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By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — After smothering Drexel on Wednesday night, 62-49, the St. Joe’s Hawks sit at 5-2 on the young season.

This start is a welcome change from the last two campaigns, which saw St. Joe’s go a combined 22-42.

Hawks head coach Phil Martelli wants his team to continue this upward trend.

“I believe that every day you have to improve. And I see that from this team. Every day in practice we get a little bit better. The beauty is that it is early December and we still have a lot of work to do. We have to get better, more efficient on offense, we have to get greater depth, we have to get more production from our bench. But I think the biggest thing is we have to cut down on offensive rebounds allowed and our turnovers. If we can do those two things, I think that we can play better basketball over the next month.”

Hear Matt Leon’s entire interview with St. Joe’s head coach Phil Martelli…

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The next chance for improvement in game action comes on Sunday as the Hawks travel to Washington, D.C. to take on American. The Eagles are 6-2 and Martelli says they play a very unique style.

“They’ll play tiny. They’ll play four small guys, they’ll spread you out. They have a young guy (senior forward Charles Hinkle) averaging almost 11 foul shots a game.

“This style bodes well for an attack, they must and will come at us. And they are going to put our size to test because they are going to put a smaller guy out on the floor and we’re going to have to use a Halil Kanacevic or a Ron Roberts to guard away from the basket.”

Martelli adds that regardless of the opponent, the keys to success on the road are always the same.

“I think you have to make sure that you limit your turnovers, you gotta shoot great foul shots and you have to go in with the idea of playing for silence in a road gym.”

Sunday’s tip-off between the Hawks and American is set for 8:00pm.


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