At the press conference following his team's 70-66 loss to Richmond on Saturday, St. Joe's head coach Phil Martelli just stared at the box score and uttered:
The Hawks committed 17 turnovers, including 10 in the first half (see Instant Replay), and a critical one in the final minutes. After rallying from an 18-point deficit in the second half to cut the Spiders' lead to one, 65-64, St. Joe's had a chance to take the lead, but sophomore Lamarr Kimble was called for an offensive foul with 1:08 to go.
Since the loss of star Shavar Newkirk, Kimble’s role has increased as the team’s primary ballhandler. He hasn’t played less than 36 minutes in the four games since Newkirk's injury, including all 40 against Richmond.
"I definitely made some mistakes. I had a charge on one play," said Kimble, who had five turnovers. "I definitely want to cut [the turnovers] down. It's definitely too much no matter how many minutes I'm playing."
James Demery has been St. Joe's go-to scorer since Newkirk's injury, but the junior forward struggled mightily. He had more turnovers (six) than points (five).
Demery was just 2 for 13 from the floor, including 0 for 4 from three. In his previous three games, Demery tallied 16, 25 and 17 points, respectively.
“It just wasn’t going in the basket for me today,” Demery said. “Everybody else stepped it up. For me, baskets just weren’t going in.”
Kimble and freshman Charlie Brown, an unlikely source of offense, scored 17 and 13 points, respectively.
Brown struggled from the field in the first half, missing all three of his shot attempts, but rebounded in the second half and contributed 13 of the Hawks' 38 second-half points, improving on his 10.7 points per game this season.
“He’s played a lot of minutes,” Martelli said. “I think the first half is kind of a drift around the game. He got barked at, but we’re still talking about a kid who was 4 for 16, so we’re not like in a celebratory mood here.
“[Kimble and Brown] didn’t hear they did a good job. I don’t buy any of that stuff. There are things that we can take out of that, but only if we’re better on Monday.”
Freshman Nick Robinson also played a big role in Saturday’s effort, scoring 11 second-half points for a game total of 14, marking the second time this season he’s eclipsed the 10-point mark. He would also tie his season-high in minutes played and rebounds with 28 and eight, respectively.
But he also had two turnovers.
“I think we just need to simplify our game,” Brown said. “We try to always make that across-the-court pass, and then the next pass.”
With the loss, St. Joe's falls to 2-3 in conference play and 8-8 overall. Richmond improves to 11-6 and 5-0 in the A-10. The last time Richmond started conference play 4-0, 1991-92, no member of the current team had been born yet.