Saint Joseph’s could not hang with Massachusetts Saturday afternoon, as the Hawks continued to slip in the Atlantic 10.
Despite a late rally, St. Joe's lost its fourth straight game, 87-76, to UMass at Hagen Arena and the Hawks may have lost their leading guard to injury (see story).
The Hawks, down for almost the entire game, rallied back in the middle of the second half with a 10-0 run to tie the game at 55. Senior Javon Bauman’s strong post play keyed the run while freshman Charlie Brown and sophomore Lamarr Kimble both contributed threes. But as easily as the Hawks tied it, they fell victim to a 7-0 run by the Minutemen jumpstarted by two straight UMass steals that lead to points.
The Hawks suffered further, as Kimble was injured following the run when he was fouled driving for a layup. He tried to stay in the game but soon called time and pulled himself out of the game. He finished with 12 points, six assists and five rebounds.
The loss dropped the Hawks to 10-14 (3-9 A-10) while the Minutemen improved to 13-12 (3-9).
A common theme for St. Joe’s continued – slow starts. The Hawks headed into halftime trailing UMass, 43-35. Sharp shooting from Donte Clark put the Minutemen up 17-9 by the 14:50 mark — he led the team with 12 points at half.
The only thing that would slow Clark down was a flagrant-one he received when he fouled Kimble, who finished the half with nine points and five assists. St. Joe’s pulled to within three in the last two minutes before the break on a series of jumpers. The run started with a Kimble three, followed by a Brendan Casper jumper. The Hawks finished it off by a Casper half-court swing pass to find Brown in the corner for a three to make it 36-33.
Brown finished the half with a team-high 12 points – he was 3 of 6 from beyond the arc.
Highlight reel play
Kimble brought the ball up in the late first half and without hesitation found a streaking Markell Lodge, who took the alley-oop and slammed it down with authority.
By the numbers
• This was the 700th St. Joe’s game coached by Phil Martelli
• St. Joe’s bench outscored UMass, 27-21, but the Hawks could not best them in the paint. The Minutemen won that battle, 30-26
• Brown scored a team-high 15 points and eight rebounds while Nick Robinson added 10 points.
• Clark led all scorers with 24 points. Fellow UMass guard Luwane Pipkins had 19 points for the afternoon.
St. Joe's will play at VCU on Tuesday.
Massachusetts will play at Duquesne on Wednesday.