After losing its top three players from last season in DeAndre' Bembry, Isaiah Miles and Aaron Brown, Saint Joseph's suffered the loss of yet another key player.
Junior forward James Demery, the Hawks' leading returning scorer from last year, suffered a stress fracture in the fourth metatarsal of his left foot and will be sidelined for a few weeks, head coach Phil Martelli announced Monday.
Demery's injury occured during Saint Joseph's 77-76 season opening win over Toledo on Nov. 11, in which he played 32 minutes and scored 11 points with eight rebounds.
With Bembry, Miles and Brown gone, Demery was in line to take on a bigger scoring role this season on a very young and inexperienced Saint Joseph's squad. The Hawks will now rely heavily on their dynamic guard duo of Lamarr Kimble and Shavar Newkirk to carry the load.
Along with Demery, Kimble and Newkirk are the only other players from last season who saw significant action during the Hawks' run to the Atlantic 10 championship and second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Saint Joseph's (1-0) plays host Columbia (1-0) Monday night before heading to the U.S. Virgin Islands from Nov. 18-21 to participate in the Paradise Jam tournament.
MILWAUKEE -- Lamar Stevens tied his career high with 30 points, Tony Carr added 25 and Penn State beat Marquette 85-80 on Tuesday night to advance to the NIT semifinals.
The Nittany Lions (24-13) will face Mississippi State (25-11) at Madison Square Garden in New York on March 27. They advanced to the NIT semis for the first time since winning the 2009 tournament.
Stevens hit three crucial buckets in the final three minutes, including a dunk off an alley-oop pass from Josh Reaves for an eight-point lead with one minute left. The 6-foot-8 Stevens then maneuvered through a couple Marquette players to secure a rebound off Andrew Rowsey's missed 3 with 46 seconds left.
Carr went 5 of 8 from the foul line over the final 30 seconds to give Marquette another chance. Rowsey hit a 3 and a layup to get the Golden Eagles as close as 83-80 with six seconds left before the Golden Eagles ran out of time.
Shep Garner scored 19 points and set two Penn State records, including most 3s in a season (112). Garner's 73 career wins are the most in a four-year span since Penn State joined the Big Ten in 1992-93.
Rowsey, a senior, scored 29 points for Marquette (21-14).
The Golden Eagles had whittled a 14-point deficit early in the second half to 72-68 with 2:39 left on three foul shots by Rowsey. Penn State went nearly three minutes without a bucket and got sloppy with the ball and the sharpshooting Golden Eagles started hitting 3s to get back in the game.
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.