St. Joe's steamrolls George Mason in A-10 tourney

usa-shavar-newkirk-st-joes.jpg
USA Today Images

St. Joe's steamrolls George Mason in A-10 tourney

BOX SCORE

WASHINGTON -- Nick Robinson led a balanced attack with 14 points, Taylor Funk had a double-double and fourth-seeded Saint Joseph's pulled away for a 68-49 win over fifth-seeded George Mason on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament.

Funk had 12 points and 10 rebounds, James Demery had 12 points off the bench and Shavar Newkirk added 13 points for the Hawks (16-15), who face top-seeded and 25th ranked Rhode Island in the semifinals.

Saint Joseph's worked a 26-25 halftime lead up to 16 points midway through the second half but the Patriots (16-17), who swept the regulation-season series by a total of five points, had a 9-0 run to get within single digits with five minutes to go. In the last four minutes the Hawks were 9 of 10 from the foul line, closing with a 16-6 run.

Jaire Grayer had 12 points and 13 rebounds for George Mason, which went 2 of 25 from distance and shot less than 30 percent overall.

Phil Martelli accepts assistant coaching position at Michigan

usa_phil_martelli.jpg
AP Images

Phil Martelli accepts assistant coaching position at Michigan

Phil Martelli will be joining Juwan Howard's staff as an assistant coach at the University of Michigan.

The 64-year-old Martelli was head coach at Saint Joseph's for 24 years before being fired on March 19. He was named the AP Coach of the Year in 2004 after leading St. Joe's to an undefeated regular season and an appearance in the Elite Eight. St. Joe's had a 444-328 record during Martelli's tenure.

Martelli became an iconic fixture of the Big Five, and of the basketball scene in Philadelphia. He left an enduring legacy off the court as well, including through his work with Coaches vs. Cancer. 

At the time of his firing, Martelli issued a statement acknowledging the "pain and the numbness" he felt after being let go. 

Billy Lange left his job as an assistant with the Sixers in March to take Martelli's old role. 

This will be Martelli's first assistant job since 1995 when he took over as head coach at St. Joe's after 10 seasons as an assistant. 

Howard, a member of Michigan's "Fab Five," was introduced Thursday at an emotional press conference. He played 19 NBA seasons before transitioning to coaching.

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

ap-sju-phil-martelli.jpg
AP Images

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.