NCAA

Youth movement leads way for St. Joe's in win over Columbia

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The Associated Press

Youth movement leads way for St. Joe's in win over Columbia

BOX SCORE

An already inexperienced St. Joe's basketball team got even younger on Monday when head coach Phil Martelli announced that junior forward James Demery would be sidelined for a few weeks with a stress fracture in the fourth metatarsal of his left foot (see story)

But despite losing one of their three returning players from last year's team, the Hawks handled business like that of a veteran team against Columbia on Monday night.

St. Joe's raced out to a commanding early lead, took a 23-point advantage into the half and kept Columbia at arm's length the rest of the way en route to an 85-65 win (see Instant Replay)

"I'll be honest with you, I was a little bit taken back with the starting lineup cause I went, 'Holy mackerel, there's two sophomores and two freshmen,'" Martelli said. "But I'm not blinking, like, win was the expectation. Win was the need, not the want. We didn't want to win tonight, we needed to win. And when you're looking out you're saying, 'My god, these guys are so young and they haven't been through everything yet.'

"How we're gonna deal with James' absence going forward? It's to be worked out. This is going be a game-by-game thing now without James. We lose his rebounding and his defense. But, first thing's first, his health is more important than anything else." 

St. Joe's dynamic starting backcourt was explosive on the offensive end of the court for the second time in as many games. Lamarr Kimble led the way with a career-high 19 points and eight assists, both team highs. Shavar Newkirk also had an impressive showing, finishing with 17 points and four assists.

But while the Hawks' backcourt duo shouldered the brunt of the load on offense, the most noteworthy performance of the night came from freshman forward Charlie Brown.

After posting just five points on six shot attempts in his collegiate debut, Brown erupted for 15 points on 6 of 10 shooting from the field, mixing in both pull-up and spot-up jumpers. He also pulled down five rebounds and drilled three of the Hawks' seven triples on the night.

On the same day that St. Joe's lost its top returning scorer from last year, Brown's emergence on offense was an encouraging sign for the Hawks.

"[Charlie] was a big lift," Newkirk said. "First game, I guess it was nervousness, so he didn't play as everyone expected. He really picked it up this game."

Brown's night didn't get off to a positive start either. Just three minutes into the game, he was pulled for not being active enough and missing an assignment on defense, according to Martelli. 

But Brown checked back in a few minutes later with St. Joe's leading 11-6 and played a substantial role in the Hawks' offensive explosion that put the game away early. The Philadelphia native hit five of his next eight shots, including two from beyond the arc, for 12 points during a 27-12 run by the Hawks.
 
"[Charlie's] like these wings that Philadelphia has lived with," Martelli said. "He's not like DeAndre' (Bembry) as a wing, but he's got a little bit of Delonte (West) in that he can really raise up on you quickly. I don't want to be sacrilegious or jinx this kid. He's gonna make a hard run here at some scoring records, in my opinion. He just has to be older tomorrow and understand it's not about one way here."

For an offense that is highly predicated off of dribble penetration from its pair of combo guards, Brown's shooting prowess has gravity and makes life on Kimble and Newkirk a lot easier.  

"He spreads the court out," Newkirk said. "He's an excellent jump shooter and he just opens up driving lanes for me and Lamarr.”

Brown wasn't the only depth player to contribute in the first game of Demery's absence. Chris Clover and Brendan Casper came off the bench to combine for 18 points. 

As St. Joe's gets set to move on to the Paradise Jam tournament on Nov. 18 — which includes the likes of No. 22 Creighton — the Hawks’ depth and inexperience is likely to be tested sooner rather than later.

But, through two games, so far, so good.  

“I think we’re getting better over the days. … I like the fact that we’re scoring," Martelli said. "I didn’t anticipate that we would score this well, but when we hit a bump, that’s what I want to see, to see how much we grow."

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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USA Today Images

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.