Phil Martelli frustrated with 'really bad' basketball from St. Joe's in loss to George Mason

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Phil Martelli frustrated with 'really bad' basketball from St. Joe's in loss to George Mason

BOX SCORE

In a battle of underclassmen-filled rosters, it was a George Mason senior that made the difference at Saint Joseph’s on Tuesday night.

Patriots guard Marquise Moore finished with a double-double — leading all players with 24 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists — and George Mason held off St. Joe’s, 75-67, in an Atlantic 10 battle at Hagan Arena. The Hawks are now 8-7 (2-2 A-10) while the Patriots moved to 12-5 (2-2) with their first-ever win over St. Joe's.

The game heated up in the final three minutes. After George Mason had led most of the second half, St. Joe’s took its first lead in over 10 minutes when junior James Demery made a layup while absorbing a foul, giving the Hawks a 61-60 lead. That began a run of four consecutive baskets between the two squads, culminating in a go-ahead three-pointer by Patriots sophomore Otis Livingston off a Moore assist to put George Mason up, 65-63.

On the next possession, St. Joe's freshman Charlie Brown went up for a jumper that he said was tipped before it missed the net and went out of bounds. However, the refs gave the Patriots the ball and Moore drew a foul on the subsequent play, getting to the free throw line where George Mason pulled away in the final 90 seconds.

For most of the night, St. Joe's offense ran through the trio of Brown, Demery and Lamarr Kimble. The three players shot 47 of the Hawks' 64 field goal attempts, making 20 of them. Kimble led the team with 18 points on 18 shots, Demery fouled out with 16 points and Brown finished with a career-high 17 points.

St. Joe's coach Phil Martelli was frustrated with the offensive effort from his squad as it produced just five assists while turning it over 14 times. The team also made just five of its 21 three-point attempts.

“We’re not winning games with 67 points,” Martelli said. “I don’t know another way. Fourteen turnovers, and you saw them. Threw the ball off a foot. Offensive rebound and throw the ball back.

"... We had a very good practice [Monday]. A very good offensive practice [Monday] and had nothing. Nothing. We were just pulling and priding each possession down. That’s not successful for us."

Brown echoed his coach’s sentiments and said that St. Joe’s “should have won this game by at least 15 points.”

“I think we were just making mental mistakes,” Brown said. “Turning the ball over, missing shots that we usually don’t miss.

The Hawks were playing just their third game since leading scorer Shavar Newkirk went down for the season with a torn ACL. His absence was notable with the aforementioned trio forced to hoist shots during many empty possessions. Martelli mentioned that the team was putting too much on Kimble, saying "an 18-shot guy."

What may have frustrated Martelli the most was the lack of assists St. Joe's put together.

"It’s bad basketball. That’s the right number to look at," he said of the Hawks' five assists. "We over dribble and we need some playmakers. We need guys that are confident enough to make a play. That doesn’t mean take a shot, and we had a lot of that tonight. We had guys just taking shots.

"I have to do more for it. I have to help them with movement. I’m really disappointed because practice last night was really good, but that was bad basketball. Really bad."

While St. Joe's struggled on offense, Moore provided the difference on the other end. Despite his 6-foot-2 frame, the guard averages over 17 points and 10 boards, and he did a bit of everything on both ends of the court Tuesday night. He was particularly effective driving to the basket, including a few coast-to-coast layups. Demery was complementary of how Moore gets into a defender's body and produces despite being seemingly allergic to shooting threes.

As one of just two seniors to get significant minutes for the Patriots, Moore's strong veteran presence helped allow an underclassmen-laden squad find its bearings during a key road win.

"It’s huge because the one thing about him is that he didn’t get rattled," George Mason coach Dave Paulsen said. "I wouldn’t say he played great in the first half – he had nine points. He was frustrated but he didn’t get rattled. He kept playing. He kept moving the ball. And he did other things. He got on the glass. He was a willing passer."

With the loss, the Hawks fell to .500 in conference. Martelli referred to the loss as a “wasted opportunity” and it comes right before a big test: the Hawks face Atlantic 10-leading Richmond on Saturday afternoon.

Drexel's Chris Crawford soaks up tradition at U.S. Open

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Drexel's Chris Crawford soaks up tradition at U.S. Open

ERIN, Wis. — The U.S. Open is all about tradition. This week is the 117th playing of golf's national championship and this event more than most celebrates those golfers who play the game as amateurs. 

