SJU Hawks look to get on track at Duquesne

Matt Leon
January 11, 2019 - 3:42 pm
Phil Martelli

Saint Joseph's University Athletics

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- The Saint Joseph's University Hawks will look to turn things around Saturday when they visit Duquesne in Atlantic 10 action.

The Hawks (7-8) have lost three in a row (their first three A-10 games) while dealing with offensive struggles that actually predate this recent skid. Since a 92-82 win at Princeton on December 5, the Hawks have topped 59 points just once, a 60-point performance in an 85-60 loss to George Mason on January 3.

"We've lost our rhythm and the court has gotten very crowded for us," head coach Phil Martelli said about the offensive struggles. "So we're putting a lot of emphasis on the offensive end of the floor, but we're looking at it as a day-to-day improvement. It's not something that happened overnight, we've gone six games (scoring 60 points or fewer) and we have to attack this challenge collectively. It's not one individual guy that's going to lift us out of it."

Duquesne won't make life easy for the Hawks. The Dukes are 10-5 (1-1 A-10) and they have picked up wins in nine of their eleven home games.

"They have a sensational freshman, his name is Sincere Carry," Martelli says. "It's a remarkable story, he was headed to a Division II school, Duquesne offered him a scholarship and he is magnificent at both ends of the floor. He has 84 assists, second on their team in scoring, he has the ball all the time. Three steals (a game) makes him one of the national leaders in that category. Very creative and he's always in control. He's never too fast, he's never too slow. We're going to have to make sure that, first and foremost, we all guard him in transition."

If the Hawks are going to break out on offense, they will have to do it against what Martelli says is a relentless defensive team.

"Always in your face," he said. "We're going to have to make sure that we play offense from side to side, from one side of the floor to the other side of the floor and then get into an attack mode. We have to make sure that we play this game, we're not going to make up for our last three games, we have to be able to play this immediate game for these forty minutes to the best of our ability."

Saturday's game at the Palumbo Center in Pittsburgh gets underway at 4 p.m.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @Mattleon1060.