PHILADELPHIA - Mustafaa Jones connected on a three-pointer with 3.3 seconds to play to give visiting Fairleigh Dickinson a 58-57 win over Saint Joseph’s at Hagan Arena in the season opener for both teams.
The Hawks had taken a 57-53 lead with 1:13 remaining after back-to-back three-pointers from DeAndre’ Bembry and Chris Wilson. FDU answered with a layup from Xavier Harris with 50 seconds to play and then rebounded a Hawks’ miss on the next possession. FDU inbounded with :09 to play after a Saint Joseph’s foul and Jones, a Philadelphia native, hit the gamewinner from the right side.
Junior Isaiah Miles made the first start of his career and had his first career double-double with 12 points and a personal best 14 rebounds. Wilson added 12 points as the only other Hawk in double figures. Aaron Brown scored nine points in his SJU debut while Javon Baumann grabbed a career-high eight rebounds.
FDU held a 28-25 lead at halftime and by as much as 34-28 two minutes into the second half. A dunk by Bembry started a 9-3 run for the Hawks, with four points from Aaron Brown, as SJU opened its biggest lead of the second half, 44-39, with 6:47 remaining.
Matt MacDonald hit a three-pointer at 5:14 to pull FDU within 46-45, but Miles countered with a three-point play to up the Hawks’ lead to 49-45. Despite another layup by Brown, FDU would tie the score, 51-51, on a jumper by Jones with 2:32 to play.
Saint Joseph’s led early in the game, with its biggest lead being a 22-15 margin on a three-pointer by senior Evan Maschmeyer.
The Hawks committed 16 turnovers in the game, with 10 in the first half.
Jones finished with 13 points for FDU while MacDonald scored 12 and Darian Anderson added 10.
"The mental errors are what did us in. Pick any number of mental errors. Even in the first half, we gave up some out-of-bounds looks. The last play, we had a foul to take and we fought it offensively. We knew that it was coming. These numbers... 16 turnovers, with every guy that was in the game having two or more. We have to get better tomorrow and not have this define our year," said coach Phil Martelli. "I don't think that we ever flowed mentally or physically in this game."
"I thought that we had some physical effort. I thought that Javon Baumann gave us a nice spark, but we have to get to a point where we can score some baskets. So that's why we went with Aaron Brown, he gave us a little spark. Isaiah Miles gave us a little spark. But we didn't have anything sustained and we didn't do a very good job on loose ball recovery. Balls were broken loose and we didn't get enough of those balls."
Prior to the game, Saint Joseph's unveiled a banner representing the 2014 Atlantic 10 Championship.
Saint Joseph's returns to action on Monday when it visits local rival Drexel at 7 p.m.