1:03- Well, we hope you’ve enjoyed our live look at the St. Joe’s-Villanova historic doubleheader day. It’s taken seven and a half hours, two train rides, a cab fare, four press passes, a bunch of running, lots of bad jokes, almost 6,000 words, two St. Joe’s losses, and a chunk of two writers’ sanity. That’s all we’ve got for tonight.
Thanks for reading, and good night.
12:15- Before we leave the Palestra, something has to be said about the effort of the Saint Joseph’s men’s team tonight. There was a clear gulf in talent between the two squads that proved irreconcilable, but the team that was out there tonight certainly wasn’t lacking for effort. It’s hard to believe that team that took the number three team in the nation to task for portions of the game tonight is the same team that couldn’t get past DePaul, Cornell, or Rider. If they can bring the same effort with them to Minnesota, they can fly back halfway across the country with a quality win in the bags. It may be too much to ask for this to be a turning point of the season, though rivalry games as hard-fought as this one often can be, but the desire of this team, at least tonight, isn’t something to be questioned.
12:05- A little reaction from both coaches:
“The goal here was to be better than we were yesterday. We had 2 good days of practice, probably the best two consecutive days all year. We didn’t lose four in a row in one day; we got there collectively and daily. This was about this day and bout playing better basketball, and I think we were able to accomplish this.
“The worse compliment you can be paid, when they’re walking down that line shaking hands, is to say you played hard, because that’s bulls—t. It means you weren’t good enough. You play to win, and we didn’t win, so we came up short.
“I was pleased with out response. Against Purdue we crumbled. When they punched us in the chest in the second half, we absolutely cracked. Against Cornell, we cracked. It never really got uncomfortable for them, but we didn’t crack.
“In some ways, it was like a bout. They took a swing, we took a swing, then they took a swing. Were walking out of here scoring 89 points, and I’m saying we were working up hill the entire second half. We came here to win, and we played for 40 minutes.
“My fear was that if we had stopped, what would have happened is that this is a tremendous defensive team. If we had stopped and played possession basketball, they would have pushed up on us and made it physically difficult to make the next pass and the next pass. They’re remarkably balanced. They have a way about them offensively that is very fluid, and a way about them defensively that is very tough.
“I play to win basketball games, and this stinks. Tonight and for basically the last month. But for these kids, I want memories they can take with them. Not all losses are losing experiences, and not all wins are winning experiences; and this wasn’t a losing experience.”
“I don’t have anything else to say about these games. You can never predict what is going to happen and just have to tough it out. You never now what’s going to happen. St Joe’s has such passionate fans.
“Their team played great, and I’m proud of our guys. It’s a tough gritty Big 5 win.
“That’s the type of ft shooing team I want them to be; that’s what I mean by gutty.
[On Martelli’s assertion that they were never uncomfortable] “Yeah, yeah. The whole game. I don’t know if they [the players] were. They might not have because they might not know the history, but I’ve seen the history. We knew coming in, with all the young guards who are going to be great one day, one of them is going to go off and I don’t know which one. That’s what I was afraid of. Was it going to be two of them?
[On Taylor King] “Nothing is going on in that mind when he shoots the ball. He just shoots it anytime anywhere. That is the beauty of him.”
11:55- 22 points for Scottie Reynolds and 20 off the bench from Taylor King, including four threes in the second half, led the Cats over the Hawks tonight. Pena chipped in 15, along with 13 from Fisher, nine off the bench from Wyans, and eight from Cheek. The story down the stretch for Nova was from the free-throw line, as they finished 35 of 40, including a streak of 28 straight in the second half. The shot 46.8 percent from the field (46.6 percent) and eight of 19 from three. They held the edge on the boards, led by nine from King.
The Hawks were led by 22 points from Hilliard in a stellar effort (5-5 from the field, 12-13 from the line) along with a team high seven boards. Govens had 19 points on 7-13, 3-7. Jones and Crosgile had 16 and 12, respectively, but combined for six turnovers. Williamson added 13 points and seven assists.
The Hawks got dominated on the boards to the tune of 42-31, and each team had 16 turnovers. St. Joe’s shot 25-58 (43.1 percent) from the field and 10-26 (38.5 percent) from three. They missed nine free throws though, led by a six of 10 performance by Williamson, which could have kept the game closer down the stretch.
11:32- While we wait for Martelli and Wright to enter the press room, let’s catch you up on the women’s stats which I’m sure you’re dying to here. The final margin was 56-42, with the Wildcats outscoring the Hawks 32-30 in the second 20 minutes. Lauren Sweeney and Heather Scanlon led the way off the bench with 15 and 10, respectively. The Wildcats’ bench almost beat the Hawks on their own with 38 points.
The Hawks got 10 points each from Gillespie, Ford, and Djouara. They shot just 15-51 from the field (29.1 percent) and finished with 16 turnovers to just three assists.
11:25- Reynolds again sinks both, and a missed three by Govens is fumbled out of bounds by Nova. Crosgile returns the favor on the ensuing possession, and the Cheek dribbles out the clock in a 97-89 win by the Wildcats. Final stats and comments to come. Continue reading