NCAA

Instant Replay: Rhode Island 68, St. Joe's 49

Instant Replay: Rhode Island 68, St. Joe's 49

BOX SCORE

St. Joe's did not have an answer for Rhode Island's shutdown defense on Wednesday night as the Hawks lost, 68-49, at Hagan Arena.

Three St. Joe's players had three turnovers each, while the team registered 13 and totaled its lowest scoring output of the season.

Rhode Island (20-9, 12-5 A-10) tallied six steals and four blocks, while its bench embarrassed the Hawks' subs, outscoring them, 27-9.

St. Joe's (10-19, 3-14 A-10) has lost nine in a row, tying its longest skid since January of 2011.

Turning point
The Rams went on a 12-2 run late in the first half, propelling them to a commanding 36-20 halftime lead. The Hawks never challenged that advantage in the second half.

First half
Slow, slow and slower gears for St. Joe's, as it struggled to get any type of offense in motion. The Hawks were 9 for 26 on field goals, while the Rams shot 16 for 30 (both teams were 1 for 3 from beyond the arc). Rhode Island had four steals, blocked three shots and forced nine Hawk turnovers.

Two minutes into the first half, Charlie Brown tied former Hawks Langston Galloway's and Arthur Davis' record of 65 three-pointers by a freshman in a season. He went on to break the record with 45 seconds remaining in the game.

By the numbers
• St. Joe's went 9 for 20 (45 percent) from the free throw line and was 2 for 9 (22.2 percent) from beyond the arc.

• Rhode Island shot 25 for 57 (43.9 percent) from the field and went 14 for 15 (93.3 percent) from the free throw line.

• Both teams had 18 points off turnovers.

Honored
Prior to the game, Javon Baumann and Brendan Casper (both team captains) were honored in St. Joe's senior night festivities.

What's next
St. Joe's will play its final regular-season game at Duquesne on Saturday with a 2 p.m. tip-off. Both teams are tied for last place in the A-10.

Rhode Island will round out its regular season at home vs. Davidson on Saturday for a 6 p.m. tip.

The Atlantic 10 Tournament begins next 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.