PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It has been a tough year on Hawk Hill.  Phil Martelli’s squad has dropped seven in a row after Thursday’s loss to La Salle at the Palestra (see related story).

The Hawks will be right back on Penn’s campus on Saturday morning for another Big 5 matchup, this one against Temple.

The young Hawks, who play five freshman regularly, are 5-15 overall. Coach Martelli (in file photo above) thinks the struggles can be partially attributed to youth.

“I think more it’s a byproduct of not having success, and therefore there’s two things that happen.  One is, players are trying to make four and five point plays instead of just simple plays that could lead to two points,” he said.  “And then the other thing is the fact that we haven’t ‘been there, done that,’ and we don’t have not only good experiences to call back on, we don’t have really any experiences to fall back on.”

Hear the entire Phil Martelli interview in this CBS Philly SportsPod…

As for the Temple match-up, Martelli thinks the Owls’ defense is extraordinary.

“We are a team struggling to score, and this defense will not let up,” he said.  “They do a terrific job of guarding the parts of the floor that they want to take away from you, and they do it, and it’s demanded at all five spots.”

St. Joe’s is 0-6 in the Atlantic-10.  The Owls are 14-5 overall on the season heading into Saturday.  At 4-2 in the conference they are coming off a Wednesday night win over Charlotte (see related story).

Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060.


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