Courtesy: SJU Athletic Communications  
Release:  09/01/2004
PHILADELPHIA, PA (02/02/02) - Saint Joseph's may have lost the battle with the Temple Owls, 82-72, on Saturday afternoon in front of a nationally televised audience, but Hawk coach Phil Martelli now feels his team is ready for the war. "We are further ahead than we are a week ago," stated Martelli on the state of his team. "We have to sure up individual's games, but collectively we had our fight and we had our plan. We had great preparation, but we just did not execute. We will go forward from here." Senior Marvin O'Connor, who scored all of his 18 points in the second half, concurred with his coach's outlook. "The effort was there," exhorted the Hawks' All-American guard. "And that is something we did not have at Nova, and not fully at Penn. That is something we are going to build on. "All our goals are still much in reach." If not for the play of Temple guard Lynn Greer, the Hawks (13-7, 7-1 in A-10 play) may still be unbeaten in league play. All the senior point guard did was tally 34 points, and set an A-10 record by hitting all 18 of his free throw attempts. Twelve of those came in the final three minutes as SJU tried to rally from behind. "What we wanted to do was eliminated the second scorer," explained Martelli. "Lynn is going to score. So Polk's performance in the first half set us back a little bit." That is sophomore guard Brian Polk, who scored 11 of his 17 points in the opening stanza. The 6-4 Owl nailed 5-of-7 three-pointers on the game, while also grabbing seven rebounds and making three steals. Another sophomore, 6-4 guard David Hawkins, came off the bench to provide an offensive punch for Hall of Fame coach John Chaney's Owls. Hawkins hit 6-of-9 from the field for 18 points, with 15 of his tallies coming in the final 20 minutes. Temple, 8-12, 5-3 in A-10, controlled the tempo from the get-go. The Owls zone defense, noted more for limiting inside play, held O'Connor and Jameer Nelson to just five first half points on 1-of-4 shooting from the field. Na'im Crenshaw (8 points) and Damian Reid (7) kept SJU within striking distance, as the Owls led 32-25 at the break. "That defense was a 1-2-2 match-up, which I have seen on tape but it is different for them," stated Martelli. "They do not normally run that kind of look. It was probably the right way to guard us because of our perimeter orientation." "The 10 turnovers in the first half hurt our rhythm, and in the second half we had a little better feel for how we could attack it. We tried to come from the baseline out and I was pleased with that kind of concept." Temple opened the second half on a 9-3 run, triggered by five points from Hawkins. The lead stayed in double figures until back-to-back three-pointers by Crenshaw and O'Connor cut the deficit to six, 54-48, with 7:15 to play. The Owls answered with five quick points to build the margin back to 11, 59-48, but SJU did not go away, as O'Connor hit a three, then connected on 2-of-3 free throws after being fouled on a long-range attempt to again cut it to six, 59-53. The game finally swung in Temple's favor for good at the 3:17 mark. Nelson launched a three-pointer which was blocked by Alex Wesby. On an Owl breakout, Nelson grabbed Greer and was whistled for an intentional foul. After Greer converted his free throws, Kevin Lyde was fouled and hit two more, and all of the sudden it was a 67-55 advantage with 3:04 remaining. SJU did cut it again to six with 1:54 to play on a Nelson trey, but turnovers on the two subsequent possessions ended the rally. Crenshaw led SJU with 21 points on a career high five three-pointers. It marked just the fifth time he has tallied 20 or more points in a game during his fine career. Bill Phillips, who looked better than the previous week, posted his third double-double of the year (11 points, 10 rebounds).Nelson also had a strong overall game, tallying 13 points, dishing eight assists and grabbing six rebounds. SJU will play its fourth city opponent in the five games when it hosts La Salle at the Palestra on Wednesday (8:00 p.m./CSN/WPEN 950 AM).