CHARLOTTE AMALIE, ST. THOMAS – Shavar Newkirk scored 23 points but Saint Joseph’s comeback fell short as the Hawks were defeated by NC State, 73-63, in the third-place game of the 2016 Paradise Jam at the University of the Virgin Islands.
Newkirk shot 10-for-18 from the field, and added six rebounds and five assists for his third consecutive 20-plus point game. Freshman Charlie Brown added 14 points for Saint Joseph’s, which drops to 3-2 on the season.
Dennis Smith, Jr., scored a game-high 24 for NC State (4-1), while Torin Dorn added 19, Abu Abdul-Malik had 12 points and 10 rebounds. Terry Henderson added 15 points for the Wolfpack.
Saint Joseph’s trailed by as much as 14 points in the second half, but came within 64-58, on a jumper in the paint by Newkirk with 3:54 left to play. NC State answered with a three-pointer by Dorn, but Brown followed with one of his own to bring the Hawks within 67-61 at 3:07.
The teams traded points, with Chris Clover scoring for SJU, and with NC State leading 69-63, NC State missed three shots but the Hawks couldn’t come up with a rebound or the ball after a scramble ensued. The Wolfpack regained possession, Smith was fouled and made both free throws to give NC State a 71-63 lead.
A missed shot by SJU and then a turnover resulted in a dunk by Henderson at 1:06 that sealed the win for NC State.
After NC State took its biggest lead of the game, 57-43, on a layup by Abdul-Malic, SJU scored seven straight to come within 57-50. NC State increased it to 61-50, but the Hawks wouldn’t fold and Newkirk scored four in a row to cut it to 61-54.
The Hawks came out strong in the first half, and leading 9-7, went on a 9-2 spurt, with four straight from Newkirk and a tip-in by Robinson to take an 18-9 lead at 10:52. Javon Baumann increased it to 20-9 with a dunk off a pass from Brown.
But the Wolfpack would go on a 13-0 run and a three by Henderson gave them a 22-20 lead with under 4:30 to go. A pair of free throws by Jai Williams ended the Hawks’ scoring drought, but NC State maintained a 25-22 lead. SJU remained without a field goal for close to nine minutes before Newkirk broke the streak with a jumper at 1:59 to pull SJU within 31-26. A dunk by Williams made it 31-28.
Dorn answered again for NC State with a three, but Newkirk drained a baseline jumper to pull the Hawks within 34-30 at the intermission.
The Hawks get a break for the holiday and return to action hosting Temple in a Big 5 game on November 30 at 7 p.m. at Hagan Arena. The game will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network.