DAVIDSON, N.C.- Davidson (19-6; 10-2 A-10) overtook Saint Joseph’s in the second half to post an 80-72 win over the Hawks in Atlantic 10 action at sold-out Belk Arena.
The Wildcats hit 10 three-pointers in the second half, after the Hawks opened the game making 10 threes in the first half.
Charlie Brown scored 20 points for Saint Joseph’s (11-15; 4-9 A-10) despite sitting out nine minutes in the second half after picking up his fourth foul with over 16 minutes to play. The A-10’s leading scorer re-entered the game with 7:11 to play and the Hawks trailing, 68-63.
Chris Clover added 17 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double and Troy Holston came off the bench to score 10 points.
Jon Axel Gudmunsson led Davidson with 21 points, 15 in the second half. KiShawn Pritchett had 18 as did Luke Frampton.
Saint Joseph’s was in control the entire first half, and holding a 53-46 lead, Davidson went on a 7-0 run to tie it 53-53, with over 11 minutes to go. Davidson took its first lead since the start of the game, 57-55, on a three by Jon Axel Gudmunsson at 10:19. He and Luke Frampton hit back-to-back threes to give the Wildcats a 63-57 lead at 9:01. A 5-0 run gave Davidson a 71-63 lead with under six minutes to play.
SJU cut it to 75-70 on free throws by Anthony Longpre with 2:23 to play, but that’s the closest they would come.
The Hawks came out firing and hit four of their first seven shots to take their biggest lead of the game, 21-11, with over 12 minutes to play on a jumper by Clover.
With SJU up, 23-14, Davidson used a 7-0 run to come within 23-21, before Troy Holston hit a three to give the Hawks the 26-21 cushion.
Each time the Wildcats pulled closer, SJU had an answer. Davidson cut it to 29-27 but Brown answered with a three. The Hawks closed out the first half as Funk banked in a three at the buzzer to give SJU a 42-35 lead at intermission. Saint Joseph’s connected on 10 three-pointers in the first half, its highest total of the year.
The Hawks made just 2-of-13 from behind the arc in the second half and shot 12-of-17 from the foul line in the second period.
Saint Joseph’s gets a rare week’s break before returning to action at Massachusetts next Saturday, February 23.