Freshman Taylor Funk stars in St. Joe's win over Princeton

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Freshman Taylor Funk stars in St. Joe's win over Princeton

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Freshman Taylor Funk hit five 3-pointers and finished with a career-high 23 points to lead Saint Joseph's to a 71-58 win over Princeton on Saturday night.

Funk made 7 of 8 from the field and hit 4 of 4 from the free throw line. James Demery had 13 points, Shavar Newkirk scored 11 and Anthony Longpre' added 10 points for Saint Joe's (2-1).

Funk made back-to-back 3-pointers and had 10 points during a 14-2 run that gave the Hawks a 59-50 lead with six minutes to go. Mike LeBlanc hit a 3 to pull Princeton within seven points with 3:37 left, but Funk answered with a 3-pointer and Saint Joe's led by double figures the rest of the way.

Devin Cannady led Princeton (0-3) with 22 points, including six 3-pointers. Amir Bell added 15 points and Myles Stephens had 13 with eight rebounds.

Funk has back-to-back 20-plus point games and has 61 points through his first three games, the second most in school history behind Bernard Blunt's 67 points in the 1990-91 season.

The Tigers led for all but 90 seconds in the first half, but hit just 3-of-15 second-half 3-pointers.

St. Joe's can't quite pull off upset in Atlantic 10 semis

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St. Joe's can't quite pull off upset in Atlantic 10 semis

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WASHINGTON — Andre Berry scored 18 points, Fatts Russell made two crucial 3-pointers in the final six minutes and No. 25 Rhode Island rallied past Saint Joseph's 90-87 on Saturday in the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament semifinals.

The Rams (25-6) are the first No. 1 seed in the Atlantic 10 to reach the conference championship game since Saint Louis in 2013.

Jeff Dowtin added 16 points and 10 assists for Rhode Island, Russell scored 14 points and E.C. Matthews had 11 of his 14 points in the second half for the defending tournament champions.

Shavar Newkirk had 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the fourth-seeded Hawks (16-16), who drubbed Rhode Island 78-48 last week. Saint Joseph's appeared poised to deliver another upset while trying to extend its season, building an 11-point lead early in the second half.

Cyril Langevine gave Rhode Island its first lead at 73-71 when he completed a 3-point play with 6:16 remaining. After Newkirk tied it with a basket on the next possession, Russell connected on a 3 to give the Rams the lead for good.

Russell had another 3 with 4:29 to go, and Jared Terrell added a 3 off an offensive rebound and kickout on the Rams' next possession to make it 82-75. The Hawks never cut the deficit to fewer than two and missed out on a chance to tie when Taylor Funk traveled near midcourt with 0.5 seconds left.

Big Picture
Rhode Island: After dropping three of their last five regular-season games, the Rams manufactured tight victories over VCU and Saint Joseph's to reach their second consecutive Atlantic 10 title game.

Saint Joseph's: The Hawks won seven of eight before Saturday's loss and started only one senior in the conference tournament. They're poised to contend in the Atlantic 10 again next season.

Up Next 
Rhode Island: The Rams will meet either second-seeded St. Bonaventure or third-seeded Davidson in Sunday's title game. Rhode Island managed a season split with both teams.

Saint Joseph's: The Hawks' season is likely finished.

St. Joe's steamrolls George Mason in A-10 tourney

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St. Joe's steamrolls George Mason in A-10 tourney

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WASHINGTON -- Nick Robinson led a balanced attack with 14 points, Taylor Funk had a double-double and fourth-seeded Saint Joseph's pulled away for a 68-49 win over fifth-seeded George Mason on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament.

Funk had 12 points and 10 rebounds, James Demery had 12 points off the bench and Shavar Newkirk added 13 points for the Hawks (16-15), who face top-seeded and 25th ranked Rhode Island in the semifinals.

Saint Joseph's worked a 26-25 halftime lead up to 16 points midway through the second half but the Patriots (16-17), who swept the regulation-season series by a total of five points, had a 9-0 run to get within single digits with five minutes to go. In the last four minutes the Hawks were 9 of 10 from the foul line, closing with a 16-6 run.

Jaire Grayer had 12 points and 13 rebounds for George Mason, which went 2 of 25 from distance and shot less than 30 percent overall.