Sunday, March 7, 2010

12 hours on Hawk Hill

Arrived on Hawk Hill at 6:40 am, left at 6:40 pm; a full day ;-)

Even young scholars need their sleep, here at the Jesuit Community Library.

Our Lady of the Snows?

Barbelin Hall, still my favorite.

Poor St. Joseph - he looks lonely overlooking City Avenue.

A balmy 44 degrees today.

A trip to the SJU Bookstore.

AMDG... yup!

Fine Philadelphia dining.

3 stooges, musketeers, amigos? For the last time this season ;-(

Can I see your ticket, ma'am?

Loyal, loyal '81 Hawk must have lost a bet.

St. Joe's tops La Salle, clinches tourney berth Philadelphia Inquirer

Usually, fever-pitched emotion has a strong influence on the outcome of games between Big Five rivals. Certainly, there was plenty of it when St. Joseph's and La Salle went at it last night at Hagan Arena.

But more so, cold calculation ultimately was the difference as the Hawks grabbed the 12th and final playoff berth in the Atlantic Ten Conference tourney with a methodical 74-59 win in a regular-season finale.

The victory put St. Joe's (11-19, 5-11 A-10) in a first-round game against No. 5 seed Rhode Island on Tuesday night in Kingston, R.I. For La Salle (12-18, 4-12), the season came to an abrupt conclusion because Massachusetts upset Rhode Island to get the No. 11 seed, relegating the Explorers to 13th place.

For the first time in his 15 seasons as the Hawks' head coach, Phil Martelli ordered up a zone defense for an entire game. He calculated it was his team's best chance to pull out a win over a team with a huge size advantage - La Salle was second in the conference in offensive rebounding; St. Joe's next to last.

His calculation was right on.

St. Joe's held the Explorers to nine offensive boards, and outrebounded them, 34-32. The Hawks had been beaten on the glass in 26 of their previous 29 games.

"If we'd gone man-to-man, we'd have had some matchup problems," said Garrett Williamson, who combined with fellow senior Darrin Govens for 35 points in the final home game of their careers. "They have a big lineup, so the zone was the best way for us. Our major concern was rebounding, and it really helped us there."

The Explorers had been without three senior starters for most of the season, the major reason for their losing nine of the final 10 games. But in a surprise move, Kimmani Barrett and Yves Mekongo played. The 6-foot-5 Barrett had missed the previous 14 games with a broken bone in his right foot. The 6-7 Mekongo had missed eight games with a fractured left pinkie.

Coach John Giannini said both practiced Friday for the first time since their injuries. Barrett scored 15 points by draining five three-point baskets before fouling out with 6 minutes, 9 seconds remaining. Mekongo had eight points and five rebounds and also fouled out.

"They helped us, and what they did was flat-out on heart," Giannini said. "I'm happy they were able to finish their careers on the court."

The Hawks dictated the tempo. La Salle senior Rodney Green, one of the top post-up guards in the conference, was kept away from the basket for most of the game. He finished with 12 points, almost seven below his average, and ended his career with 1,914 points, ninth on the school's all-time list.

The zone "neutralized our size, and it really makes Rodney pass the ball and become a guard who has to find open people as opposed to a guy who can attack his man," Giannini said.

Govens, who scored 17 points, nailed four consecutive three-point shots to extend the Hawks' lead from 23-22 to 38-27 at halftime. He had missed his first five shots before erupting.

La Salle made a brief run, pulling within 51-47, but Williamson surrounded a basket by Idris Hilliard with two free throws and a basket off a nice feed from Carl Jones to build the lead back to 10 points. Jones, a freshman, scored eight of his 16 points in the final eight minutes.

St. Joe's had only four turnovers and forced La Salle to launch 30 of its 52 shots from beyond the three-point stripe.

The following pics courtesy of

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