Soon-to-be Drexel graduate Chris Crawford has been soaking up all the traditions this week at Erin Hills. Playing in his second U.S. Open after qualifying through both local and sectional competition for the second straight year, an extremely difficult feat, the 23-year-old fifth-year senior enjoyed the amateur dinner put on by the tournament organizers with the USGA. Crawford and his fellow amateurs, a stout list including Texas' Scottie Scheffler, who shot 3-under Thursday to seize the early low amateur lead, were celebrated the entire evening — one of Crawford's early highlights in a long week here in Wisconsin. 

Crawford produced a 3-over par 75 Thursday during the first round to tie for 102nd out of a field of 156 players.

"I played OK (Thursday)," Crawford said. "I'm going to take more positives than negatives out of the round. I played really well for 14 holes and just had a few bad swings on the other four holes."

Indeed, Thursday morning started nervously for the former Drexel golf standout. On the opening par-5 first hole, he snap-hooked his drive into the weeds out of bounds to the left, resulting in a double bogey. Three holes later, he chipped one shot over the back of the fourth green and took another double-bogey, placing him 4-over through four holes. 

Although bogeys might keep many of us alive in our weekend matches, it doesn't cut it in a U.S. Open. Crawford responded well in the ensuing 14 holes, going 1-under in that stretch.

Crawford's coach Mike Dynda, who teaches him at LuLu Country Club in Glenside, Pennsylvania, said he makes a big point to prepare Crawford's mind for his big rounds.

"I texted him last night and said, 'When you got to sleep, imagine that you're on the 18th hole and you have a putt for 9-under,'" Dynda said. "It's important to go to sleep and dream like that."

On the other side, Dynda — who taught the golf team at Drexel from 2003-2015 — also told his pupil to stay away from expectations. When you're 23 and you're playing in your second consecutive U.S. Open, one might think it would be easy to get ahead of yourself. Not so with Crawford, according to Dynda.

"I've taught him to not have any expectations for the five years we've been together," Dynda said. 

Crawford had a superstar practice round on Monday, playing with Jordan Spieth, Jim Furyk and Wisconsin's own Steve Stricker.

"It was a lot of fun playing with those guys and just watching them strategize about learning a brand new U.S. Open course," Crawford said. "I think that's the biggest thing I was impressed with, was the way they talked about strategy on this golf course.

"They were all very nice with me and were very specific to ask about me and they wanted to learn a little bit about my life, so I appreciated that."

For Dynda, talking with Furyk brought back a fond memory. Furyk's father, Mike, actually sold Dynda his first set of golf clubs, Tommy Armor 845s, back in Philadelphia years ago. 

With one round in the books and the forecast calling for rain this weekend, Crawford was looking forward to having the proper mentality as he headed into Friday's second round.

"I want to go out there and just not get ahead of myself," Crawford said. "I'm going to think positively and appreciate that I'm playing in the national open."

Crawford teed off at 2:31 p.m. local time off of the 10th hole.

"This week is so cool because I never do something like this," Crawford said. "Playing in front of such large crowds is a treat and I just love the interaction with the fans before and after the rounds as well."

Last year at Oakmont, dozens of friends and family made the drive down the turnpike to see him play in his first U.S. Open. This year, Crawford estimates that he has around 15 friends and family out in the galleries cheering him on. Though coach Dynda caddied last year, those duties have gone to current Drexel golf coach Ben Feld.

It's a party this week of Drexel golf proportions.

Atlantic 10 reveals 2017-18 schedule pairings

Atlantic 10 reveals 2017-18 schedule pairings

Philadelphia basketball fans will be getting a double dip of one of the Atlantic 10 conference's best rivalries once again next season.

With the league's 18-game regular season format in place for a fourth straight year, it was revealed Wednesday afternoon that Saint Joseph's and La Salle will battle twice — once in North Philly at Tom Gola Arena and a second time at the Hawks' home just off City Line Avenue. Each team in the 14-member conference will play eight teams once and five teams twice.

The full pairings for the Explorers and Saint Joe's are listed here:

La Salle
Home: Dayton, George Mason, St. Bonaventure, VCU, Fordham, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Saint Joseph’s, Saint Louis
Away: Davidson, Duquesne, George Washington, Richmond, Fordham, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Saint Joseph’s, Saint Louis

Saint Joseph’s
Home: Dayton, Duquesne, Saint Louis, VCU, Fordham, George Mason, La Salle, Massachusetts, St. Bonaventure
Away: Davidson, George Washington, Rhode Island, Richmond, Fordham, George Mason, La Salle, Massachusetts, St. Bonaventure

It was also rumored earlier in the day that the Hawks have added a Big Five matchup at Temple for Dec. 9.