1/13 Round-Up

On Saturday, St. Joe's traveled south to Richmond in search of their first Atlantic 10 win of the season. Instead, the Hawks got a glimpse of what is arguably the best team in the conference. VCU led early and never looked back, giving Phil Martelli's team their third straight conference loss to open up league play. Get a recap plus the latest on the recruiting front inside.

Saturday afternoon's loss at VCU was St. Joe's fourth straight, and their third in a row to start league play. The Hawks have a home loss to George Washington and then back-to-back road losses at Duquesne and VCU on their resume at the moment, dropping their record to 6-8. St. Joe's is joined in the basement by fellow winless teams Saint Louis and Fordham.

On Saturday, St. Joe's fell behind the Rams early, facing an early 17-7 deficit. They battled back however, pulling within 22-21 on a Chris Wilson lay-up with just over 8 minutes to play in the first half. VCU would close the half on a 24-9 run though and the Hawks trailed 46-30 at the half.

The second half saw the Rams just blow the doors off things. They shot 12-23 from beyond, led by junior guard Melvin Johnson's game-high 20 points on 6-7 shooting from three. VCU's perimeter shooting, combined with St. Joe's 20 turnovers, led to a second half blowout. The Rams led by as many as 27, 67-40, roughly halfway through the second half. St. Joe's would battle until the end, however, and make the final score look more respectable, ultimately falling 89-74.

St. Joe's shot 50% from the field, but the 20 turnovers combined with the 89 points given up on the defensive end made a road win in a hostile environment impossible. The Hawks were led by DeAndre Bembry's 16 point, 8 rebound afternoon. Aaron Brown scored 14 off the bench, and freshman James Demery played one of his best games as a Hawk, finishing with 11 on the afternoon.

The Hawks now look ahead to Fordham on Wednesday night at Hagan Arena for their first win of the conference season. The Rams enter Wednesday night's game at SJU at 5-9, with their losses coming at home to Dayton and VCU, and on the road at Rhode Island.

On the recruiting front, St. Joe's three 2015 commitments were all in action over the weekend. Chris Clover scored his 1,000th point of his career on Friday night in a 80-72 St. Joe's Prep over Archbishop Wood. The Prep then absolutely destroyed Bonner-Prendergast, 73-29, on Sunday. In that one, Clover had 18 of his game-high 30 points in the first quarter.

Neumann-Goretti bounced back from their loss last week to Roman Catholic by winning both of their weekend games. The Saint knocked off Lansdale Catholic Friday night without St. Joe's commit Lamarr Kimble in the lineup. Kimble returned on Sunday as Neumann beat a good La Salle Prep team 66-57. Kimble scored a game-high 17 points in the win, all coming in the second half. He also corraled 8 rebounds in the win for the Saints, who now check in at 11-1.

Meanwhile, in North Jersey, Bergen Catholic earned a tough win Friday night at St. Mary's of Elizabeth. 6'8 St. Joe's commit Pierfrancesco Oliva had 14 points in the win for Bergen Catholic, including a huge tomohawk jam on a backdoor cut. Bergen Catholic plays again tonight against St. Joseph's Regional.

This week, Hawk Hill Hardwood will have coverage of Wednesday night's game between the Hawks and Fordham. I will also be at Lower Merion High School on Saturday afternoon for a big-time clash between Friends' Central and Haverford School. That game features the two best 2016 wings in the area in DeAndre Hunter and Lamar Stevens. Both hold offers from the Hawks but will be very difficult gets for Phil Martelli and the coaching staff.

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