St. Joe's 'just wasn't good enough' in 2OT loss to Fordham

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St. Joe's 'just wasn't good enough' in 2OT loss to Fordham

It looked like St. Joe's sophomore Lamarr Kimble was going to come up clutch yet again for the Hawks. After all, he was the reason St. Joe's forced two overtimes against Fordham. 
With seven seconds remaining in double-overtime, Kimble knocked down two big free throws to knot the game at 83. 
Fordham’s Antwonie Anderson answered back for the Rams (10-13, 4-6 A-10) by hitting a game-winning three at the buzzer to send St. Joe's (10-12, 3-7 A-10) to an 86-83 double-overtime loss Saturday night at Hagan Arena (see Instant Replay)
“We tried, we just weren’t good enough,” said St. Joe's head coach Phil Martelli, who coached his 350th Atlantic 10 game.
Kimble finished with 24 points, five rebounds and four assists to lead the Hawks. James Demery added 14 points and five rebounds.
Martelli, who likes to reference the numbers, talked about how 75 was not their number in the last game they played, referring to Davidson's point total in the loss to the Wildcats. This time it came down to field goal percentage and foul shots.
“It’s just numbers,” he said. “Two guys go 7 for 20 from the foul line. It’s embarrassing. Thirteen of 40 on two-pointers, and then we froze against the zone going into the last three minutes.
“(It was) our lack of ball movement, we just held the ball too long.”
St. Joe’s would not have been in any position to win if it weren't for the hot hand of Charlie Brown. The freshman drained six threes and set a career-high of 22 points – his previous was 19. Brown has been in double-digits in 13 of his last 14 games. His sharp shooting helped the Hawks jump out to a 19-11 lead in the first half, and his second three in the second half gave the Hawks their biggest lead of the game at 13.
Despite his hot shooting, Brown was silenced in both overtimes.
“We have to get him to hunt a little bit more against the zone,” Martelli said. “He was kind of moving through the zone instead of hunting for the dead spots.”
Judging by the first half and most of the second it looked like the Hawks would be cruising to a double-digit victory. They led by 15 with 9:44 left, but Fordham used a 9-0 run to get within 61-59 with one minute remaining in the game. A three from Chris Sengfelder with 19 seconds left gave the Rams their first lead, 62-61, since the first three minutes of the game. 

Fordham shot only 12 for 34 from three, but were 6 for 12 in the second half.
“I don’t think we communicated very well," Martelli said of the defensive miscues. “I don’t think we communicated well at all. That has been part of our trying to grow up. Communication was off. Not like the plan or anything like that just straight communication.
“This is the way they are raised in basketball. They don’t talk, nobody talks anymore during the game. And you can’t guard the way we wanted to guard and not communicate.”
The Hawks' next game will be on the road Tuesday against second-place Dayton. 

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