This one may have hurt more than any this season.
Now the key will be how high the Hawks can lift their collective heads when facing surging Temple in Saturday’s Atlantic-10 matchup at Hagan Arena.
After St. Joseph’s 52-49 loss to visiting Richmond, Hawks coach Phil Martelli said there was blame to go around for everybody.
“I tell them it’s on all of us,” he said. “I say when you have an emotional win enjoy it, they earned it, but you can’t have a carry over.”
So his message was the same for a loss.
“They are in there telling each other get your head up,” Martelli said. “I am not for that. I think you should put your head down when you lose a home game.”
So much will center on the timeout that St. Joseph’s called that the Hawks didn’t have. Richmond made both free throws with three seconds left to extend the lead to 52-49.
The Hawks got a good final shot, considering they had to go the length of the court, but Carl Jones missed the three point attempt at the buzzer.
Jones felt he was bumped and there did look like some contact, but the Hawks can’t complain about the calls.
Richmond’s Kendall Anthony hit a three that the officials ruled came after the shot clock expired with 3:33 left and the Spiders leading 49-43.
Give Richmond credit for keeping its composure. And despite just a 6-8 A-10 record, Richmond happens to be the last team to have beaten Temple. In other words, this is a team capable of beating anybody in the conference.
Spiders coach Chris Mooney, the Archbishop Ryan graduate, did a great job controlling the tempo.
As for the Hawks, Halil Kanacevic, who called the timeout that gave Richmond the two late technical foul shots, showed a lot afterwards by not hiding from the situation.
Kanacevic took the blame, saying that Martelli told the Hawks they were out of timeouts.
He was clearly distraught but already was looking ahead.
“I will use this as motivation when we play Temple,” he said.
There will be no shortage in the motivation department when the first place Owls visit Hagan Arena.
“The way they beat us the first time is motivation,” Kanacevic said.
Temple won 78-60 in a game that wasn’t frankly that close.
Either way, the Hawks are now 8-6 in the Atlantic-10 with games against Temple (11-2) and at St. Bonaventure (8-5).
With things in the A-10 so tight, the Hawks could earn a first-round bye in the conference tournament, play a first round game at home or play a first round game on the road.
No matter how the players cope with the loss, Martelli said that it has to be put behind them before the team’s next practice. There is too much to play for and the Hawks can only keep their heads down for so long.