The Hawks (2-0) wanted to use a victory over a team that Martelli described as "reeling" as a springboard for their next game: a rematch Saturday with a Creighton team that demolished the Hawks, 80-51, last season.
Creighton is led by Doug McDermott, the nation's top returning scorer and a two-time first-team all-American.
"Look, I'm not shy about expressing my opinion," Martelli said after the Hawks closed out their wire-to-wire victory. "The country is gaga about the freshman [Kansas star Andrew Wiggins]; McDermott is the best player in the country. Tell me who does more for their team. They can give the awards at the end of the year because of the media blitz, but that kid is a magnificent, magnificent player.
"They are a postseason team that has gone where we want to go," Martelli said, "and we are very excited about playing them."
Before they faced Creighton, the Hawks had to deal with a Marist team that has struggled early and looks as if it could be headed for a long season.
St. Joseph's stretched its advantage to 40-25 by halftime. The Red Foxes never challenged the Hawks in the second half, and St. Joe's led by 24 with 8 minutes, 41 seconds to play in the game.
Marist (0-3), which was coming off a 27-point loss to Elon, was led by Chavaughn Lewis with a game-high 26 points.