NCAA

La Salle routs shorthanded St. Joe's for 1st Big 5 win in 2 years

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La Salle routs shorthanded St. Joe's for 1st Big 5 win in 2 years

BOX SCORE

Good grief.

Saint Joseph’s freshman guard Charlie Brown started the game 0 for 8 from the field, tossing up contested shot after shot, even airballing twice.
 
Even poor Snoopy wasn’t spared.
 
“Charlie Brown is having a wonderful year,” St. Joe’s head coach Phil Martelli said. “When he misses a shot, any shot … I don’t know if he owns a dog, but if he does own a dog, that dog died 10 times in the first half.
 
“Every shot. Drops his head, misses his assignment at the other end. You gotta grow up.”
 
As Brown took his seat on the bench midway through the first half, the La Salle band taunted his effort with the Peanuts’ theme song.
 
The rout was on.
 
La Salle raced out to an early lead and didn’t look back, pummeling St. Joe’s, 83-68, Saturday at Tom Gola Arena for its first Big 5 win in two years (see Instant Replay).
 
Brown wasn’t the only Hawk to feel Martelli’s wrath, though.
 
“We have to get emotionally older in a hurry,” Martelli said. “Because they’re nice, young guys who are immature.“
 
With veteran leaders and the team’s two leading scorers Shavar Newkirk and Lamarr Kimble out for the year, Martelli elected to start a young lineup — freshmen Brown and Nick Robinson, sophomores Chris Clover and Markell Lodge and junior James Demery.
 
“It doesn’t have anything to do with age, at this point,” Martelli said.
 
“The healthier team won today,” La Salle head coach John Giannini said.
 
While age isn’t the problem, Martelli cited that, in what has become a lost year of sorts, he wants to see his young players mature on and off the court.
 
“We had a player get a slight concussion yesterday,” Martelli said. “One of his teammates threw the ball off his face. It’s impossible.
 
“I reach out to the kid last night and say, ‘Are you all right, have you been able to eat, do you have an upset stomach? Call me tomorrow at 11:30, that’s when I write up my pregame notes.’
 
“11:30 no call, 11:40 no call. So I text him. I go, ‘I guess you’re out?’
 
“How hard is it?”
 
Martelli’s Hawks responded with some maturity in the second half.
 
Down by 27, St. Joe’s amassed an 18-2 run to cut the lead to 11. In the end, La Salle’s lights-out shooting and stifling defense prevailed.
 
“We played well,” Giannini said of the game as a whole. “Our defense wasn’t great the last 10 minutes, but other than that, I was pleased with everything else.”
 
“It’s just numbers,” Martelli said of the reason St. Joe’s was dominated. “It has nothing to do with anything else."
 
And those numbers were not pretty for Martelli’s squad.
 
The Explorers built their lead with the long ball, making 12 threes and shooting 41 percent from behind the arc. The Hawks made just two of 11 from deep.
 
La Salle put up 44 puts in the first half. St. Joe’s managed just 26.
 
The game was a microcosm of the season for both teams, each heading in different directions just two weeks away from the Atlantic-10 tournament.
 
Ravaged by injury this season, St. Joe’s is fading fast, having lost six straight games and 11 of its last 14. So what is there left to play for with the team in freefall?
 
“We keep going,” Martelli said. “I’m not collecting uniforms yet.
 
“We had to walk in here like big boys, and we got to walk out like big boys. It’s the cards that we have and we gotta play the hand.
 
“We’re going to show up and we’re going to play again on Wednesday. And no one should feel sorry for us. We gotta be better.”
 
La Salle, on the other hand, is getting healthy at the right time. B.J. Johnson, the team’s leading scorer with 18 points per game, and redshirt sophomore guard Pookie Powell have returned from injury just in time to make a charge up the A-10 standings.
 
The Explorers currently sit in a three-way tie for fifth in the conference with the top four teams getting two-round byes.
 
