Lamarr Kimble

St. Joe's Lamarr Kimble out for season with fractured foot

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St. Joe's Lamarr Kimble out for season with fractured foot

The Hawks just can't catch a break. 

A month after losing leading-scorer Shavar Newkirk for the season, Saint Josephs's will now be without fellow guard and current leading-scorer Lamarr Kimble for the remainder of the season with a fractured foot. The fracture in the fifth metatarsal of his left foot will require surgery, followed by two months of recovery.

Kimble suffered the injury late in the second half of St. Joe's loss to Massachussetts on Saturday (see story) — the team's fourth-consecutive loss. The sophomore went up for a layup, but landed awkwardly on his foot and continued to play before eventualy checking himself out of the game. 

“We’re obviously disappointed for ‘Fresh,’" Saint Joseph’s head coach Phil Martelli said. "We’ll certainly miss his on the court skills and do expect, as Shavar has done, that he will continue to be prominent in a leadership role. Speaking for the program, we’re all disappointed but not discouraged."

Kimble led the Hawks with 15.5 points per game and 4.5 assists, scoring in double figures in 19 of the Hawks' 24 games.

Now down both starting point guards and leading scorers, St. Joe's (10-24, 3-9 A-10) travels to VCU on Tuesday. 

Lamarr Kimble suffers foot injury as St. Joe's loses 4th straight

Lamarr Kimble suffers foot injury as St. Joe's loses 4th straight

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As if a loss wasn't bad enough, Saint Joseph's may have lost another leading scorer as well.

St. Joe's suffered its fourth-straight loss, 87-76, to Massachusetts on Saturday afternoon at Hagen Arena (see Instant Replay)

The beating from UMass wasn’t the only bad news for the Hawks, as their captain, Lamarr Kimble, went down with a left foot injury late in the second half. Kimble went up for a layup but landed on his foot awkwardly and tried to play through it. He called a timeout by the 4:05 mark in the second half to take himself out.

“It’s definitely a bad taste in our mouth,” freshman Charlie Brown said on both losses suffered by the Hawks. “We just got to look at the positives instead of the negatives. Just focusing on the next game, the next practice trying to get better individually, coaches get better and get better as a team.”
 
Kimble was not available to talk following the game, as he was taken to get his foot X-rayed. The severity of the injury is unclear, but he left the arena on crutches with ice wrapped around his foot.

Heading into halftime, St. Joe’s (10-14, 3-9 A-10)  trailed Massachusetts, 43-35 – just another game where the Hawks started off flat. Great shooting from the Minutemen’s Donte Clark pushed UMass (13-12, 3-9 A-10) off to a 17-9 lead – Clark led the way with 12 points in that stretch and finished with a game-high 24 points.

“The plan in the beginning was to zone them and they made eight threes,” Hawks coach Phil Martelli said. “So credit to them. They beat the plan.”

“They came up firing for one," Brown said. “We were surprised because we didn’t know they were going to shoot the ball that good. They are not known as a shooting team so that was one thing. Second half they just kept it going.”

A 10-0 run early in the second half brought the game to a tie at 55. It was the first time St. Joe's was that close since 42 seconds into the game when they led 3-2. Hawks senior center Javon Bauman started the run with a layup at the 12:58 mark and would end it with two free throws at the 10:24. Both Kimble and Brown added three pointers in between.

Unfortunately, as easy as that run came about, it was erased with a 7-0 run by the Minutemen. Two steals after the initial run was the turning point for UMass.

“I think we just played,” Matelli said about the initial run. “I didn’t think anything noteworthy. We tried different guys. Javon Bauman gave us a lift there, but we need more playmakers. We needed to dig in and get a stop but they scored five in a row.”

The Hawks' second-half run paralleled a similar comeback attempt in the first half when they pulled within three at the 1:22 mark. It started with a Kimble three, followed by a Brendan Casper jumper and finished with a Casper half-court swing pass to find Brown in the corner for a three, making it 36-33.

Once again UMass pulled away with a 5-0 run, foreshadowing what would happen after the break.

After a day like that, the Hawks just want to focus on moving forward.

