of those two big men going forward.
“Isaiah is definitely out for Saturday night’s game vs. George Mason,” Martelli says. “Ron is the proverbial day-by-day. Felt a little bit better, just marginally better [Thursday], did not practice, and we’ll see what happens during the day [Friday].”
The loss to the Minutemen dropped the Hawks to 9-5 on the season. George Mason is 7-8 and coming off a 14-point loss to VCU on Thursday night.
“George Mason’s a very aggressive team at the defensive end,” Martelli says. “They really challenge your basketball. The assumption would be that since we had limited depth and limited bench minutes on Wednesday night, that they will come at us in their first home Atlantic 10 game. And they are very aggressive on the offensive end of the floor. They drive the ball relentlessly to the goal. They average about 25 fouls shots a game [23.8].”
George Mason is 5-1 at home this season.
Saturday’s game will tip-off at 8:00pm.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.