ST. THOMAS, USVI - Lamarr Kimble scored a career-high 26 points and backcourt mate Shavar Newkirk added 20 as Saint Joseph’s defeated Loyola Chicago, 71-57, in the opening round of the 2016 Paradise Jam at the University of the Virgin Islands.
Saint Joseph’s (3-0) will face Ole Miss on Sunday at 7 p.m. local (6 p.m. Eastern) with the national telecast on CBSSN.
Kimble, a sophomore, has bettered his career-high in all three games thus far this year and this marks the first 20-plus point game of his career. He shot 10-for-17 from the field and connected on a career-best 5-of-7 three-point field goals.
Newkirk made 9-of-10 from the foul line and freshman Charlie Brown scored nine points and grabbed a team-high six rebounds.
Loyola Chicago was led by Aundre Jackson with 22 points on 9-for-11 shooting and Clayton Custer with 13. Milton Doyle chipped in 10 for the Ramblers (3-1).
The Hawks led for all but a minute in the game, and fought off every Loyola Chicago run with baskets from either Kimble or Newkirk. Loyola closed to 39-35 early in the second half, but the Hawks scored seven straight, including a three-pointer by Kimble that pushed SJU’s lead to 45-35.
Saint Joseph’s took its biggest margin of the game, 53-39, at 8:33 on another three by Kimble, but saw the Ramblers cut it to 56-50 at 6:50 on a three-pointer by Clayton Custer. With the Hawks leading again by six, 60-54, at 3:35, Javon Baumann slammed home a pass from Kimble to give SJU a 62-54 lead.
From there, the Hawks iced it at the foul line as Newkirk (4-for-4), Brendan Casper (2-for-4) and Brown (2-for-2) converted in the final 1:22.
The Hawks got off to a flying start, jumping out to a 7-0 lead and then a 10-2 edge paced by seven points from Newkirk.
“They (Kimble and Newkirk) were experienced players playing against experienced players. We have to have better balance than that. Fifteen turnovers is really not an acceptable way to play basketball. They had 46 points but they also had seven turnovers between them. They can play better, we can play better. I did think we were tough and the fact that we don’t foul and get ourselves in trouble – that was a plus. We’re going to have to play a whole lot better the rest of the season,” said SJU coach Phil Martelli.
We’re a more balanced team than today. I like the fact that they (Kimble, Newkirk) played with poise. They were calm about what they were doing. A lot of credit goes to our strength and conditioning because they’re conditioned to play 35-plus minutes. We have to be a better team – not just a guard show of Fresh and Shavar,” said Martelli.
Loyola used a 12-6 run to take its only lead of the game, 14-13, on a three by Camero Satterwhite at 12:46. The Ramblers went up 16-13 before SJU would go on an 11-3 run, taking a 24-19 lead on a baseline dunk by Brown.
The Hawks maintained the lead with a three-point play by Brendan Casper and five straight from Brown, as his three-pointer gave SJU a 32-24 lead with 3:31 left in the half. Saint Joseph’s took a 36-26 lead into halftime.
SJU shot 41.2 percent from the field and three-point range, but committed 15 turnovers in the contest.