NCAA

St. Joe's comes back to beat George Washington, but Newkirk suffers injury

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USA Today Images

St. Joe's comes back to beat George Washington, but Newkirk suffers injury

BOX SCORE

Before the game, St. Joe’s head coach Phil Martelli wrote just one word on the whiteboard: win.

At halftime, that word had changed to compete.

“It bothered me to put on the board, the word compete, ” Martelli said. “I don’t like doing that. You get a scholarship, you play hard, that’s the way I see it.

“What we talked about (at the half) was competing. I thought in the first half, we were just out there just playing basketball. And this is the league-play. You don’t play in the league. You can play in the non-conference, but you gotta compete, and we didn’t compete (in our brains), we didn’t compete (in our hearts).

“You get a scholarship, and here’s what you sign: ‘I agree that I will play hard.’ That’s it … And you play hard, everyday. And we didn’t for the first half, across the board.”

Clearly the message was received. After a sluggish first 20 minutes that earned them a six-point halftime deficit, the Hawks fought back to defeat George Washington, 68-63, to open A-10 conference play.

The Hawks improved to 7-5 (1-0 Atlantic 10) while the Colonials fell to 8-6 (0-1).

George Washington abused the Hawks in the paint in the early going, outrebounding St. Joe’s, 24-8, in the first half. Pair that with the Colonials’ blistering 6 for 12 shooting from deep, and the Hawks found themselves down by as many as 12 points.

“The first half was very disappointing,” Martelli said. “We didn’t compete mentally or physically.”

George Washington shot a blistering 46 percent from three in the game, but in the end, it was Saint Joseph’s shooting from deep that made the difference in a game where the Hawks may have lost their leading scorer.

With just a minute to go in the game, and the Hawks clinging to a 64-63 lead, sophomore Lamarr Kimble nailed a contested three with the shot clock winding down to keep St. Joe’s up for good.

“I just took the shot that I’m used to taking,” Kimble said. “My confidence gave me that shot, my teammates believe in me for that shot … I’m happy it went down for us to get the win.

“I stayed confident at the end. If we lose, I’m gonna put that on my shoulders, so I don’t mind taking that last shot and trying to help the team.“

Despite the dagger three, Martelli was not impressed with Kimble’s play overall. Kimble had 13 points on 5 for 16 shooting.

“I don’t think he was very good, I really don’t. Where he led was where you wouldn’t see it. He led in the timeout huddles. He’s gotta play better basketball, and he will, but I was more impressed with his leadership than any of his basketball.”

With just four seconds to go in the first half, it looked like tragedy struck for St. Joe’s. With the Hawks on an 8-2 run, and clawing their way back into the game, Shavar Newkirk stole the ball with a clear path ahead of him.

Newkirk went up for the uncontested layup, but he couldn’t get off the ground. The team’s leading-scorer failed to get the shot off as he grabbed his left leg, hopping to the corner of Hagan Arena as the buzzer sounded.

“I didn’t see it,” Martelli said. “I didn’t see the end of it. I was watching the clock to make sure that he was going to make the layup.”

Newkirk remained facedown behind the Colonials’ bench for over two minutes before being carried off the court. The junior guard returned to the Hawks’ bench halfway through the second half with a heavy brace on his left knee. Newkirk suffered a knee injury, and will have an MRI to determine the severity, according to Martelli.

“I just thought he probably twisted his ankle going up for the layup,” Kimble said. 

With sophomore Chris Clover taking over for Newkirk, the Hawks picked up right where they left off to start the second, quickly tying the game at 39. With an improved defensive effort, it wasn’t long before the Hawks took their first lead of the game at 51-48.

“Just because one of our main players are down, we can’t fold and be sorry about that,” Kimble said. “I think it was good that we went out there and kind of got that for him, knowing that he wasn’t on the court.”

With timely stops on D and a turnaround performance on the boards, the Hawks hung tight with the Colonials, trading leads throughout the final 10 minutes.

Freshman Charlie Brown came up huge for the Hawks down the stretch, hitting a pair of threes to keep pace with the Colonials before Kimble sealed it.

The Colonials — who average 34 percent from three on the year — finished 12 for 26 from beyond the arc. Comparatively, St. Joe’s shot just 5 for 14 from deep, but hit that one that mattered most. 

Sliding Temple visits Army; Penn hosts Yale in need of Ivy win

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Sliding Temple visits Army; Penn hosts Yale in need of Ivy win

Temple (3-4, 1-3 AAC) at Army (5-2)
Michie Stadium, West Point, New York
Saturday, noon, CBS Sports Network

Last time out
Temple lost to UConn, 28-24, last Saturday.

Army beat Eastern Michigan, 28-27, last Saturday.

Scouting report
Last week against UConn, the Owls committed 12 penalties for 117 yards. Despite putting up 229 more yards and 13 more first downs than the Huskies, Temple couldn’t finish drives late in the game to pull out the win.

Temple’s schedule doesn’t get easier this week. The Owls play an Army team riding a three-game win streak and boasting the second-best rushing offense in college football (378.4 ypg). That will be the matchup to watch as Temple averages 167.1 rushing yards allowed per game, good for seventh in the American Athletic Conference.

Temple’s starting quarterback Logan Marchi missed some practice time this week, but head coach Geoff Collins said he expects him to play Saturday. If he can’t go, look for backup Frank Nutile to replace him.

