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.
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.
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.