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.
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.
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.