Saint Joseph’s brings its mascot on the road — something no other team does — for regular-season games in Atlantic 10 Conference play. The Hawk flapped his wings all night Tuesday at UD Arena, shedding feathers on the court in the process, but it did no good.
The Dayton Flyers beat St. Joseph's 75-64. The Hawks fell to 3-12 against Dayton at UD Arena in A-10 play. Phil Martelli, in his 24th season, has been the head coach for all those games. He's 13-5 against the Flyers at Hagan Arena in Philadelphia or on a neutral court.
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"They had 46 points from (Ryan) Mikesell and (Obi) Toppin," Martelli said on SJUHawks.com. "I thought Toppin had the highest upside of anyone in the league, and we didn't have an answer for him in man or zone. In the first half, it was still the six turnovers. Too many turnovers, too many offensive rebounds (allowed). It's not that we have to play a perfect game, but we have to control what we can control. And we can control the turnovers and the glass."
Bracket picture: Joe Lunardi, ESPN's famed bracketologist, visited UD Arena on Tuesday not to scout potential NCAA tournament teams. Dayton (14-7, 6-2) and Saint Joseph's (9-12, 2-6) have no chance of playing in the big dance unless they win the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament.
Lunardi is the director of marketing and broadcast services at Saint Joseph’s and is in his 28th season as a color analyst for the Saint Joseph’s Sports Network. He still finds time to update his bracket twice a week at this point in the season.
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Despite worries around the conference the A-10 will receive only one bid this season for the first time since 2005, ending an 11-year streak of earning at least three bids, Lunardi's latest prediction has the A-10 receiving two bids. He has George Mason earning the automatic berth as a No. 15 seed in the East Region and Virginia Commonwealth as a No. 11 seed in the First Four as one of the last four teams in the field.
Brief contribution: Dayton freshman Frankie Policelli saw just over two minutes of action in the second half but made the most of the brief stint, assisting Toppin on back-to-back baskets during Dayton's 13-2 run in the second half.
“You want to try to get him more of a rhythm there,” Grant said. “The first half, I thought the guys who were on the floor — the guys who allowed us to make that run to build a lead in the first half — were doing a good job so I stayed with them a little longer. Frankie came in, and I thought he did a good job of being able to understand, ‘Here’s what’s available in the game.’”
Looking ahead: Dayton plays Duquesne at 2 p.m. Saturday at UD Arena. The Dukes (14-6, 5-2) have lost only to two of the top teams in the conference: 65-61 at Davidson and 80-74 at home to Virginia Commonwealth.
In between those losses, Duquesne won five straight games. It beat preseason favorite Saint Louis 77-73 in Pittsburgh on Jan. 23.
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