“That’s still two weeks away,” Giannini said of his team’s A-10 positioning. "The seeding’s important.”
 
With four games left in the regular season — all vs. A-10 foes — Giannini and the Explorers stress the importance of not getting caught looking ahead.
 
“I’d really hate to be boring, but it’s really about the next game, and your seeding,” Giannini said.
 
“You look at the standings and what you have to do in the next game. And then after that, you do the process over again."
 
La Salle hosts Rhode Island, who currently hold the third-seed in the A-10, Tuesday.
 
“Rhode Island is a heck of a challenge,” Giannini said. “It’s going to be a real battle Tuesday night.”

Temple-UConn observations: Despite valiant effort from Marchi, Owls lose 1st homecoming game since 2008

Temple-UConn observations: Despite valiant effort from Marchi, Owls lose 1st homecoming game since 2008

BOX SCORE

That’s why football is a week-to-week game. Forget about momentum.

Temple found that out the hard way. After coming alive in a big road win over East Carolina last week, the Owls were humbled when a fourth-quarter rally fell short Saturday in a 28-24 homecoming loss to Connecticut at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Owls had one final shot at the victory with a drive in the final minute, but a Logan Marchi heave to the end zone was broken up.

The loss dropped Temple back under .500 at 3-4 (1-3 American Athletic Conference). UConn moved to 2-5 (2-2) with the victory.

• Say what you want about Temple quarterback Marchi (and you surely will after this game), but the guy is a fighter. Whether things are going his way or not, he continues to try to search for his receivers and attempt to squeeze the ball into those windows on the field. He made it two consecutive games with 300-plus yards passing as he was 33 of 54 for 356 yards with one touchdown and one interception Saturday.

• The game marked Temple’s first homecoming loss in nearly a decade. TU hadn’t suffered a homecoming defeat since a 7-3 loss to Western Michigan on Sept. 27, 2008. On that day, former Eagles DB Jaiquawn Jarrett was beaten in coverage on a double move in the third quarter for the game’s lone touchdown. Coming into Saturday, the Owls had won eight straight homecoming matchups by an average margin of 19.3 points.

• There was a rare sighting for Temple at the Linc: a rushing touchdown from a tailback. In fact, there were two. David Hood, who became the first Owls tailback to score on a run this season in last week’s rout of East Carolina, punched it in from one yard out to open the scoring in the first quarter. Ryquell Armstead weaved his way into the end zone for a 10-yard TD on the first play of the fourth quarter.

• Delvon Randall is simply a playmaker. The Owls’ leading tackler, Randall added another five stops in Saturday’s win. The junior DB also made a beautiful play along the sideline in the first quarter when he undercut an out route for an interception. It marked Randall’s third straight game with a pick. The Owls only have four interceptions this season and Randall has three of them.

• My colleague Greg Paone touched on college football’s targeting rule a couple of weeks ago (see story)We agree on pretty much all of the nuts and bolts of the rule. I’m glad it’s in place to protect players from violent and unnecessary hits. However, the more I see it called each week — and it seems like there is at least one in every game now — the more I’m starting to dislike the implementation. Temple defensive lineman Sharif Finch was ejected for targeting on Saturday when he went high on Huskies quarterback Bryant Shirreffs on a third-quarter touchdown pass. Shirreffs sold the hit by jerking his head back as he fell to the ground, but it was definitely worthy of a penalty. Was it a late hit? Yes. A bone-headed hit? Absolutely. But one worthy of Temple losing a top defensive player for the remainder of the game? I don’t think so.

• Speaking of Shirreffs, it’s easy to see why the Huskies have the best passing offense in the AAC. He didn’t show it with yardage in this tilt (just 105), but he was able to connect on three touchdowns through the air. He also added 39 yards on the ground, including a key run up the middle late in the fourth quarter.

• The Owls simply aren’t a good enough team to overcome 12 penalties for 117 yards.

