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2017 Wooden Legacy post-game notes & quotes, Saint Joseph’s 74, Sacramento State 69

Wooden Chips
• Saint Joseph’s three games in this tournament were decided by a combined total of 15 points (lost by four, lost by six, won by five)… the only other team to have all three games decided by two shots or less was Xavier in 2012 (by three, four and four points)
• Sacramento State led by 12 (at 52-40 with 11:51 left in second half), which make the SJU win tied for the fourth biggest deficit overcome to win… this is also the third such game in this year’s event in which a team came back from at least 12 points down to win, and SJU has been involved in two of them.
• Saint Joseph’s had 13 steals in the game, tying for the tournament record along with Chattanooga in 2007… three players had at least three steals today.

Saint Joseph’s (3-3)
• Playing in its third ESPN event (5-4 record in those).
• Saint Joseph’s won despite being outshot 45% to 39%… the Hawks are now 3-20 in their last 23 games when being outshot from the floor.
• Shavar Newkirk lead the team in scoring with 22 points, and has now scored 10+ in 18 of his past 19 games… this is the 11th time in that span (and in his career) that he has registered 20 or more points.
• James Demery played the entire game and registered 15 points, and is the only Hawk to get in double figures each game this season… he has now has an eight-game streak with 10 or more points.
• Taylor Funk also added 15 points, the fifth time in six collegiate games he has had at least 10 points.
• Lorenzo Ewards, who had 12 points this season entering the game, scored 10 today.

Sacramento State (1-6)
• Playing in its first ESPN event (0-3 record in those).
• Sacramento State suffered its fifth straight loss, the team’s longest losing streak since dropping nine in a row in January 2012.
• Justin Strings extended his streak of scoring in double figures to 27 straight games with his 20 points today… that was his 18th career game of 20 or more points
• Joshua Patton tallied 15 points, his third career game in double digits.
• Izayah Mauriohooho-Le’afa, one game after tying a tournament record with 12 assists, grabbed a career best nine rebounds.

Saint Joseph’s Head Coach Phil Martelli 

(On playing in the Wooden Legacy) – “On behalf of our school and my program, to be invited by ESPN to an event that has John Wooden’s name is extreme honor for us. I wish we had played better over the course of the three days and I hope that our young guys took a moment to understand what John Wooden means, he really is the grandfather of coaching.”

(On how the team played throughout the tournament) – “I thought we played better than Washington State and we lost that game and I think Sacramento State played better than us and they lost today so sometimes the game is not fair.”

(On how they closed out the game down the stretch) – “We changed our post defense which had an impact and Lorenzo Edwards played with a little bit of balance, we had guys that looked heavy legged, looked like they were still on whatever the big ride is at Disneyland.”

(On if Shavar Newkirk is back at full-strength) – “No it’s not even close, not even close. He was an all-league player and actually before we leave how much I appreciate because he’s not 100 percent. 100 percent and he’s in the discussion for best guard in our league. Right now he’s a senior and he’s just gutting it out, I’m trying to be judicious with the minutes. He would not have a game where he had five turnovers, that’s just not his game and he shoots the ball better but it’s not his leg it’s his conditioning.”

Sacramento State Head Coach Brian Katz

(Opening Statement) – I thought both teams played extremely hard.  It’s a little different for me than some of the kids, I’ve watched Coach Martelli for years at Saint Joseph’s.  I’ve watched and studied from him during the last thirty-three years and it really was an honor to coach against him.  He’s every bit as good as you think he is, and his team will be very good in the Atlantic 10 Conference.  The deciding factor was in the second half of the game, they got us on the offensive boards. I know their player (Taylor Funk) got  going and made some three’s and so did (Lorenzo Edwards).  They shot 26 percent from the field so I was happy with our defensive effort.  What really affected us were the easy two-pointers and offensive boards.”

(On the turnovers) – “We were averaging 16, 17 turnovers going into the tournament.  Most of our turnovers were self-inflicted.  We got great kids so we’ll be able to work through it.  The turnovers definitely hurt us though in this game.”

(On having the lead for the  majority of the game) – “We were very disappointed just like the game against San Diego State. I don’t know if it was the bright lights or the first time for Sacramento State playing in this tournament against excellent teams.  We knew Fullerton was a good team picked to be a top three team in the Big West, and we could’ve won that game.  Saint Joseph’s speaks for themselves, they’re a storied program and will be very good this season and we could’ve won this game. We could’ve won two out of three games in this tournament. The most important thing is winning, but if you can’t win, the most important thing for our team is to continue to improve every game. I think we really developed our team down here in this tournament and we got better.

(On playing in a tournament with John Wooden’s name on it) – “You gotta understand, when I was fourteen years old I wanted to be a coach.   I’ve studied everything and everybody and I can tell you all the coaches at St. Joseph’s going back to Jack Ramsay.  John Wooden, that is something different. If you ever told me back in the day that I was coaching in his tournament, I would say that you’re  crazy. I’m speechless to try and describe what it would be like.  I looked at the Wooden Legacy program and saw our team and our roster and I saw my picture, I couldn’t believe it. I actually have chills thinking about it. I started coaching when I was twelve  years old coaching my brother as a fourth grader.  Coaching has been everything I’ve wanted to do. I have every book, every tape, I’ve seen John Wooden speak numerous times, and I know everything about him.”

Sacramento State sophomore forward Joshua Patton

(On playing in the Wooden Legacy Tournament) – “It was a good experience for us as a team playing against some good competition.  Our team we’ll just continue to work hard everyday to get better. I liked playing against these teams in this tournament, it was fun.”

(On using this tournament to look forward to the rest of the season) – “Yeah it helped us because we were playing good competition.  We’ll continue to go to the gym and get shots up and all the little things we’ll help us get better and come together as a team.  We’ll work together to get rid of our problems and work to get our turnovers  down each game.  Playing against good competition we’ll make us better each day.