St. Joseph's goes cold in loss to George Washington
The Hawks shot 27.6 percent from the field in the first half, making just one of their 11 three-point attempts.
WASHINGTON — St. Joseph's coach Phil Martelli often crossed his arms during the first half of his team's game at George Washington on Saturday. He didn't have much to applaud.
The Hawks shot 27.6 percent in the period and failed to capitalize on George Washington's scoring drought in the final six minutes of the half.
Martelli's frustrations didn't ease after halftime, either, as the Hawks fell, 70-64, in their Atlantic Ten opener at the Charles E. Smith Center.
"We had no offensive flow," Martelli said. "We wanted to have a pace set, and we just didn't have it."
Forward James Demery lead the Hawks with 24 points, while guard Chris Clover added 12, including two of the team's four three-pointers. St. Joseph's shot 36.8 percent overall and 23.5 percent from three-point range.
"It was a bad offense," Martelli said. "Just bad offense."
George Washington used seven three-pointers, including two from leading scorer Yuta Watanabe, who had 18 points, in the first half to put St. Joseph's at an early disadvantage.
Still, the Hawks (5-7, 0-1) appeared to have a comeback opportunity when George Washington went scoreless for the last 6 minutes, 21 seconds. Demery made a layup, and the team added three more free throws to make it 30-23.
But St. Joseph's then combined with the Colonials to end the half 0 for 18 from the field. Martelli said the Hawks' 10 days off since last playing didn't contribute to the struggles.
"That was a monster stretch for us," George Washington coach Maurice Joseph said, "because they didn't score either."
The droughts ended about a minute into the second half, but St. Joseph's couldn't counter the George Washington's cohesion.
The Colonials (8-6, 1-0), though lacking depth, Joseph said, have started the same lineup every game. The Hawks, meanwhile, have endured injuries to two players from whom they expected major contributions — Lamarr Kimble (foot) and Charlie Brown Jr. (wrist) — a season after five players missed at least seven games to injury.
George Washington pulled away in the second half with the help of four "and-1" opportunities, two as part of a 10-0 run midway that pushed its lead to 45-29.
The Hawks responded with a 10-2 run soon after and pulled to within five points with about two minutes left. But Martelli wasn't satisfied.
"Young players think if you run around it looks like you're competing," Martelli said. "But you have to have a basketball intellect about you, and we didn't exhibit that."
The Hawks return to Hagan Arena on Wednesday to host Virginia Commonwealth at 7 p.m.