BOSTON - As far as Saint Joseph's coach Phil Martelli is concerned, the Hawks expect bad things to happen when they step on a court and, invariably, that's what happens.

Martelli's thoughts were underscored last night when the Hawks blew a 12-point lead with 10 1/2 minutes left in the second half and absorbed an 85-79 loss to Boston University.

"I think when good things happen you expect good things to happen," Martelli said after the Hawks (3-8) lost their sixth straight game. "When things don't go your way, you think, 'Oh, is that the start of it?' When we talk [today], that's what we're going to talk about . . . body language.

"It didn't go our way, but you've got to keep going. Who are your fistfighters? That's what we have to find."

Langston Galloway led the Hawks with a season-high 24 points, while Carl Jones chipped in 21 and freshman Ronald Roberts a career-high 10.

Darryl Partin led the Terriers (5-7) with 29 and BU scoring leader John Holland added 19.

Galloway buried his sixth three-point shot with 10:33 left to give the Hawks a 65-53 lead, which appeared to be an adequate margin. But Partin and Holland keyed a rally during which the Terriers outscored the Hawks, 27-6, to go up, 80-71, with 1:11 left.

Saint Joseph's sliced the deficit to 80-76 on a layup by Jones (who then missed a free throw that would have completed a three-point play). But BU countered by going 5-for-6 at the free throw line to clinch the victory.

Among other things, Martelli downplayed the fact his team suited up only nine players, with Charoy Bentley (appendectomy) and Todd O'Brien (sprained ankle) sidelined.

"Forty-seven points in a half [which BU scored in the second half] is 47 points in a half," Martelli said. "We had two sizable leads, a nine-point lead [39-30 late in the first half, which ended with the Hawks leading 39-38] and a 12-point lead with 10 minutes left.

"We're just missing that ingredient of who's going to dig in defensively. And it's across the board. It's a loose ball here or a missed assignment on a ball screen. It's a missed free throw and then they drive the ball down and shoot a layup. That can't happen."

Conversely, BU coach Pat Chambers thought his team did much of what the Hawks didn't down the stretch.

"I thought the last 8 minutes, these guys came out and played some really good defense," Chambers said of his team's two-three zone. "We started rebounding the basketball [BU had a 43-38 margin in rebounds and scored 18 second-chance points].

"We stuck together. But [Saint Joseph's] is going to be a really good team. They've got talented guards and good big men. It's a young team but they've got a bright future."

That was of little consolation to the distraught Martelli. *