Tuesday Night Notes

Tomorrow night, St. Joe's will square off against UMass for the second time this season. This time, in Amherst, the Minutemen will look to get revenge for a January loss at Hagan Arena. A preview of that, plus a recruiting round-up, can all be found inside.

The Hawks dropped their third straight on Saturday night, when they fell in overtime to St. Bonaventure at home. The 70-60 loss came just 48 hours after a last-second loss at Dayton. The Atlantic 10 schedule-makers (tv deal) certainly didn't do the Hawks any favors with the schedule, but they didn't do themselves any favors either, shooting just 8-17 from the free-throw line. DeAndre Bembry missed the front-ends of two separate one-and-ones in the game's closing seconds that could have ended things before overtime.

St. Joe's has just four games remaining in the regular-season, beginning with a Wednesday night contest at UMass. St. Joe's knocked off the Minutemen back on January 21st at Hagan Arena, 62-56, behind a 25-point, 8-rebound, 7-assist, 5-steal night from sophomore wing DeAndre Bembry. Coincidentally, the last UMass game also came right after a loss to the Bonnies.

It's safe to assume that things won't be quite as easy this time around for the Hawks. In the January meeting, the Minutemen shot just 3-12 from three and 9-17 from the charity stripe. It's not exactly like the Hawks lit the world on fire either, but they did enough down the stretch to seal the win.

The Hawks enter Wednesday night's game at 11-15, and just 5-9 in the Atlantic 10. The Minutemen are 16-11, and 9-5 in conference. UMass had won six straight in conference before their current two-game skid, which includes losses at Rhode Island and VCU. The Mullins Center will be rocking Wednesday night, and the Hawks have yet to win a road game in A10 play. At the moment, the Hawks are 0-6 on the road in league play, with games at UMass and URI remaining. It's entirely feasible that SJU goes winless on the road in league play this season, which is astounding.

The line for tomorrow night's game has UMass as 7.5 point favorites. Personally, I'm a bit surprised the line isn't greater. If the Hawks can get DeAndre Bembry and Isaiah Miles to play like they did at Dayton last week, SJU has every shot to win this one. St. Joe's played Dayton to the wire, and the Flyers are a more talented team than the Explorers. It will take Bembry, Miles, and at least one or two more (Brown? Wilson? Demery?) in order for the Hawks to get an upset win on the road.

We now turn it over to the recruiting side of things. On Monday night, Roman Catholic snapped Neumann-Goretti's six-year reign of domination in the Philadelphia Catholic League. Roman beat Neumann 64-59 Monday night at the Palestra to take home the PCL title. Neumann-Goretti finished the entire season with just two losses, and they were both to Chris McNesbry's Roman Catholic Cahillites, The Saints had won six straight Catholic League championships, and their bid for a seventh was denied by junior Nazeer Bostick and the Cahillites.

St. Joe's head coach Phil Martelli and assistant coach Geoff Arnold were at the Palestra to take in the night's festivities. Neumann is led by senior Hawk commit Lamarr Kimble. Kimble has had a sensational year, but it wasn't a game he would like to remember for long Monday night. He finished with all 11 of his points in the second half, but didn't shoot the ball well on the night and missed critical free throws down the stretch. St. Joe's also has an offer out to Neumann sophomore big man Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, who did a nice job defending in the paint and also chipped in with 8 points. His offensive game has a ways to go, but there is a reason the Hawks, Temple, and La Salle have already extended offers his way.

On Monday night, St. Joe's-bound senior forward Pierfrancesco Oliva had 22 points and 12 rebounds in a 66-51 Bergen Catholic (NJ) playoff win over St. Joe's Regional. Bergen Catholic plays again Thursday night in the Jamboree championship game against Teaneck. Oliva is a 6'8 forward, born and raised in Italy, who is only in his second year of ball in the United States. He possesses unique ball skills and passing ability for his size, but has also rebounded the ball at a very high level all year long for one of North Jersey's top teams.

On Sunday, St. Joe's was represented in Washington DC at the WCAC (Washington Catholic Athletic Conference) playoffs. The main player of interest for the Hawks was likely 2016 combo guard Jeff Dowtin of St. John's College High School. The Hawks extended an offer to the skilled, high-academic guard earlier this winter and have been tracking him closely ever since.

Hawk Hill Hardwood will have a full recap of tomorrow's game against UMass as well as continued updates on Lamarr Kimble and Pierfrancesco Oliva as their teams compete in state playoffs.

Hawk Hill Hardwood Top Stories