Dec. 28, 2004
PHILADELPHIA - Kevin Bettencourt scored 21 points and Charles Lee added 17 as hot-shooting Bucknell upset Saint Joseph's, 69-62, at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse, ending the Hawks' 12-game homecourt winning streak.
The Bison shot 64 percent from the field in the game and 68 percent in the second half, while converting 10-of-15 3-point field goals. Bucknell (8-4) led by as many as 14 points with a 69-55 advantage with 2:01 remaining.
Trailing 55-44 with 8:42 remaining, Saint Joseph's (3-5) scored nine straight points to close to within 55-53 on a 3-pointer by Pat Carroll. But on the Hawks' next possession, they turned the ball over on a shot clock violation. Bucknell would then hit four consecutive 3-pointers, with two by Bettencourt, to run the lead back up to 64-55 with 4:25 to play.
The Bison increased the lead to 69-58 with 44 seconds to go and despite another 3-pointer from Carroll and a steal and layup from Dwayne Lee, the Hawks ran out of time.
"There are a lot of questions, but not enough answers, to be honest. The players don't know what's wrong either. So how do you fix it, but it's bewildering to everyone. There are a lot of holes, but you just can't cover them all," said SJU coach Phil Martelli on the team's play this season.
Martelli tried a lineup change by giving junior Dave Mallon his first start of the year, replacing John Bryant. Mallon made his first appearance of the season last week at Old Dominion after missing the first six games with a stress fracture.
"Dave has been the most vocal player lately for a group which is generally very quiet. He's been our best defensive talker and I thought he gave us a fresher look. Dave needed to be rewarded. To John's credit, he didn't hang his head. He's been very encouraging to his teammates," said Martelli.
It was Bucknell's first victory over Saint Joseph's (3-5) since January 10, 1979, a 63-61 double-overtime win. It was the Hawks' first loss in the Fieldhouse since March 5, 2003 and marks the first time SJU has lost three consecutive games since December of 2001.
Carroll led Saint Joseph's with 21 points while Chet Stachitas added 14 points, which shot 37 percent from the field and struggled again from the foul line, making only 58.8 percent.
Bucknell, which is off to its best start since the 1992-93 season, outrebounded the Hawks, 29-27.
Saint Joseph's goes on the road again on Friday, with a New Year's Eve date at Ohio State.