“Just got to get better,” Brown said. “Can’t say nothing more other than that.”

Lamarr Kimble delivers game-winning jumper for St. Joe's over La Salle

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Lamarr Kimble delivers game-winning jumper for St. Joe's over La Salle

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It didn’t matter that it wasn’t an official Big 5 game. Two Philadelphia teams were playing on Saturday night and Philly kid Lamarr “Fresh” Kimble wanted the ball in his hands in the final seconds.

“I live for that type of moment,” Kimble said. 

The sophomore guard will remember the moment for a long time as he buried the game-winning jumper with 15 seconds left to lead Saint Joseph’s to a dramatic 73-72 win over La Salle in an Atlantic 10 matchup Saturday night at Hagan Arena (see Instant Replay).

“He’s a kid who loves Philadelphia games,” St. Joe’s coach Phil Martelli said. 

Kimble, a former star at Neumann-Goretti High, has certainly played well against Big 5 rivals, pouring in 23 points in a win over Penn last week after previously scoring 12 and 15 against Temple and Villanova, respectively. (Mark your calendar for when Kimble and the Hawks play La Salle again on Feb. 18 — the game that will count toward the Big 5 standings).

But things haven’t been all peachy this season for Kimble, who’s had to carry a big load after backcourt-mate Shavar Newkirk suffered a season-ending knee injury and the Hawks sputtered to a 2-5 mark in his absence heading into Saturday’s game. And Kimble, too, has struggled with his midrange game at times, as he tries to develop into a more complete college basketball player.

All of that made the sophomore’s game-winning shot from the elbow even more gratifying.

“I guess today I really wanted to will that shot in,” Kimble said. “That’s kind of the approach I took. We’ve been losing a lot — and games at the end too. For us to turn it around and be able to come out with a win in a tight game against a good team, that’s a great win.”

Martelli was less enthusiastic about the victory, lamenting many aspects of his team’s performance, particularly their “awful” free throw shooting; the Hawks shot 9 for 17 from the line.

But he was glad to see Kimble, only the third sophomore captain in program history, to step up when his team needed him most.

“He hasn’t made that shot,” Martelli said. “We’ve talked to him a lot about his eyes being on the rim. His eyes are always down and he’s been short-arming things. … But he’s well-received by his teammates and I’m glad he has the keys to the house, so to speak.”

After Kimble put the Hawks ahead by one, it was Jordan Price’s turn to try to hit a big shot of his own. But the La Salle star, who had scored 21 points and 16 points in the second half, missed at the buzzer after getting into the lane.

“I’m really appreciative of the crowd,” Martelli said. “We were the home team and the ball didn’t go in for them on the last play.”

It was a good look, though.

“A one foot shot?” La Salle coach John Giannini said. “I like a one-foot shot.”

Price also missed a shot on the previous possession with La Salle clinging to a one-point lead. But Giannini was mostly upset with some turnovers and “foolish fouls” down the stretch after a rough first half when Price only had five points and few other players were able to get going as the Explorers fell behind by eight en route to their third straight loss.

“I thought we were atrocious in the first half,” the La Salle coach said. “I thought in the second half we really played well. But we have to understand what goes into winning close games.”

The Hawks, who are trying to climb up from near the bottom of the Atlantic 10 standings, still need to learn more about winning close games, too. But they took a big step in that direction as sophomore Chris Clover (21 points), freshman Charlie Brown (15 points) and junior James Demery (13 points) joined Kimble (14 points) in double figures in what was one of the team’s most balanced efforts of the season.

The play of Clover was especially promising considering the former St. Joseph’s Prep star and Philadelphia Catholic League MVP only scored 10 points during his entire freshman campaign and hadn’t scored more than 11 points in any game this season.

Until Saturday when he surpassed his career high midway through the first half and set the Hawks on their way to a big city win.

“Chris’ confidence is rising every game and we’re confident in him,” said Kimble of his old Philadelphia Catholic League rival. “He could do big things as seen today. He’s capable of scoring and going on a run like that. For him to come out and produce like that in his first breakout game, I’m definitely happy for him.”