Feb. 25, 2006
PHILADELPHIA - By G. Venkat Ganeshan- It was Senior Day for the Saint Joseph's Hawks as they took on the Richmond Spiders. And the Hawks' seniors turned in a performance that was befitting the occasion. Saint Joseph's put away Richmond, 70-39, to move above the .500 mark since February 4.
"All of our attention was on Senior Day," said coach Phil Martelli. "I wanted the seniors to go out with a winning record."
The Hawks had a 26-18 lead at halftime and then 34-24 with 17:08 to play. A decisive 19-0 run, with six different players scoring, over the next eight minutes gave the Hawks a 53-24 and put the game out of reach.
With the largest margin being 34 points, Martelli was able to clear the bench and give all 13 players time. It also allowed the seniors to be taken out of the game one-by-one and receive the deserved ovations from the Hawk faithful.
Martelli's blueprint was to force the Richmond's offense to attempt three-pointers.
"The tangible wasn't to give them two-pointers and I wanted to make them earn their three-pointers," Martelli said. "I was really happy with the way our defense played."
After the game, Lee went through a gamut of emotions.
"It's fun and sad," Lee said standing near his locker. "It was fun to score such a dominant victory but I feel sad to be going. The team needed this win and it was a nice and easy one."
Alluding to the slow start, Lee said, "They had a better defense going early and they were really aggressive. However, we just came in and made some adjustments and finally we began to enjoy."
Obviously, Stachitas was happy about his performance and accepted that he was little emotional during the beginning of the game.
"It was a special moment and a special game for me," Stachitas said alluding to his being honored during the pre-game ceremonies. "Personally it wasn't difficult but I was worried about how the team might react. Thankfully, this Senior Day wasn't a distraction to the team. We were able to get our offense going after a sedate start. They had a conceptual offense. And we had to adjust to it."
The Hawks go on the road to close out the regular season, at Xavier on February 28 and at Duquesne on March 4.