St. Joe's doesn't 'man it up,' shows immaturity in loss to Davidson

St. Joe's doesn't 'man it up,' shows immaturity in loss to Davidson


Saint Joseph’s was hit in the mouth by Davidson’s offensive assault Tuesday night. Phil Martelli felt there was a more appropriate way of describing his team’s inability to combat Davidson’s dominance in the Hawks' 75-60 loss at Hagan Arena (see Instant Replay).

“It’s inexcusable,” Martelli said of St. Joe's offensive performance. “The layups and the foul shooting. I’ve always said missing a layup is not two points. It hits you like it’s a bat — and we missed seven dead ones.

“We didn’t give ourselves a chance, we paced [poorly]. We had two really good days of practice and played a lousy pace of game.”   

Davidson’s Peyton Aldridge was the Hawks' worst nightmare and the reason why they never led once in the game. There were a brief 12 seconds — the first 12 of the game — when the score was tied. Aldridge was literally perfect from everywhere in the first half. He was 7 of 7 from the field, 2 for 2 from beyond the arc and 4 of 4 at the free throw line. He finished his first half with 20 points and six rebounds.

St. Joe's (10-11, 3-6 A-10) only player capable of stopping the 6-foot-8 buzzsaw was not at full strength. James Demery, 6-foot-6 and averaging a team-best 7.1 rebounds, had been under the weather leading up to game day.

“Not an excuse, just a fact James has been sick for two days,” Martelli said. “That’s why I yo-yoed him in there a little bit. And he was our chance to guard Aldridge. [Demery] just didn’t have it and didn’t do a very good job in the first half anyway."

Demery played a season-low 18 minutes while posting just five points and four rebounds.

Meanwhile, Wildcats leading scorer Jack Gibbs was held to single digits for the first time all season. The senior guard, apparently a bit hampered, came in averaging 22.7 points per game, good for ninth best in the country.

But his quiet night didn't matter.

"They had an injured Gibbs and we let two guys go over their scoring averages in Jon Axel (Gudmundsson) and (Will) Magarity," Martelli said. "But Aldridge, that’s what an all-league player looks like and that’s what an all-league player does.”

Aldridge finished with a double-double of 31 points and 13 rebounds — all of those boards came on the defensive end. Axel and Magarity finished their nights with 13 and 14 points, respectively.

As for Demery, it was evident that he was truly not himself. The junior, scoring 14.5 points per night, was coming off a game against La Salle in which he posted a double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds). Then again, he usually plays the majority of each game and couldn't play half of Tuesday's.

St. Joe's fell victim to a slow start and early 17-8 deficit. Nine points is not impossible to come back from but the Hawks lacked a premier scorer to take control. They trimmed Davidson's (12-8, 5-4 A-10) lead to 20-14 midway through the first half, but the Wildcats countered with a 17-6 run.

“The middle part there where it was maybe eight [points] and we had a couple possessions, that’s when it would have [been the time to capitalize],” Martelli said. “Their M.O. is you can get back [in games against them]. And I was checking with the coaches as we were going and saying, 'Well, we are OK here.'

“Seventy-five is not our number. And we have to be exact here. Some of these games we come out with turnovers and not enough shots. This game, we came out with 61 shots. But God bless us, just shoot a layup.”

St. Joe's went on a 9-2 run with time winding down in the first half. It started with a free throw followed by a Charlie Brown three-pointer, and ended with a Lamarr Kimble three. That momentum put the Hawks within 10 points at the 1:28 mark and going into halftime.

The momentum, however, did not translate in the second half. Overall, St. Joe's was outscored in the paint, 38-28, and left 10 points at the free throw line, going 15 for 25.

Martelli, set to receive the “Good Guy” award from the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association this week, tried to be diplomatically critical.

“What I have been saying all year is this team is immature,” he said. “It’s not a mean way. It’s just an immature team. So those [missed] layups, [the boys'] feelings get hurt. Or a play is not there, they want to explain it [to me]. I don’t mean this in a negative way, we just weren’t manly enough. I’m not knocking them. We just didn’t man it up.”

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


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

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.