What it means
Temple’s performance against UConn was embarrassing, while the Owls' bowl hopes would take a severe hit with a loss to Army. Tulsa and Cincinnati are the only other opponents on the schedule against which Temple should be favored. Navy and UCF, on paper, look to be tough matchups for the Owls.

Series history
Temple owns the 7-5 series advantage and is 6-1 against Army since 2008. That one loss came last year when the Black Knights beat the Owls, 28-13, at Lincoln Financial Field in Temple’s season opener. 

What's next?
Temple has its bye before hosting Navy on Nov. 2.

Army travels to Air Force. 

Penn (2-3, 0-2 Ivy) vs. Yale (4-1, 1-1 Ivy)
Franklin Field
Saturday, 1 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia+


Last time out
Penn lost at Columbia in overtime, 34-31, last Saturday.

Yale defeated Holy Cross, 32-0, last Saturday.

Scouting report
Penn has the worst scoring defense in the Ivy League, which doesn’t bode well for its chances in this one considering Yale has the best scoring offense in the league. The Quakers allow 32.6 ppg and the Bulldogs score 41 ppg. Penn’s total defense is also last in the league, allowing 449.2 ypg.

The Bulldogs take control on the ground with the best rushing offense in the Ivy. Zane Dudek and Deshawn Salter lead the Bulldogs, as both have rushed for more than 400 yards and each has seven touchdowns. Penn will have to win the battle in the trenches to slow down the Bulldogs.

Series history
This is the 84th meeting between the teams. The Bulldogs hold a 46-37-1 advantage but Penn has won 19 of the last 25.

What’s next?
Penn travels to Brown.

Yale hosts Columbia.

Temple-UConn observations: Despite valiant effort from Marchi, Owls lose 1st homecoming game since 2008

Temple-UConn observations: Despite valiant effort from Marchi, Owls lose 1st homecoming game since 2008

BOX SCORE

That’s why football is a week-to-week game. Forget about momentum.

Temple found that out the hard way. After coming alive in a big road win over East Carolina last week, the Owls were humbled when a fourth-quarter rally fell short Saturday in a 28-24 homecoming loss to Connecticut at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Owls had one final shot at the victory with a drive in the final minute, but a Logan Marchi heave to the end zone was broken up.

The loss dropped Temple back under .500 at 3-4 (1-3 American Athletic Conference). UConn moved to 2-5 (2-2) with the victory.

• Say what you want about Temple quarterback Marchi (and you surely will after this game), but the guy is a fighter. Whether things are going his way or not, he continues to try to search for his receivers and attempt to squeeze the ball into those windows on the field. He made it two consecutive games with 300-plus yards passing as he was 33 of 54 for 356 yards with one touchdown and one interception Saturday.

• The game marked Temple’s first homecoming loss in nearly a decade. TU hadn’t suffered a homecoming defeat since a 7-3 loss to Western Michigan on Sept. 27, 2008. On that day, former Eagles DB Jaiquawn Jarrett was beaten in coverage on a double move in the third quarter for the game’s lone touchdown. Coming into Saturday, the Owls had won eight straight homecoming matchups by an average margin of 19.3 points.

• There was a rare sighting for Temple at the Linc: a rushing touchdown from a tailback. In fact, there were two. David Hood, who became the first Owls tailback to score on a run this season in last week’s rout of East Carolina, punched it in from one yard out to open the scoring in the first quarter. Ryquell Armstead weaved his way into the end zone for a 10-yard TD on the first play of the fourth quarter.

• Delvon Randall is simply a playmaker. The Owls’ leading tackler, Randall added another five stops in Saturday’s win. The junior DB also made a beautiful play along the sideline in the first quarter when he undercut an out route for an interception. It marked Randall’s third straight game with a pick. The Owls only have four interceptions this season and Randall has three of them.

• My colleague Greg Paone touched on college football’s targeting rule a couple of weeks ago (see story)We agree on pretty much all of the nuts and bolts of the rule. I’m glad it’s in place to protect players from violent and unnecessary hits. However, the more I see it called each week — and it seems like there is at least one in every game now — the more I’m starting to dislike the implementation. Temple defensive lineman Sharif Finch was ejected for targeting on Saturday when he went high on Huskies quarterback Bryant Shirreffs on a third-quarter touchdown pass. Shirreffs sold the hit by jerking his head back as he fell to the ground, but it was definitely worthy of a penalty. Was it a late hit? Yes. A bone-headed hit? Absolutely. But one worthy of Temple losing a top defensive player for the remainder of the game? I don’t think so.

• Speaking of Shirreffs, it’s easy to see why the Huskies have the best passing offense in the AAC. He didn’t show it with yardage in this tilt (just 105), but he was able to connect on three touchdowns through the air. He also added 39 yards on the ground, including a key run up the middle late in the fourth quarter.

• The Owls simply aren’t a good enough team to overcome 12 penalties for 117 yards.

• Like any other major college football game around the country, Saturday’s matchup at the Linc had scouts from NFL teams listed to attend. Of course, the Eagles were listed for several scouts in their home stadium. While the Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers were also among those expected to have representatives at the game, there was only one other team labeled for more than one scout besides the Eagles — the New York Giants. At 0-5, they can certainly use all the help they can get right now.

• Temple will look to rebound when the Owls travel to play their final non-conference opponent in Army at 12 p.m. next Saturday.