Back to the drawing board for Hawks

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Saint Joseph’s head coach Phil Martelli talks to his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Villanova on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, in Philadelphia. Villanova won 98-68. (Michael Perez/AP)

After losing consecutive Big Five games to Temple and Villanova, it’s back to the drawing board for St. Joseph’s. Especially on the heels of its 98-68 loss to visiting Villanova in a game the Hawks were outscored, 59-33 in the second half.

“I know we are better than we played and we will show that,” coach Phil Martelli said after the Villanova loss.

Villanova spread the floor in the second half and shot 9 for 16 from beyond the arc, while the Hawks were 0 for 9 in the second half on three-point attempts.

The players are now getting ready for exams and so St. Joseph’s doesn’t play again until hosting Drexel on Dec. 18.

“It’s good for us to have some time off and get our heads straight,” said forward Halil Kanacevic.

Against Villanova Kanacevic shot 3 for 9 from the field. Fellow senior Ronald Roberts Jr. took just five shots from the field (making four).

The Hawks will need to find ways to get more offensive production from both players.

There will be other things to work on. When asked why the Hawks struggled in the second half, Martelli said he wasn’t sure.

“I have to step back and digest it, just like I tell the players,” Martelli said. “It seems simplistic but we didn’t win possessions and that is what we have to be about.”

So Martelli will put the time off from games to good use. He knows the team must be much more effective on the defensive end while also displaying better consistency on offense.

There is a lot to work on and at least for now, the Hawks have time on their side in an attempt to make the appropriate corrections.

-Marc Narducci

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