Instant Replay: St. Joe's 85, Columbia 65

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Instant Replay: St. Joe's 85, Columbia 65



Before even taking the court Monday night, St. Joe's suffered a substantial loss, as head coach Phil Martelli announced that junior forward James Demery would be sidelined for a few weeks with a stress fracture in the fourth metatarsal of his left foot (see story)

Even after losing Demery – one of just three returning rotation players from last season – the Hawks were still able to take care of business in convincing fashion. 

Two nights after gutting out a win over Toledo, St. Joe’s secured its second win well before the final buzzer, taking down Columbia 85-65 at Hagan Arena.

The Hawks’ explosive backcourt led the way for the second time in as many games. Lamarr Kimble scored a career-high 19 points and dished out eight assists, both of which were team highs. Shavar Newkirk was right there with Kimble, recording 17 points and four assists.

St. Joe’s used a piercing 57.6 shooting percentage and stifling defense that held Columbia to 32.1 percent to jump out to a commanding 50-27 lead at the half. The Hawks wouldn’t let off the gas the rest of the way either, leading by at least 15 for the entirety of the second half.

St. Joe’s finished the night with an impressive 55.2 percent shooting clip.

Turning point
On a night when St. Joe's never trailed, the Hawks put this one away early. Leading 7-6 just under five minutes into the game, the Hawks scored 10 unanswered points to stretch their lead out to double digits for the first time. 

After the lead reached 21-11 on a Kimble jumper, St. Joe’s wouldn’t relinquish its double-digit lead for the remainder of the night. The Hawks' largest lead of the night was 26.

Big men on campus 
St. Joe’s: Charlie Brown

Both Kimble and Newkirk were spectacular in this one, but Charlie Brown has to get the nod here. In Demery’s absence, Brown stepped up as a third scoring option for the Hawks, pouring in 15 points on 6 of  10 shooting from the field and 3 of 5 from beyond the arc. Brown also pulled down five rebounds.

Columbia: Jake Killingsworth

Killingsworth was the lone bright spot for a sputtering Columbia offense. Killingsworth scored a team-high 17 points on 6 of 9 shooting from the field and 3 of 6 from deep.

Up next
St. Joe’s hits the road for the first time this season, as the Hawks will participate in the Paradise Jam tournament in the U.S Virgin Islands. The Hawks open the tournament against Loyola (CHI) on Nov. 18 at 12:30 p.m. 

Villanova, Penn with polar opposite NCAA Tournament draws

Villanova, Penn with polar opposite NCAA Tournament draws

No surprises on the Main Line and well, the Quakers have quite the hill to climb to advance.

Villanova on Sunday night was awarded the 1-seed in the East Region and will face the winner of the LIU Brooklyn/Radford game Thursday in Pittsburgh. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:50 p.m. on TNT.

The Wildcats have been a top-two seed since 2014 and it's the second straight year they're a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Villanova was the No. 1 overall seed in last year's tournament.

Penn was named the 16th seed in the Midwest Region and will face the No. 1-seeded Kansas Jayhawks on Thursday at 2 p.m. on TBS in Wichita, Kansas.

Steve Donahue has the Quakers back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007 in his third season as Penn's head coach.

The Quakers are 24-8 and this will be their 24th-ever appearance in the tournament.

'Nova survived a scare from Providence on Saturday night to win its second straight Big East title and its third in the past four years.

If the Wildcats beat LIU Brooklyn/Radford, they'll face the winner of the No. 8-seeded Virginia Tech and No. 9 seed Alabama. Purdue is the No. 2 seed in the East.

Also in the East are No. 3 Texas Tech and No. 4 Wichita State.

Penn aims to end 11-year drought this weekend

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Penn aims to end 11-year drought this weekend

NBC Sports Philadelphia anchor/reporter Amy Fadool and senior producer Sean Kane get you set for all the weekend's local college basketball games with Fastbreak Friday. With the regular season ending this weekend, this will be the final Fastbreak Friday column of the season.

Temple (16-13, 8-9 AAC) at Tulsa (18-11, 11-6 AAC), Sunday at 3 p.m.
 It’s been a rough season for the Temple Owls. Yes, there was that win over ranked Wichita State in the middle of a 5-game win streak. But after the stumbles down the stretch, that seems like a distant memory. 

Of course, the bad can be washed away with an AAC tournament run, but first, the Owls need to close out on the road against Tulsa. 

Given their track record on the road, things don’t line up well for Fran Dunphy’s crew. Plus, it’s dollar dog, dollar soda and dollar popcorn night at Tulsa. That’s a delicious trifecta. 

But there is still some fight in this team. Quintin Rose and Shizz Alston have been everything the Owls have needed, and throw in Nate Pierre-Louis and you have a nice core back for next season.

Temple 71,  Tulsa 70

Pennsylvania (21-7, 11-1 Ivy) at Yale (14-14, 7-5 Ivy), Friday at 7 p.m.
Pennsylvania (21-7, 11-1 Ivy) at Brown (11-14, 4-8 Ivy), Saturday at 6 p.m.
Penn enters the final weekend of the regular season in control of its own destiny. If the Quakers beat Yale and Brown on the road they'll win their first Ivy League championship since 2007 and earn the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament, which will be played at the Palestra next weekend. It all adds up to Penn having the inside track to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 11 years.

This seems like an appropriate time to salute the job done by head coach Steve Donahue. In just his third season at Penn, he has the Quakers poised to reclaim top billing in the Ivy League. He inherited a team that finished 9-19 in the 2014-2015 season and promptly began a swift rebuilding project. Penn went 11-17 in Donahue's first season, 13-14 in his second year, and now stand at 21-7 overall and 11-1 in conference play. Look for those winning ways to continue this weekend and for Donahue and company to do some celebrating.

Penn 73, Yale 66
Penn 69, Brown 60

La Salle (13-17, 7-10 A-10) at St. Joseph's (14-15, 9-8 A-10), Saturday at 2 p.m.
La Salle and St. Joe's will each try to keep the good times rolling heading into next week's A-10 Tournament. La Salle has won three of its last four games, including a convincing 18-point win over Dayton earlier this week. St. Joseph's meanwhile has a 5-1 record in its last six games and just recorded arguably one of the most stunning victories of this college basketball season.

The Hawks went on the road and beat No. 18 Rhode Island, 78-48, on Tuesday, spoiling the Rams' senior night in the process. It was the first road win over a ranked team for St. Joseph's since 1979 and it came in shockingly easy fashion. I expect the Hawks to build on that momentum this weekend and avenge a three-point loss to La Salle earlier this season.

St. Joseph's 74, La Salle 68 

Drexel (12-19, 6-12 CAA) at James Madison (10-21, 6-12 CAA), Saturday at 4 p.m. in first round of CAA Tournament
The Dragons' season has been marked with highs and lows. While it may seem like a marginal improvement — with 12 wins to their credit compared to nine last season — they did double their conference win total. 

Also, Drexel beat the top two teams in the CAA this season as well as set an NCAA Division-I record for the largest comeback ever when they erased a 34-point deficit against Delaware. 

But the Dragons did have two separate losing streaks that would cause any coach to lose sleep, one of five straight and the other of four straight losses. 

Drexel begins the quest for its first-ever CAA tournament title against JMU, then Charleston awaits on basically home turf. Go ahead and make it a baker’s dozen, Dragons. 

Drexel 76, JMU 74

Prediction Records
Sean Kane: 30-11
Amy Fadool: 22-21