PHILADELPHIA - Chris Wilson drained a three-pointer from the baseline with seven seconds remaining to lift Saint Joseph’s to a 65-64 come-from-behind win over Rhode Island at Hagan Arena. It was the Hawks’ second straight win and the fifth consecutive victory on their homecourt, while snapping Rhode Island's five-game winning streak.
Rhode Island (16-6; 6-3 A-10) had one more chance but E.C. Matthews’ shot with two seconds left missed and although the Rams grabbed the rebound, time had expired.
DeAndre Bembry led the Hawks (11-12; 5-6 A-10) with 19 points and nine rebounds while Isaiah Miles added 10 points on 3-for-4 shooting from three-point range. James Demery scored 11 points and Wilson added 10 for Saint Joseph’s.
"The fact that he (Wilson) shot it, I'm ok with him shooting it. He shot the one from the top of the key. I'd be ok with him shooting it. Now I would be stomping if we had lost, but you have to be willing to miss a shot to take that shot," said Hawk coach Phil Martelli of Wilson's three-pointer, which was his second attempt in a span of five seconds. " "DeAndre' said to me, 'I want Matthews on the last play.' He deflects the ball. And the thing gets discombobulated for sure."
Matthews led Rhode Island with 17 points and Jarvis Garrett added 14.
The Hawks trailed by as many as nine points early in the second half, 45-36, but reeled off seven straight points, with five from Bembry, to pull within 45-43.
Rhode Island increased its lead to 54-49 on a layup by Jarelle Reischel with 10:38 to play, but Demery scored five in a row to cut the Hawks’ deficit to 54-52. A 5-2 run by Saint Joseph’s, culminating in a three-pointer by Miles, gave the Hawks their first lead of the game, 57-56, at 7:04.
In the final six minutes, the teams traded leads and neither could build a margin larger than two points.
After Bembry hit one free throw to give the Hawks a 62-61 lead, Hassan Martin converted a layup to put the Rams back up, 63-61, with 51 seconds left. The Hawks came up scoreless on their next possession and Martin made one of two free throws to increase URI’s lead to 64-62, which would be their last of the game.
Bembry took the rebound from Martin’s miss, and the Hawks had the ball with 27 seconds to go. Wilson missed a three from the top of the key at :12, but Javon Baumann grabbed the rebound and Shavar Newkirk found Wilson in the left corner for the game-winner.
'We've lost these games all across the first half of the Atlantic 10. I made the point of telling our team that we were the older team in this game. Whether you want to call it inexperience or whatever, they started two freshmen and two sophomores. They've been playing great and winning games like this," said Martelli. "I thought we fought hard. We didn't get a usual bang early. We were not sure and got down nine in the second half. I would like to have seen us play with a little bit more fervor."
In the first half, Rhode Island led for all but 50 seconds and built up its biggest lead of the half, 24-16. But the Hawks scored eight straight, led by four from Wilson, to force the third tie of the half, 24-24 with under seven minutes to play.
The Rams used an 11-4 run to build their lead back to 35-29, and entered intermission holding a 35-31 lead.
Bembry sparked the Hawks in the second half with 15 points while Saint Joseph’s connected on 5-of-10 from three-point range.
The Hawks go on the road on Sunday to face Fordham for the second time this year. Game time is 2:30 p.m. with the national broadcast on NBCSN.