St. Joseph's defeats George Mason, 58-54

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Saint Joseph's head coach Phil Martelli. (Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports)

As St. Joseph's coach Phil Martelli addressed reporters after his team's wire-to-wire win over a conference opponent Saturday, he seemed anything but delighted.

That's because Martelli, despite a 58-54 victory over George Mason at Hagan Arena, saw too many flaws for his own liking, the biggest one being the Hawks' horrendous free-throw shooting.

"I don't know what you want me to address," Martelli said after the Hawks improved to 10-12, 4-6 in the Atlantic 10. "We were 16 for 31, so I'll address it that way."

One of the sources of Martelli's ire was DeAndre' Bembry, the team's best player. Bembry led the Hawks with 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists. However, he committed four turnovers and was just 4 for 9 from the foul line.

Aaron Brown, who had scored 41 points in the previous two games, got all but two of his 11 in the second half.

"It starts with the guy that I'm promoting for all-American going 4 for 9," Martelli said, referring to Bembry. "Aaron Brown was 5 for 8; that's just not acceptable. So we sneak out of here with a win because we're at home."

Bembry had no problem with his coach's criticism of his free-throw shooting.

"It starts with me just missing free throws, period," said Bembry, who is shooting just 60 percent from the line. "We've just got to get better."

The Hawks' 10-point second-half lead was reduced to 54-51 when Mason's Patrick Holloway (16 points) swished a three-pointer with 13 seconds to play. After Bembry pushed the lead to 57-51 with a breakaway dunk following a timeout, Holloway cut the lead to three with another trey.

Chris Wilson, fouled on the Hawks' next possession, made 1 of 2 free throws with five seconds remaining, putting the game out of George Mason's reach.

The Hawks didn't do much offensively. They made 20 of 44 shots but just 2 of 13 from behind the three-point arc.

But fortunately for St. Joseph's, the Patriots (7-15, 2-8) were just as bad, and sloppier. George Mason shot just 41.2 percent (21 for 51) from the floor and committed 19 turnovers.


jmitchell@philly.com

@JmitchInquirer

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