Phil Martelli

Saint Joseph’s suffers a personnel loss as guard Kyle Molock re-tears ACL

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In a loaded Atlantic 10 (this was the case even before Butler and VCU decided to join a year early) Phil Martelli’s Saint Joseph’s Hawks are considered to be one of the favorites to win the league.

C.J. Aiken, Halil Kanacevic and Ronald Roberts, Jr. are three of the key players returning in the front court, and guards Langston Galloway and Carl Jones are both back after playing well in 2011-12.

But the Hawks were hit in the perimeter depth department on Wednesday, as freshman guard Kyle Molock tore the ACL in his right knee during an individual workout.

This is the second time in six months that Molock has torn the same ACL, as his senior season of high school was cut short in January.

While Martelli’s got the horses needed to be one of the top teams in the Atlantic 10 without Molock’s services, according to Aaron Bracy of PhilaHoops.com the coach was expecting Molock to factor into the rotation.

“His strength is the first thing that jumps out at you,” Martelli told Philahoops last week. “He doesn’t look like a freshman. He’s strong and carries himself like a leader, communicates like a leader.”

This is the third major knee injury in Molock’s career, as he tore ligaments in his left knee in 2010.

A gifted guard who has the ability to be a player the Hawks can build around in the future, the hope for Molock is that he can get back to full strength for the 2013-14 season.

“Everyone involved in our program is supporting Kyle and his family at this difficult time. He has, in a short time on campus, made a positive impression academically, athletically and social.

“This injury, while a challenge, will not stop Kyle from becoming a great Hawk,” said Martelli in a statement released by the school.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

No. 23 USC falls at Arizona State

Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley applauds the efforts of his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Arizona, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)
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No. 23 USC missed a golden opportunity to make up a game in the Pac-12 standings on Friday night.

No. 11 Oregon lost to Colorado on Thursday night, dropping back into a tie for first place in the league with the Trojans, a game ahead of No. 17 Arizona. But USC fell at Arizona State, 74-67, keeping them a game off of the pace that the Ducks have set.

The loss is even more painful when you consider that, on Sunday, the Trojans will be making the trip to Tucson to take on Arizona. The Wildcats are not what we have become accustomed to seeing under Sean Miller, but they are still a top 25 team and the McKale Center is still one of the toughest places in the country to get a win.

Thanks to Friday’s loss, instead of entering McKale with an outside chance of taking over sole possession of first place in the league, USC will have top hope they don’t fall two games off the pace.

As far as the game itself was concerned, USC committed 17 turnovers, shot 2-for-11 from three and gave up 16 offensive rebounds to Arizona State. That’s how you lose a game where you shoot better than 51 percent from the floor. USC was just never able to consistently get out into transition, and that caused them to struggle executing in the half court.

Nikola Jovanovic led the way with 25 points and 15 boards for USC.

Tra Holder’s 20 points made the difference for Arizona State, who kept themselves within striking distance of an at-large bid with the win.

Davis helps No. 19 Dayton beat Rhode Island 68-66

Dayton's Scoochie Smith (11) drives past Rhode Island's Jarvis Garrett (1) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Kingston, R.I., on Friday, Feb. 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Joe Giblin)
(AP Photo/Joe Giblin)
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KINGSTON, R.I. (AP) Darrell Davis made a go-ahead 3-pointer from the corner with 21.1 seconds left and No. 19 Dayton beat Rhode Island 68-66 on Friday night.

Rhode Island’s Four McGlynn missed a 3-pointer with 4 seconds left. Dayton got the rebound, and Steve McElvene made one of two free throws for the Flyers with 0.3 seconds to go.

Dyshawn Pierre led Dayton (21-3, 11-1 Atlantic 10) with 17 points and also had nine rebounds. Scoochie Smith added 16 points, and Davis finished with eight.

The Flyers won their ninth straight game and ended a six-game losing streak in Kingston.

McGlynn had 19 points for Rhode Island (14-11, 6-6). Hassan Martin added 15 points and 10 rebounds.

There were 17 lead changes, three in the final 55 seconds.

Pierre made two free throws with 55 seconds left to give the Flyers a one-point lead. Martin countered for the Rams with a three-point play 40 seconds left.

TIP-INS

Dayton: Dayton’s 21-3 start is its best since also opening 21-3 in 2008-09. … The Flyers shot 52.0 percent, going 26 of 50.

Rhode Island: Rhode Island’s six Atlantic 10 losses have been by a combined 30 points. … Martin made his 15th career double-double.

UP NEXT:

Dayton: at Saint Joseph’s on Wednesday night.

Rhode Island: at VCU on Tuesday night.