St. Joseph's tops St. Bonaventure for sixth straight win

Posted: March 03, 2014

OLEAN, N.Y. - When St. Joseph's fell behind St. Bonaventure early in the second half after having forged a double-digit lead, coach Phil Martelli didn't panic. Neither did his players.

That's the way it has been for much of the last two months for the Hawks. They have been down, but they rarely have been out.

Their 83-74 victory over the Bonnies on Saturday before 3,975 at the Reilly Center followed the script for surging St. Joe's, which improved to 17-3 over its last 20 games.

"I just told [the team] that there is an article about a team in a similar situation to ours," Martelli said afterward. "Their coach said they were complacent. I don't get that. We have seniors. You have to be grinding and visceral in a way. That's what this group is."

The Hawks (21-7, 11-3 Atlantic Ten) bolstered their NCAA tournament at-large chances and moved closer to clinching a bye to the quarterfinals in the A-10 tournament with their sixth consecutive victory. St. Joe's can earn one of the conference tournament's four byes with a George Washington loss Sunday to George Mason.

But for now, with two regular-season games left, Martelli isn't concerned about where the Hawks stand in the A-10 pecking order.

"We're going to keep our heads down and keep plowing along to our next game and our next game and our next game," he said. "Then at the end of that, if we have a bye, it's the same as the ins and outs [for the NCAA tournament]. We only have control over the 40 minutes. We want to get wins."

Langston Galloway, who led the Hawks with 27 points and eight rebounds, similarly referred to games following Wednesday's at George Washington as "long-term" goals.

DeAndre' Bembry added 18 points and Ronald Roberts Jr. 15 for the Hawks, and St. Joe's also received a big boost from little-used Isaiah Miles, who came off the bench for 11 points.

As four St. Joseph's frontcourt players battled foul trouble, Miles tallied five straight points late in the game to help the Hawks pull away. The sophomore had scored only 10 points total in nine conference games.

"One of the coaches challenged [Miles] the other day in practice," Martelli recalled. "He said, 'You know what, you're out there trying to hide, and we need you out there trying to play.' Halfway through Thursday's practice and Friday's practice, he was much more committed to competing. I thought he did a terrific job today."

St. Joe's led by 11 points in the first half before the Bonnies (16-13, 6-9) rallied for a 47-46 lead with 15 minutes, 17 seconds remaining. The Hawks countered with a 13-3 run and led by no fewer than three points the rest of the way.

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