9:50- That’s it for tonight, as the Hawks escape the Hagan Arena with a hard-fought win. Join us on Saturday night at 6 p.m. from right here with all the action as the Hawks take on conference foe Dayton. Goodnight everybody!!
9:45- You’d hope it would be more comfortable for the Hawks, but in the end they were able to escape with a win tonight over Towson thanks to a strong second half. They outscored the Tigers 41-28 in the second stanza to reverse a six-point halftime deficit. The shooting effort was much better from St. Joe’s, who went 10-23 (43.5 percent) from the field, and five of 10 from three-point land. They also hit their free throws down the stretch, converting on 16 of their 19 trips to the charity stripe in the second half.
Idris Hilliard led the way for the Hawks with 20 points, 12 of which came in the second half. Justin Crosgile chipped in 13, the second straight game he has hit three threes, while Garrett Williamson, who played all 40 minutes, joined them in double-figures with 12. Darrin Govens managed nine points to go along with six assists despite a woeful shooting night (3-15 from the field, 2-10 from three), and Carl Jones had eight.
Todd O’Brien led the way on the boards, with 11 rebounds for a St. Joe’s team that held a 19-14 edge on the glass in the second half. St. Joe’s also committed a season-low tying eight turnovers.
“The players deserved to have something good happen to them because they really did a terrific job yesterday,” said Martelli, whose team held up nicely after a long Sunday that started at 4 a.m. when they arrived back from Olean and continued until past 11 p.m. thanks to academic meetings, video study, and practice. ” They needed something good to happen. When the ball didn’t drop in the first half, we sagged.”
The Hawks also stepped up the defensive effort after halftime, limiting the Tigers to just seven made field goals on 26 attempts (26.9 percent). They held Josh Thornton in check, who had just seven points in the second on 2-10 shooting and 1-6 from behind the arc. He finished with 23, while Jarrel Smith ended up with 17 points, 15 of which came in the second half. The Towson bench accounted for 44 of their 57 points, and no one other than Smith and Thornton topped four points on the day. Robert Nwankwo had 14 rebounds in the losing effort, while leading scorer Calvin Lee was held to just three points (1-7 shooting) and no rebounds in 28 minutes.
Martelli credits Prescott for a lot of that defense, as he helped quiet Thornton’s first half onslaught. But it was the offensive adjustment that also helped turn the tide. The Hawks had open looks in the first and struggled to connect, but four quick threes to open the second half created some gaps in the Towson zone defense, and with a little patience, gave Hilliard the room he needed to operate.
“It wasn’t really a change, but in the first it just felt like we were passing around the zone too much and not attacking it, so we came in at halftime said we had to attack the zone more, and we did that,” said Hilliard. “Once a couple guys started hitting threes, I caught the ball a couple times and was surprised I was so wide open.”
“I was pleased with the patience that we showed,” Martelli said. “We’re a team that wants to play obviously quicker, and I had a fear when we came in that with all that matchup that they do that we would just rely on jumper, jumper, jumper. In the second half, we made a concerted effort to put the ball in the lane. Idris had some good finishes in the bucket area.” Continue reading