NCAA

Instant Replay: St. Joe's 73, La Salle 72

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Instant Replay: St. Joe's 73, La Salle 72

BOX SCORE

What Chris Clover started, Lamarr Kimble made sure to finish.

Kimble hit the game-winning jumper with 15 seconds left, Clover finished with a career-high 21 points and Saint Joseph’s edged city rival La Salle, 73-72, on Saturday at Hagan Arena.

Jordan Price finished with 21 but missed two shots in the final minute for La Salle (11-8, 5-3), which has now lost three straight following a five-game winning streak.

The Hawks (10-10, 3-5) picked up a much-needed win after dropping four of their previous five games.

Trailing by eight at the half, La Salle quickly staged a comeback and took a 53-49 lead with 11 minutes left on a Price three-pointer. It was a tight contest from there with the Big 5 rivals trading leads and big shots.

With the game tied at 70-70, La Salle’s Amar Stukes hit a short floater with 1:20 left — the first field goal for either team in more than four minutes — before the Hawks’ James Demery hit one of two free throws on the other end. 

After Price missed a jumper, Kimble buried the game-winner with 15.8 seconds left and Price missed another shot from close-range as time expired. Kimble’s shot was the Hawks’ first made field goal in nearly six minutes.

Saturday’s game did not count toward the Big 5 standings. The official Big 5 contest will take place when the two teams reconvene on Feb. 18.  

Big men on campus
Clover’s 21 points came on 8 for 11 shooting and 4 for 5 shooting from three-point range before fouling out with 3:06 left. He also had a career-high five assists. 

Also for St. Joe's, freshman Charlie Brown had 15 points, Kimble scored 14 and Demery had 13. 

Price scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half. Amar Stukes scored 16 points and five assists and B.J. Johnson finished with 14. 

By the numbers
• There were 44 total fouls with St. Joe’s shooting 14 for 25 from the free throw line and La Salle shooting 22 for 30.
 
• St. Joe’s shot 52.9 percent from three-point range while La Salle shot 33.3 percent. 

• St. Joe’s finished with 13 turnovers and La Salle had 10

First half
The game was back and forth for the first few minutes before a 16-6 run put St. Joe’s up 27-18 with a little under eight minutes to go. The Hawks maintained their advantage the rest of the way, taking a 37-29 lead into halftime.

Clover had 16 points in the first half, setting his career high less than nine minutes into the contest. He shot 6 for 7 from the field and 3 for 3 from three-point range before halftime.

As a team, the Hawks shot 52.2 percent from the field and 60 percent from three-point range while the Explorers shot 31 and 28.6 percent. 

Welcome back, Marvin
Before the game, former St. Joe’s star and Big 5 Hall of Famer Marvin O’Connor was honored. 

O’Connor may be best known for a game against La Salle in 2001 when he scored 18 points in less than a minute. One fan told him before the game it was “the greatest thing I’ve ever seen in basketball.”

Several other former players were also in attendance and welcomed back throughout the second half. 

Up next
St. Joe’s hosts Davidson on Tuesday.

La Salle welcomes UMass on Wednesday.

Knicks will reportedly reach out to Jay Wright about coaching job

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Knicks will reportedly reach out to Jay Wright about coaching job

Fresh off a second national championship in three years, this was bound to happen. Jay Wright is a hot name. 

And according to the New York Daily News, the Knicks plan on reaching out to Wright about their vacant head coaching job. 

Just don’t expect Wright to be interested. 

The 56-year-old coach has been determined to build Villanova into a powerhouse since he took the head coaching gig way back in 2001 and he’s finally done that. On the surface, maybe some think that would be enough to make him want to take his coaching to the top league in the world. Not so fast. 

In a recent interview with The Athletic, Wright said pretty flatly that he’s staying at Villanova because he loves it there. 

“The NBA does intrigue me,” Wright said. “That challenge is appealing but it’s not worth giving up working with these guys. The whole thing is, to take a new challenge you have to give up what you have. I don’t want to give up what I have. Would I like to coach in the NBA? Yes. But I have to give this up in order to do that, and I don’t see that happening.”

In that interview, Wright talked about his time at Hofstra and quoted Jim Valvano, who once said, ‘Don’t mess with happy.’ That was true at Hofstra until the Villanova job came around, so maybe there’s a chance the Knicks could blow him away. It just doesn’t seem likely. 

The Knicks just fired head coach Jeff Hornacek after a 29-53 record in 2017. The Knicks haven’t had a winning record since 2012-13. 

The New York Daily News cites a source, who said the Knicks believe Wright would be a “perfect candidate for a rebuilding club.” The Knicks might be right, but don’t bet on them getting Wright. 

Jalen Brunson hires agent, declares for NBA draft

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Jalen Brunson hires agent, declares for NBA draft

Villanova is losing its second star player in two days. 

Guard Jalen Brunson has decided to hire an agent and enter the 2018 NBA Draft, he wrote in a letter to Nova Nation on ESPN. He will forego his senior season at Villanova after an incredible college career. 

This news comes a day after his teammate Mikal Bridges announced he will also head to the NBA draft.

“It is with great honor and privilege that I have called Villanova University my home for the past three years,” Brunson wrote in ESPN. “When I decided to commit to Coach Jay Wright and the basketball program, I was driven by three goals: getting my education, competing at the highest level and winning a national championship. While I pride myself on remaining disciplined and focused to achieve these goals, I have grown as a man and have established lifelong relationships with my teammates, classmates, members of the basketball staff, fellow student-athletes and the wonderful educators and administrators of this prestigious university.”

Brunson leaves Villanova as one of the greatest players in Wildcats history, helping lead Villanova to its second national championship in three years. 

The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 18.9 points, 4.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game this season. Brunson was named the Big East Player of the Year and was the Wooden Award and Naismith Award winner this season.