For the first 11 minutes of the second half Wednesday night, St. Joe’s didn't necessarily have momentum, but it did have a chance to come back against St. Bonaventure.
The Hawks went into the break down only four and kept the deficit within five throughout the first 11 minutes of the final frame. But unfortunately for St. Joe's, a Phil Martelli ejection and the series of foul shots afterward made a rally all the more tougher in an eventual 83-77 loss to the Bonnies at Hagen Arena.
With his team trailing, 59-55, and 9:02 left in regulation, Martelli was hit with double technicals for arguing an offensive foul call on Brendan Casper. St. Bonaventure guard Matt Mobley converted all four free throws to balloon the Bonnies' lead to eight. A late surge brought the Hawks within three with less than 30 seconds left, but Mobley iced the game with five more freebies and finished with a double-double of 31 points and 10 rebounds.
The loss marked the seventh straight for injury-riddled St. Joe's (10-17, 3-12 A-10), while St. Bonaventure (17-10, 9-6 A-10) swept the season series from the Hawks.
For the first six minutes of the first half, St. Joe’s looked like a prize fighter delivering a series of jabs to St. Bonaventure. An 8-0 Hawks run was jump-started by a pair of James Demery free throws. Both Demery and Nick Robinson went coast-to-coast for layups on the next two possessions after grabbing defensive rebounds. Chris Clover then found Markell Lodge on a pick-and-roll for a dunk to complete the spurt and hand St. Joe's an early 15-7 lead.
If the Hawks' uptempo offense was a series of jabs, then Mobley was a left hook that delivered knockout blows. Mobley was deadly from behind the arc, draining four of eight three-pointers. The Bonnies rallied behind his aggressive shot to come back and take the lead with eight minutes left in the half.
St. Joe’s would pull close to the lead thanks to Casper coming off the bench and scoring 11 points down the stretch.
By the numbers
• Hawks freshman Charlie Brown shot 3 of 17 from the floor, including 0 for 9 from three, and finished with 12 points, his lowest total since Jan. 18.
• Demery poured in a team-high 21 points on 6 of 11 shooting from the field and 9 of 11 from the charity stripe.
• St. Joe’s went just 3 of 18 (16.7 percent) from three-point range.
• St. Bonaventure made 28 of 33 free throws, while the Hawks connected on 18 of 27.
St. Joe’s travels to Saint Louis on Saturday (4:30 p.m./NBCSN), while St. Bonaventure will return home to play Duquesne on Saturday for a 4 p.m. tip.