Jan. 7, 2012
PHILADELPHIA - Charlotte used a 7-2 run in the final two minutes to break a 50-50 tie and defeat Saint Joseph's, 57-52, in Atlantic 10 action at Hagan Arena, giving the Hawks their first loss at home this season (7-1).
Pierria Henry started the run with a jumper at 1:59 as Charlotte (9-5; 2-0 A-10) held Saint Joseph's (11-5; 1-1) without a field goal in the final 6:36 to earn the win. Henry and Jamar Briscoe led the 49ers with 11 points apiece.
"We got exactly what we deserved and I'm concerned about it because that is a week of bad basketball. Four of the last five halves, we've scored under 30 points. There's going to be a lot of soul searching starting with me. Not starting with them, starting with me," said Hawk coach Phil Martelli. "There is no aspect of the game where I would say we looked really sharp. Even when we got the lead, possessions were too long, too much banging the ball. They were an aggressive team had 19 free throws in the second half to four (for us). Against the home team, that never happens. We've been making shots all year and we didn't make shots."
Trailing 36-26 in the early part of the second half, Saint Joseph's made a run of its own. The Hawks rattled off 12 straight points, including Jones' three-pointer at 16:28, which was his first basket of the game. The junior then hit a layup and another three to give SJU its first lead of the half, 38-36.
The Hawks held a 48-43 lead at 6:36 after a layup by Kanacevic, but that would be their last field goal of the game. Javarris Barnett connected on a three-pointer at 4:16 to pull Charlotte within 50-48 and then Briscoe had a layup at 3:28 to tie the score, 50-50.
Saint Joseph's had a few chances in the last minute to tie the score. Jones made two free throws at 36.6 seconds to pull the Hawks within 54-52, but Barnett made one foul shot to give Charlotte a 55-52 cushion. Jones missed a three-pointer on the Hawks' next possession and had one more chance with 13.7 seconds to go, but SJU turned the ball over and allowed Henry to ice the game for Charlotte with a pair of free throws at 7.7 seconds.
"We thought their length was going to be a problem. We really wanted to pace the game. We don't want to be in 50-point games, but you're in the league and people have tape on you," said Martelli. "We just didn't go at them, they were very aggressive in their switches. We knew their length was going to be an issue and we allowed it to be an issue."
Saint Joseph's led at the start, 10-9, with eight quick points by Ronald Roberts kept the Hawks in the game, with four points in the final three minutes, and his dunk at 1:38 provided the halftime margin, 31-24.
SJU, the top three-point shooting team in the Atlantic 10, went 0-for-8 from three-point range in the half. The Hawks also made just 4-of-7 from the foul line in the contest.
Saint Joseph's will host Fordham on January 11 at 7 p.m. at Hagan Arena.