RICHMOND, VA - Sophomore Nick Robinson scored a career-high 20 points and Shavar Newkirk had 18, including a pair of free throws with 14 seconds to play, as Saint Joseph’s (13-15; 8-8 A-10) edged Richmond, 72-70, at the Robins Center.

After Richmond (9-19; 7-9) cut the Hawks’ lead to 70-68 on a pair of free throws from Kwhan Fore with 47 seconds to play, the teams traded turnovers and Newkirk ended up with the ball of a steal by Taylor Funk. The senior made both free throws to give SJU a 72-68 lead before DeMonte’ Buckingham scored on a tip-in at :08 to pull Richmond within 72-70. The Hawks committed a turnover with under seven seconds to play setting up a last shot by Richmond, but it was off the mark as time expired.

SJU led the entire first half before Richmond used an 11-2 run to take its first lead of the game, 46-44, on a bucket by Grant Golden at 11:05. From there, the game was nip and tuck with the teams trading points and leads until Newkirk scored six straight to give the Hawks a 62-56 lead with four minutes to play.

A three-pointer by Nick Sherod cut the Hawks’ lead to 62-59, but threes from Funk and Robinson sandwiched one by Khwan Fore to make it a 68-62 game. A bucket from Golden pulled Richmond to 68-64 before a dunk by Robinson upped SJU’s advantage to 70-64, leading into the final minute of play.

Robinson made 8-of-12 from the field for his first career game of 20 points and added eight rebounds. Funk and James Demery scored 12 points apiece for the Hawks, who made a season best 11-of-12 free throws in the second half.

It was the 11th game this season involving the Hawks that was decided by four points or less, as SJU bounced back from a 79-76 loss to George Mason on a buzzer beater earlier this week.

Saint Joseph’s led from the start and went up 16-8 in the first 10 minutes behind seven points from Robinson. After Richmond cut it to 16-14 on a pair of three-pointers from Sherod, the Hawks rattled off nine straight points to take their biggest lead of the half, 25-14, at 6:25. Richmond cut it to single digits and came within 32-27 at 1:20 before Funk’s third three-pointer of the half built the Hawk lead to 35-27 before a Spider basket made it a 35-29 margin at intermission.

For two teams that are bumping along, I think it was a well played game. Sixteen turnovers, and two of ours were in the last minute. Mixing and matching defenses - both teams did that. 

"That’s our eighth game that was decided with the ball in the air on the last play. We’ve lost six of them, including Wednesday night and I have a lot of respect for the players on my team because the way we lost on  Wednesday we were down 20 with 15 minutes to go and we tied it with five seconds to go. We broke a ball loose, they picked it up and put it in," said SJU coach Phil Martelli. "On Friday I didn’t know if I was going to have three starters. Shavar and Taylor had the flu, played through it on Wednesday and I didn’t see them Thursday. I just had a fear on the bus that maybe it was one too many body blows, so I was pleased with the way we responded in the beginning of the game. And then to respond when we trailed by two in the second half."

Sherod led Richmond with 20 points, Golden finished with 16 and Fore scored 14.

The Hawks have a quick turnaround and go back on the road to visit league regular-season champion Rhode Island on Tuesday. The game will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network at 7 p.m.

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