This year, Turkey Day entails Hawks basketball.
Saint Joseph's has drawn Washington State in the first round of the Wooden Legacy Tournament, which opens on Thanksgiving, Nov. 23, on the campus of Cal State Fullerton. The game is set for 6:30 p.m. on ESPN3. Win or lose, Phil Martelli's team will play the next day against either Saint Mary's or Harvard.
Cal State Fullerton, Georgia, San Diego State and Sacramento State fill the other side of the eight-team bracket. SJU is guaranteed three games and will also play one of those four schools, depending on results. The final day of the tournament is Sunday, Nov. 26.
The injury bug took a big bite out of the Hawks' 2016-2017 campaign that resulted in a disappointing 11-20 record. However, all of the team's key players are back for another year, and with health and experience figure to improve on that mark.
Shavar Newkirk and Lamarr Kimble, SJU's two leading scorers from last season, should both be good to go in the fall after suffering season-ending injuries.
James Demery scored 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds as Saint Joseph's beat Bucknell 83-70 on Wednesday night.
Demery was 8 of 18 from the field for the Hawks (4-3). Shavar Newkirk added 19 points, 10 rebounds and six assists and Chris Clover had 17 points while Pierfrancesco Oliva grabbed 10 rebounds. The team averaged 41 percent shooting from the field compared to 34 percent for Bucknell.
The Hawks took an early lead and a Robinson layup gave them a 27-16 advantage with 7:06 left in the first half. They were up 40-27 at the break.
Saint Joseph's led by double figures throughout the second half and Taylor Funk sank a layup and a 3-pointer back-to-back to stretch it to 60-39 with 11:23 to play.
Nana Foulland scored 17 points and had 10 rebounds for the Bison (3-5). Zach Thomas added 15 points and led the team with a career-best 19 rebounds.
FULLERTON, Calif. -- Shavar Newkirk scored 22 points and freshman Taylor Funk scored five points to break a late tie and Saint Joseph's overcame poor shooting to down Sacramento State 74-69 on Sunday for seventh place in the Wooden Legacy.
Newkirk made 11 of 14 free throws and Funk scored all of his 15 points after halftime when Saint Joseph's (3-3) battled back after Sacramento State (1-6) had shot out to a 52-40 lead. James Demery also scored 15 for the Hawks, who have played all six games on the road, and Lorenzo Edwards scored 10 with nine rebounds. Saint Joseph's scored 27 points off 17 Sac State turnovers.
Justin Strings and Joshua Patton led Sacramento State with 20 and 15 points, respectively. Izayah Mauriohoohoo-Le'Afa added nine rebounds, six assists and seven points for the Hornets.
The contest was one of wild swings, with Saint Joseph's holding an 11-point lead early in the first half and Sacramento State up 12 midway through the second.