Redshirt sophomore Lorenzo Edwards scored a career-high 22 points, hitting a perfect 6-for-6 from three-point range, but it wasn’t enough as Saint Joseph’s (10-13; 3-7 A-10) was defeated by La Salle, 83-69, in an Atlantic 10 and Big 5 game at Gola Arena.
The teams combined for a total of 29 three-pointers in the game, with Saint Joseph’s making a season-high 14 and La Salle (7-14; 5-4 A-10) connecting on 15 threes.
Edwards connected on 8-of-9 field goals in the contest while Charlie Brown, Jr., had 19 points and five assists. Graduate transfer Troy Holston had a career-high 13 points on 5-for-8 shooting.
La Salle held a double-digit lead for most of the game but Edwards got SJU within 76-68 with 2:25 to play. But Tracy Carter connected a three with two minutes left to push La Salle’s lead back to 79-68. Carter then sealed it for the Explorers, making 4-for-4 from the line in the final minute of play.
La Salle led from the start, and used a 9-0 run to take an 18-8 lead just six minutes into the game, making seven of their first nine shots and connecting on 3-of-4 from three-point range. The Explorers led by as much as 12 points in the first half, but saw the Hawks go on an 8-0 run to pull to 34-30 on a three by Taylor Funk.
Edwards’ fourth three-pointer in as many attempts brought SJU within 34-33 with under three minutes to go in the half, but La Salle took a 39-33 lead into intermission, by which time the teams had combined for 15 three-pointers.
A three-pointer by Chris Clover early in the second half cut the Hawks’ deficit to four, 42-38, but it would be the closest SJU would come. La Salle, which would connect on 8-of-13 three-point attempts in the half, then built its lead back up to 10, 48-38, within the first four minutes of the second half and took its biggest lead of the game, 51-38, at 15:44.
"Obviously their shooting was a surprise, although they had been shooting the ball better recently. But they have some guys who'd you say their numbers weren't going to hurt you, but to their credit they did. They played very efficient defense and we only had five foul shots, but some of that is on us, we didn't go downhill," said Saint Joseph's Phil Martelli.
“We shot 12-for-33 on twos, 36 percent, [and didn’t finish] stuff at the rim,” said Martelli. “They took the fight to us and we tried to fight back and never got a big stop in the second half.”
Carter led four La Salle players in double figures with 18 points as the home team connected on 53.7 percent (29-for-54) from the field and 48.4 percent (15-for-31) from three-point range.
This was the final Big 5 game of the season with Penn having already clinched the City Series title with a 4-0 record. SJU finished with an 0-4 mark while La Salle is 1-3.
Saint Joseph’s will face Saint Louis for the second time this year in an A-10 ESPN Friday Night Showcase game on Feb. 8 at Hagan Arena. The 7 p.m. game will be televised nationally on ESPN2.