ST. LOUIS, MO. –Junior Aaron Brown scored a career-high 21 points and sophomore DeAndre' Bembry added 19 points and a game-high 12 rebounds for his second consecutive double-double, but a 10-3 run in the final four minutes gave Saint Louis a 68-61 overtime victory over Saint Joseph's (9-12; 3-6 A-10) at Chaifetz Arena on Tuesday night.
Trailing by two in the final 30 seconds of regulation, Bembry drove the baseline for a game-tying layup with 5.4 seconds on the clock. Ash Yacoubou then drove to the basket to attempt a game-winner for the Billikens, but Bembry drew a charge to turn the ball back over to the Hawks with just over a second remaining. Brendan Casper's full-court pass was intercepted and a last-second heave by the home team came up short, sending the game to overtime at 57-57.
Neither team converted a field goal in the extra frame until Reggie Agbeko hit a layup to give Saint Louis (10-12 overall, 2-7 Atlantic 10) a 62-58 lead with 1:33 remaining. Brown hit one of two from the line to get SJU within three, but a basket from Davell Roby made it a 64-59 game with 53 seconds left.
Brown followed with a jumper at the 43-second mark to cut it back to three at 64-61, but the Hawks would not get any closer as the Billikens sealed the game with a pair of free throws and basket in the final seconds.
"It was a game of layups. They made theirs, we missed ours. To defend like that and to be driven like that, I’m very disappointed. There’s no excuse for it. And we drove the ball to the basket but didn’t make our layups," said Hawk coach Phil Martelli. "We missed a lot of layups and we had 17 turnovers. It’s always in the numbers."
"This is a disturbing trend for us. In our road games, at Duquesne, at St. Bonaventure, at La Salle and tonight, we led all of them in the second half."
Brown, who led all scorers with 12 points in the first half, added seven rebounds as he made his second consecutive start, and bettered his career-high set in the win over Davidson.
SJU maintained a two-point lead through the first 10 minutes of the second half, but Saint Louis scored six straight points to go up, 44-42, for its first lead since the opening three minutes of the game, and then increased it to 47-42. Chris Wilson ended the Hawks’ scoreless streak with a three-pointer and a Brown converted a three-point play that pulled the Hawks back within 49-48. Miles made two of three free throws at 6:09 to regain the lead for SJU, to 50-49.
Trailing 54-50, freshman Shavar Newkirk hit a jumper and Bembry found Baumann for a layup to tie the game at 54-54. The teams traded free throws and then a driving layup by Marcus Bartley with 30.2 seconds left gave SLU at 57-55 lead, setting the stage for Bembry's tying shot.
It was the second road game in a week where the Hawks lost a double-digit lead that they had held in the first half, at La Salle.
Saint Joseph’s made eight of its first 12 shots to take an 11-9 lead, and then ran off seven straight points to go up 18-9. Isaiah Miles and Brown hit back-to-back threes to build the Hawks’ margin to 24-11, their largest of the game. Saint Louis had a 7-0 run of its own to cut the Hawk lead to 24-18 with under six minutes to play and then to 28-23 with over two minutes to play. A jumper by James Demery gave the Hawks a 30-23 lead but they went into halftime leading, 30-25.
Saint Joseph’s returns home on Saturday to host George Mason in a 4 p.m. game at Hagan Arena.