PHILADELPHIA– What started off as a sloppy game for both teams turned into a comfortable victory for one as the Saint Joseph’s Hawks defeated the Monmouth Hawks by a final score of 78-63 on Monday night.
At the half, both teams weren’t exactly shooting the lights out. Monmouth shot 32.1 percent from the floor and St. Joe’s shot 28.2 percent.
It would get even uglier when you look at the three-point numbers from the first half as Monmouth went 2-12 from beyond the arc (16.7 percent) and St. Joe’s went 4-19 (21.1 percent).
“I didn’t think we had any pop in the first half offensively,” St. Joe’s head coach Phil Martelli said. “Took us too long to get going, get into the offense, we’re running shot clocks at the end, there wasn’t enough pop and we weren’t tight.”
Part of these struggles for St. Joe’s was because redshirt sophomore forward Charlie Brown, Jr. sat all but five minutes in the first half due to foul troubles. The lack of Brown’s presence would become more clear in the second half.
He was absolutely on fire in the second half, going 6-7 from the field and 6-7 from the line to give him 19 points in the second half of the game and 21 points total.
“Well, that’s what he can do,” Martelli said. “He can score baskets, you have a guy that can score and he comes out with 21 points in 23 minutes, he did that in one of our scrimmages so we know that, but we have to have balanced play in order for him to be a feature player.”
“I feel like I could’ve contributed a little bit more,” Brown said. “I feel like my teammates held it down until I got back out there and once I got back out there, everything started to flow a little bit better.”
This is the second straight game Brown has scored 20 points or more. After sitting out all of last season with a fractured wrist, Brown could be the catalyst to a St. Joe’s team that desperately needed scoring in a game like that.
“I just came out with the mentality to score,” Brown said. “We struggled in the first half offensively so I wanted to ease it up a bit.”
Alongside Brown, Lamarr “Fresh” Kimble dropped 19 points and Lorenzo Edwards provided a nice spark off the bench for 11 points.
Up next for St. Joe’s is a trip to Myrtle Beach where they’ll participate in the Myrtle Beach Invitational and face-off against Wake Forest on Thursday at 11:15 a.m. The game can be seen on ESPNU.
At the end of a day, a win is still a win, but of course, as a coach, Martelli would like to see his team win pretty than win ugly.
“I can’t stand it,” Martelli said. “Because I look at it, I like basketball and think about that, we’re talking about ugly, we had six turnovers but you don’t make your lay-ups, we didn’t shoot well from the foul line, meh, and we had some great possessions defensively so look, it always beats the alternative, winning beats the alternative.”