St. Joseph's comes up short against No. 14 Butler

Posted: January 10, 2013

St. Joseph's opportunity to add a signature victory came down to two open three-point shots by Langston Galloway, the team's best scorer. The Hawks trailed No. 14 Butler by four points in the final minute Wednesday night, and Galloway could not connect on the shots that coach Phil Martelli and his teammates want him to take.

Both misses spoiled the likelihood of a comeback and helped cement Butler's 72-66 win at Hagan Arena.

"That's the shot I want, and everybody on the team would want me to have that shot," said Galloway, who finished with 11 points. "I just didn't step up to make that shot."

Halil Kanacevic missed a pair of three-pointers on the ensuing possession, leaving the Hawks scoreless when they most needed a basket.

It continued a second-half trend: St. Joe's (8-5, 0-1 Atlantic Ten) missed eight long-distance attempts in the game's final 16 minutes. The irony is that they built an early lead over one of the nation's best teams because of their three-point shooting, nailing eight in the first half.

Chris Wilson, who entered the game as a 23.3 percent three-point shooter, hit five in the first half. He finished with a team-high 15 points.

When Martelli identified the key statistic in the game, he actually focused on two-point field goals: The Hawks were 11 of 34.

Martelli's message to his team after the game was that "we weren't good enough."

"Individual players weren't good enough, coaches weren't good enough, scouting wasn't good enough," Martelli said.

They needed to be better to beat Butler (13-2, 1-0), which has developed into one of the nation's top programs and has a victory over preseason No. 1 Indiana. The Bulldogs were led by guard Rotnei Clarke, an Arkansas transfer, who scored 28 points.

This is the Bulldogs' first season in the A-10, and Wednesday's visit to Philadelphia was their inaugural game in the conference. A team that has been to national championship games twice in the last three seasons was not rattled even by an energized crowd on Hawk Hill.

"I didn't think coming here was going to be any big deal for them," Martelli said.

The painful reality for the Hawks was that Wednesday's game was the type of important win they need, especially after an inconsistent nonconference schedule.

St. Joe's players remained confident that they can beat teams such as Butler - they already have a win over Notre Dame this season - and Martelli emphasized that the sky is not falling, despite the perception of the conference's preseason favorite.

"My thing is, let's win the rest of the games in the A-10," Kanacevic said. "We win the next 15 games, what are they saying then?"


Contact Zach Berman at zberman@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @ZBerm.

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