PHILADELPHIA, PA. 1/28/2017 – The game may not count in the Big Five standings, but it does in the Atlantic 10. And it is a city game; league and bragging rights at stake. Both teams went right after each other. It was thrilling at times, not so pretty at times.
In the end the game would come down to a jump shot by Saint Joseph’s guard Lamarr Kimble with 14 seconds to play giving the Hawks at 73 – 72 lead. The Explorers got a last chance as guard Jordan Price worked his way inside, but his layup went off the rim. James Demery rebounded the miss, the buzzer sounded, and the Hawks came away with a win in front of 4,200 at the Hagan Arena.
The Explorers held a 72 – 70 lead on a jumper by Amar Stukes with 1:25 to go. The lead was sliced to one on a Demery free throw at the 1:03 mark. After a Price miss, Saint Joe’s called time out and set up the winning play.
“I tried to get to a spot,” Kimble said. “I was able to get the defense off balance a little. I tried to make sure my technique was good, and it fell down for me.”
Still, they had to withstand a last chance by La Salle, a painfully close miss.
“I like a one-foot shot,” La Salle Coach Dr. John Giannini said.
“I thought we had him,” Saint Joseph’s Coach Phil Martelli said about the last sequence by Price. “To his credit, he used his strength and stepped through. He turned his back. He is a quality player.”
In typical Philly play there was a player that steps up in these situations to lead the team.
For the Hawks it was guard Chris Clover who scored a career-high 21 points and set a mark with 5 assists. Clover shot 8 of 11 from the floor and made 4 of 5 from beyond the arc.
“He shot with confidence,” Martelli said about the offensive effort form Clover. “What I want is for him to step up and think the ball is going in.”
La Salle got 16 points and 5 assists from Stukes who made 6 of 8 of his shots.
“He’s gotten a lot more confident and aggressive,” Giannini said about the play of Stukes. “He had 1 turnover. He’s done a nice job.”
Hawks forward Charlie Brown scored 15 points. Demery added a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Kimble scored 14 points, the last two being the most important to the Philly-guard.
“First, I understand it’s for my team being able to get the win,” Kimble said. “I live for that type of moment. To be able to get that shot and make it.”
Price scored a game-high 21 points. B.J. Johnson contributed 14 points and a team-high 7 rebounds.
Saint Joseph’s evens their season record at 10 – 10, 3 – 5 in the Atlantic 10. Davidson visits Hawk Hill on Tuesday.
La Salle lost a game and an opportunity to stay within a game of the conference lead. The Explorers are 11 – 8, 5 – 3 in the league. Massachusetts will visit the Gola Arena on Wednesday.
Written By: Glenn Papazian