KINGSTON, R.I. - St. Joseph's coach Phil Martelli was succinct when summing up his thoughts before the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament.
"I hope that I get to see a couple of days' worth," Martelli said Saturday after Rhode Island beat the Hawks, 78-68, in the regular-season finale at the Ryan Center.
"I'm not going to handicap it. I just told my team I'm not going to blow smoke about, 'Let's win four games in four days.'
"We could have to play Wednesday. The first they heard about that is now. We're just going up there to try to win one game and see what happens."
St. Joseph's (13-17, 7-11 A-10) wound up avoiding a Wednesday game and earned the 10th seed in the tournament when Duquesne fell to Davidson, 107-78, later Saturday.
The Hawks will play seventh seed St. Bonaventure at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The Bonnies swept the season series.
DeAndre' Bembry led St. Joseph's with 21 points Saturday before fouling out with 3 minutes, 53 seconds remaining. Rhode Island (21-8, 13-5) placed a quartet of players in double figures, led by Gilvydas Biruta (18).
In retrospect, the outcome had been decided before Bembry went to the bench due in large part to several negative statistics.
The Rams scored 27 points off 16 Hawks turnovers; St. Joe's snared a mere three offensive rebounds; and, because of their ineptitude on the offensive glass, the Hawks scored only five second-chance points.
"I was concerned coming up whether or not we were tough enough, and I think we failed that," Martelli said. "But we didn't compete hard enough.
"In the first half, and I just told my team this, a missed layup is not a missed layup. A missed layup is like taking a bat to the side of your head. It takes your breath away, and we had four of them in the first half."
After the Hawks soared to a 9-0 lead, Rhode Island countered with an 18-5 run, which was one reason St. Joseph's led by only 38-37 at halftime.