St. Joe's notched their most commanding win of the season on Tuesday night, knocking off Dayton by 26 points at Hagan Arena. Phil Martelli got 22 points from senior Ron Roberts and 20 points from junior point guard Chris Wilson to lead the charge. Wilson shot a perfect 8-8 from the field en route to his career-high scoring output.
It was a game that the Hawks led from the jump and never relented. St. Joe's led 39-20 at the half and increased that lead to as many as 30 late before emptying the bench.
Dayton entered last night's game winners of six straight, and squarely on the NCAA tournament bubble. The Hawks also entered on the bubble, but in slightly better shape. With their commanding 26-point win, the Hawks not only put themselves in even better shape, but knocked the Flyers back a peg as well.
Roberts and Wilson paced Saint Joseph's in scoring, but the Hawks got another brilliant performance from seniors Halil Kanacevic as well, who tallied 10 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, and 4 blocks. Freshman wing DeAndre Bembry continued his tremendous rookie season, finishing with 12 points and 4 assists despite foul trouble.
With the win, the Hawks are now 20-7 on the season. It is their first 20-win season since the 2007-2008 campaign, which ended in an NCAA tournament bid. At 10-3, the Hawks remain securely in second place in the Atlantic 10.
UMass held off Rhode Island Wednesday night to improve to 9-4. Richmond suffered a tough loss at George Mason to drop to 8-5. VCU plays at Fordham tomorrow night. At 10-3, St. Joe's is up a game on UMass in the standings, two games up on George Washington and Richmond, and will be up a game or two on VCU depending on their result tomorrow night.
On the RPI front, the Hawks have propelled into the mid-30s. ESPN has the Hawks at 34, RPIForecast has them at 35, and RealTimeRPI has Phil Martelli's team at 32. With three top-100 opponents remaining, and two of them on the road, the Hawks still have opportunities to bump that RPI up even higher..
St. Joe's travels to St. Bonaventure for a 3 o'clock game on Saturday afternoon. The Bonnies lost 75-67 at La Salle tonight. Olean is a tough place to play, and Bonaventure will likely be slight favorites at home in this one. They are 6-8 in league play, but much better at home, where they have wins over both Richmond and UMass. St. Joe's is the more talented team, and should win on paper. Again, Olean is a tough location. Saturday is a great test for the Hawks. A win would make them a near-lock for the NCAA tournament. On the flip side, a loss would not spell being bounced from the bubble, but would make their final two home games, and the A10 tournament, more important.
Flipping the calendar forward and looking toward next season, St. Joe's-bound senior Obi Romeo had 8 points and 9 rebounds last night in a 77-67 Greenbrier East (WV) win over Martinsburg (WV).
Point Pleasant Beach (NJ) moved onto the Shore County Tournament championship game by beating Matawan this evening. Point Pleasant senior guard Matt Farrell had 11 points in the win. St. Joe's, Fordham, Rutgers, Monmouth, Seton Hall, and others are involved in his recruitment. Point Pleasant will play Christian Brother's Academy at Monmouth University Saturday afternoon for the Shore County Tournament championship.
It's a busy time of year on both the college and recruiting calendars, so continue to stay tuned here for the latest on both as they pertain to the Hawks.
Wednesday night round-up
Hawk Hill Hardwood Top Stories
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