After three late losses, St. Joseph’s not assured to go dancing

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The St. Joseph’s Hawks have proved to be one of the better teams in the country this season, finishing with a 24-7, 13-5 record, their best since the 2004-05 season.

Their success came with several awards. On Tuesday, it was announced that senior forward DeAndre Bembry was named the Atlantic 10 Conference’s Player of the Year, after averaging 17 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists for the Hawks this season. His senior teammate Isaiah Miles was named the A-10’s Most Improved Player, leading the Hawks in scoring (18.0) and rebounding (8.1) and freshman guard Lamarr Kimble was named to the A-10’s Rookie Team.

All of the team and individual success will be for naught if the Hawks don’t find a way to win a few games in this week’s A-10 Tournament.

The Hawks are currently projected by the team’s own play-by-play announcer, ESPN’s Mr. Bracketology himself Joe Lunardi, as one of the NCAA Tournament’s last four byes, just missing a play-in game.

The Hawks were virtual locks through most of the season, before dropping three of their final five games of the season to Davidson, St. Bonaventure and Duquesne. They enter the A-10 Tournament as the No. 4 seed.

After the loss to Duquesne, coach Phil Martelli is focusing on getting the team prepared for their quarterfinals matchup on Friday.

“We just have to identify these Achilles heels and we have to clean them up sooner rather than later,” Martelli said. “There aren’t a lot of laters left.”

St. Joe’s will sit and watch as the A-10 Tournament gets underway tonight. The winner of the first game between No. 12 George Mason and No. 13St. Louis will play No. 5 George Washington on Thursday. Whoever advances in that game will face the Hawks on Friday afternoon.

“We’ve had a great season so far and I know the guys are happy for me,” Bembry said, on winning the A-10 POY award. “Right now I’m just trying to focus on some more wins.”

The Hawks will play at 2:30 on Friday in the quarterfinals on NBCSN. With a win, the Hawks will likely face No. 1 seed Dayton on Saturday in the semifinals.

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