Phil Martelli out as St. Joe's head coach after 24 years

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Phil Martelli out as St. Joe's head coach after 24 years

It's the end of an era on Hawk Hill. After 24 seasons, Phil Martelli is out as the men's basketball coach at St. Joseph's University. 

The Hawks finished the 2018-19 season with a 14-19 record, losing in the Atlantic 10 Tournament quarterfinals last Friday in Brooklyn.

"Following a comprehensive review of the men's basketball program, I have decided to make a change in the leadership of the program. The decision was not an easy one, but I believe it is the right one - for both the men's basketball program and the institution as a whole," St. Joseph's athletics director Jill Bodensteiner said in a statement Tuesday morning.

Martelli took over as St. Joseph's head coach in 1995. He compiled a 444-328 record in 24 seasons and won six A-10 regular season championships, three A-10 Tournament titles and guided the Hawks to seven NCAA Tournament appearances. He is the winningest coach at a school known for producing coaching legends such as Jack Ramsey and Jim Lynam. However the St. Joseph's program slipped in recent years. Following a 28-win season in 2016, the Hawks had a 41-55 record over the last three years. 

Martelli led St. Joseph's on a tremendous five-year run from 2000-05, winning five straight A-10 regular season championships and appearing in three NCAA Tournaments over that span.  The 2004 season was the high point. Led by national player of the year Jameer Nelson, the Hawks completed a perfect 27-0 regular season and advanced to the Elite Eight before losing to Oklahoma State in the final seconds. Martelli was named the national coach of the year following that 2004 season. But the Hawks have won just one NCAA Tournament game since 2004.

"Basketball is an important strategic asset for the University," said Bodensteiner in her statement. "We have a storied history, and we move forward with the desire and intent to build upon that history, develop a sustained and consistent culture of excellence, and compete for NCAA tournament appearances and conference championships every year." Martelli's dismissal comes during a changing of the guard across the Big 5. Temple's Fran Dunphy will step down at the end of this season following 30 years as a head coach at Temple and Penn. Ashley Howard just completed his first season at La Salle.

Saint Joseph's can't slow down Justin Jaworski, Lafayette

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Saint Joseph's can't slow down Justin Jaworski, Lafayette

BOX SCORE

Justin Jaworski scored a career-high 31 points and Lafayette defeated Saint Joseph’s 94-71 Tuesday night, continuing its best start in four seasons.

Jaworski was the first 30-point scorer for the Leopards since the 2017-18 season. He was 10-for-17 from the field, making 5 of 10 3-pointers and making all six of his free throws. He also dished three assists.

The last 30-point scorer for Lafayette was Matt Klinewski, going off for 30 against Saint Peter’s Nov. 26, 2017.

Myles Cherry added 15 points on 6-for-7 shooting, and Lukas Jarrett scored 13 for Lafayette, which was coming off a nine-day holiday break.

The Leopards (5-2) have won three straight and are off to their best start since the 2014-15 season opened 7-2.

Lafayette had 20 assists on 34 baskets, shot 55% for the game (34-for-62) and made 14 of 28 3-pointers.

Ryan Daly led Saint Joseph’s (2-7) with 25 points, six rebounds and five assists. Cameron Brown added a career-high 13 points, Lorenzo Edwards 12.

The Hawks have dropped their last six.

Ryan Daly scores 30 and St. Joe's holds off UConn on the road

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Ryan Daly scores 30 and St. Joe's holds off UConn on the road

BOX SCORE 

STORRS, Conn. — Ryan Daly scored 30 points as Saint Joseph’s held off UConn 96-87 on Wednesday night.

Rahim Moore added 22 points and Myles Douglas had 18 for the Hawks (2-1), who led by as many as 27-points in the first half and never trailed.

Christian Vital had 26 points for UConn (1-1) and Alterique Gilbert added 22 for the Huskies, who cut the deficit to three points in the second half before running out of gas.

The Hawks opened the game with a 14-0 run. While UConn missed its first nine shots, St. Joe’s hit five of its first seven, including three of four from 3-point range.

Gilbert paused the bleeding for a moment with UConn’s first basket, a driving layup that came more than four minutes into the game.

But a 3-pointer by Daly pushed St. Joe’s lead over 20-points at 34-12 midway through the first half and the Hawks extended that to 46-19. Daly had 21 points by halftime, hitting five of his first seven shots from 3-point range.

It was 54-38 at the break and 69-48 with 12 ½ minutes left.

UConn went to a pressing defense and quickly cut into that deficit, outscoring the Hawks 21-4 over the next four minutes. The run was capped by a driving layup from Vital that made it 73-69.

The Huskies got as close as 79-76 after two free throws from Vital. But Daly hit a 3-pointer on the other end and St. Joe’s outscored UConn 17-11 down the stretch.

Big picture 

UConn is 6-3 all-time against St. Joe’s. This was the first meeting between the two schools since the first round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament. UConn won that game 89-81 in overtime, beginning their run to a fourth national title.

Saint Joseph’s made 13 of its 33 shots from 3-points range, but only 3 of 12 in the second half. The Hawks have put up 101 3-pointers in three games.

Up next 

St. Joseph’s continues its three-game road swing with a trip to Loyola Chicago

It doesn’t get any easier for UConn, which wraps up its opening three-game campus homestand on Sunday with a game against No. 15 Florida.