• Like any other major college football game around the country, Saturday’s matchup at the Linc had scouts from NFL teams listed to attend. Of course, the Eagles were listed for several scouts in their home stadium. While the Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers were also among those expected to have representatives at the game, there was only one other team labeled for more than one scout besides the Eagles — the New York Giants. At 0-5, they can certainly use all the help they can get right now.

• Temple will look to rebound when the Owls travel to play their final non-conference opponent in Army at 12 p.m. next Saturday.

Temple eyes streak, Penn looks to dethrone Columbia, Villanova on the road

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Temple eyes streak, Penn looks to dethrone Columbia, Villanova on the road

Temple (3-3, 1-2 American) vs. UConn (1-4, 0-3 American)
Lincoln Financial Field, ESPNews
Noon Saturday

Last time out
Temple beat East Carolina, 34-10, last Saturday.

UConn lost to Memphis, 70-31, last Saturday.

Scouting report
Last week, quarterback Logan Marchi finally got on track with his first 300-yard game of the season against East Carolina. This week, the redshirt sophomore will face UConn, the team he initially committed to in high school under former coach Paul Pasqualoni. Marchi was then denied after a coaching change was made. The Huskies have the worst passing defense in the AAC, giving up 399.8 passing yards per game, and have allowed 19 touchdowns through the air in 2017. If Marchi can play well for a second week in a row, look for Temple’s offense to put up some points. 

Another matchup to look at is UConn’s passing attack against Temple’s defense. The Huskies’ boast the best passing offense in terms of yards in the AAC, averaging 325.8 yards per game, but have only scored nine touchdowns this year. Temple, on the other hand, allows the eighth-most passing yards in the conference (253 yards per game), but is ranked fourth in the conference in scoring defense, allowing 26 points per game. Connecticut must convert drives into touchdowns against this Owls defense if it wants to compete.

What it means
Temple’s hopes to reach the AAC championship game might not be realistic anymore but its bowl hopes are still alive. A win against UConn would put the Owls just two victories away from becoming bowl-eligible, which after their start would be good for Owl fans.

Series history
Temple holds the 12-5 series advantage over Connecticut, and is currently on a three-game win streak.

What’s next?
Temple travels to Army.

UConn hosts Tulsa. 

Penn (2-2, 0-1 Ivy) at Columbia (4-0, 1-0 Ivy)
Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium
1:30 p.m. Saturday


Last time out
Penn lost at Central Connecticut State, 42-21, Saturday.

Columbia defeated Marist, 41-17, Saturday.

Scouting report
Penn’s strength is its rushing attack. They rank second in the Ivy League averaging 204 yards per game on the ground. Karekin Brooks has 543 yards rushing and five touchdowns so far this season. Getting the ground game going will be key for the Quakers this week.

Columbia defense has been strong so far this season. The Lions rank second in the Ivy League in total defense only allowing 316 yards per game and are third in the Ivy in pass defense. The Lions allow 194.8 yards per game through the air.

Series history
This is the 96th meeting between the teams. The Quakers hold a 73-21-1 advantage and have won the last 19 editions.

What’s next?
Penn hosts Yale.

Columbia is at Dartmouth.

Villanova (4-2, 2-1 CAA) at James Madison (5-0, 2-0 CAA)
Bridgeforth Stadium
6 p.m. Saturday


Last time out

Villanova defeated Maine, 31-0, Saturday.

James Madison beat Delaware, 20-10, Saturday.

Scouting report
Villanova has allowed just 1.6 yards per carry and 52 rushing yards per game this season. The Wildcats boast a strong scoring defense as well, the best in the Colonial allowing only nine points per game.

James Madison boasts the second-best rushing offense in the CAA averaging 223 yards per game and is second in scoring defense. The Dukes allow just 10 points per game to opposing offenses. Look for this game to be defensive showdown.

Series history
This is the 26th meeting between the teams. James Madison leads the series 14-11 and won 20-7 last season.

What’s next?
Villanova hosts Elon next Saturday.

James Madison travels to William & Mary next Saturday.