CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Of all the things St. Joseph's coach Phil Martelli might have learned from Saturday's nonconference game against No. 23 Harvard, one stood out above the rest.
"We're not good enough," Martelli said after Harvard rallied for a 74-69 victory. "Plain and simple, what we just did wasn't good enough . . . 9 for 16 from the foul line and only two guys in double figures (Carl Jones with 22 and Langston Galloway with 15).
"I've been honest with this team. We're inching up on being good. We're not there yet. This is another indication that we're not there yet. The beauty is we'll have practice on Monday morning and we need to address those kinds of issues."
One "issue" the Hawks (10-4) were unable to address was Harvard forward Kyle Casey.
Casey scored nine of his overall 26 points to spark an 18-5 run and turn a seven-point deficit into a six-point lead (74-68). That rally also allowed Harvard (12-1) to match its best start since the 1945-46 team went 19-1.
The Hawks shot a blistering 79.2 percent (19 for 24) in the first half as they flew out to a 48-38 lead at intermission.
SJU went on an early 20-7 run, which produced its largest lead of the half at 27-13. But Harvard countered with an 11-2 run with Keith Wright (16 points) scoring six points in the process as the Crimson sliced their deficit to five.
In contrast to their first-half shooting, the Hawks went frigid in the second and connected on only 29.6 percent (8-27).
As the half progressed, the Hawks gave the appearance they were playing on tired legs, which was one reason for their abysmal shooting.
"I felt I was kind of winded toward the end," Jones said. "I was kind of tired chasing their shooters around. It was really a test because I was playing offense and defense."
A case also could be made that, given how proficient their first-half shooting was, the Hawks could have been leading by more than 10 points. But Jones begged to differ.
"Not at all," Jones said in response to a question. "I felt in the first half we got the shots that we wanted to get and we made the shots we usually make. I really wasn't concerned about [the 10-point lead] at all.
"They showed why they're a ranked team because they do what they have to do toward the end. That's what we have to work on. We're going to get there but we're not there yet."