PHILADELPHIA, PA. 12/29/2018 – It was the last game before the conference play begins for both the Saint Joseph’s Hawks and the Wagner Seahawks. Again, the Hawks hung on for a 59 – 57 win at the Hagan Arena surviving on a last second defensive stop as time ran out. Saint Joseph’s Coach Phil Martelli saw the defense and the stop by guard Jared Bynum as the key to the victory.
“I think the key to the game was Jared Bynum’s defense on the last play, that was it,” said Martelli.
Saint Joe’s forward Charlie Brown missed a shot with 3 seconds to play. Wagner forward Elijah Davis got the rebound and took it up the sideline. The Hawks reacted on defense and did not allow Davis to get an attempt at the basket.
“Jared Bynum did a good job of picking up the ball picking up Davis all the way down the floor,” said Kimble. “Chris Clover did a good job of finding Saunders and denying him. That’s the way you’ve got to get stops. To turn around that fast and understand that now we really have to finish this game. We did that which was big.”
With the score tied at 46 with 11:15 to play SJU went on a 13 – 6 run to take a 59 – 52 lead on a Kimble three-pointer with 4:53 to play. That was the last points the Hawks would score. It was important to get the separation as Saint Joe’s would need all of the points they got, and they made Wagner play from behind.
“You don’t want to walk out with a loss, and the last two games we’ve been in a different type of battle. How to stop the other team more. We’ve been able to do that these past couple of games. We have to find a way to win games. We did that.”
Brown led Saint Joseph’s with 17 points and 7 rebounds, a season-high. Kimble added 12 points and Taylor Funk contributed 11 points. Chris Clover set a season-mark with 9 points.
Romone Saunders had a team-high 15 points and 9 rebounds for the Seahawks. Davis scored 12 points.
Saint Joe’s will begin conference play on Thursday hosting George Mason. The Crimson and Gray are confident, but there are stats they need to improve upon.
“It’s a numeric game,” Martelli said. “Fourteen offensive rebounds allowed, eleven turnovers, they had thirteen points off our turnovers, we’ve got to get going. We have to do some checking to see if we can play better basketball and get it done it the Atlantic 10.”
It starts right after the new year begins.
Written By: Glenn Papazian