NEW YORK - Another fast start for St. Joseph's failed to yield a win as the Hawks lost to St. Bonaventure, 60-49, on Thursday in the second round of the Atlantic Ten tournament at the Barclays Center.
It was the Hawks' earliest exit in the tournament since the 2010 team fell to Rhode Island, 87-76, in the first round.
Center Youssou Ndoye had 18 points and eight rebounds to secure the win for St. Bonaventure (18-12, 10-8 A-10).
St. Joseph's built a 17-9 lead in the first 10 minutes and fought through 34 percent shooting to take a 28-23 lead into halftime. Then things began to unravel.
St. Bonaventure junior guard Marcus Posley sparked a 9-0 second-half run with a pair of three-pointers. He fired a seeing-eye pass between defenders to the 6-foot-11 Ndoye for a layup as the Bonnies took their first lead since the game's opening basket, 36-34, with 12 minutes, 57 seconds left.
As the second-half pace quickened, the Bonnies' offense became emboldened, running off a 16-3 burst culminating in Posley's drive that gave St. Bonaventure a 43-37 lead with 8:56 to play. Ndoye's presence during the run was pronounced, as the towering center rifled away a shot from St. Joseph's freshman guard Shavar Newkirk and ducked into the low post for layups.
"There was a little angst" among the team, St. Joseph's coach Phil Martelli said about the Hawks' losing their early lead. "We've been in this situation before. . . . We've been in this situation at St. Bonaventure; we've been in this situation at Duquesne. Tonight it was that stretch."
The early returns for the Hawks (13-18, 7-11) were decent. All-A-10 first-teamer DeAndre' Bembry's early shots were misses, but he remained active on the glass. Jai Williams sparked the Hawks with two offensive putbacks and three rebounds before checking out at 2:02 in the first half with four fouls.
St. Bonaventure bottled up Bembry on offense again, as it did when it held him to four points in a 70-60 overtime win Feb. 21. Bembry, who entered the contest as the conference's leading scorer at 17.9 points per game, made just 3 of 14 shots for 12 points.
"I was making it very difficult for myself tonight," Bembry said. "A lot of floaters, a lot of fadeaway jump shots. I didn't get my legs under me."
"I thought DeAndre' hurried [his shots] tonight," Martelli said.
St. Joseph's was held to 25 percent shooting from the field for the game and had only three field goals in the final 16:13. Isaiah Miles led the Hawks with 19 points.