Charlie Brown, Jr., scored 17 points and Lamarr Kimble added 12 as Saint Joseph’s held off Wagner, 59-57, at Hagan Arena in the final non-conference game before league play begins next week. It was SJU’s second win in a row improving the Hawks’ record to 7-5.
Kimble drained a three-pointer with 4:53 left to give the Hawks their biggest lead of the half, 59-52, and and would be SJU’s final basket of the game as Wagner ended the contest on a 5-0 run.
With 37 seconds to play, Saint Joseph’s had the ball and the 59-57 lead, but Wagner elected not to foul and saw the Hawks miss on their last shot with under five seconds to play. The Seahawks brought the ball up but couldn’t get a shot off before time expired.
Brown added a team-high seven rebounds while Taylor Funk scored 11 points. Jared Bynum topped the team with four assists and Senior Chris Clover had nine points and five rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench.
After sitting out most of the first half with two fouls, Taylor Funk connected on two three-pointers in the opening minutes of the second, helping the Hawks go up, 33-30. A three-pointer by Brown and a jumper from Bynum pushed SJU’s lead to 38-32.
SJU would lead the remainder of the half although Wagner forced three ties, the last one coming with 11:15 to play, 46-46.
"It's just a numeric game - 14 offensive rebounds allowed, 11 turnovers. They had 13 points off of our turnovers. We have got to get guys playing better. We have to do a lot of check-in here to see if we can play better basketball, because that won't get it done in the Atlantic 10,” said SJU coach Phil Martelli. "They (Wagner) committed to the way that they were going to play more than we did today."
"The key of the game was Jared Bynum's defense on that last play. That was it. There was no other time where I felt that we played our way. I just didn't see it. I really didn't like anything about it, other than the result. I don't think we have anybody playing to his level. I don't think there's one guy."
With SJU leading, 14-11, in the first half, the Hawks went scoreless for four minutes and Wagner took advantage going on a 9-0 run to take its biggest lead of the game, 20-14. But Saint Joseph’s answered with seven straight points, including five from Clover, to retake the lead, 21-20. The teams traded leads the rest of the way, with Wagner taking a 28-25 edge at halftime.
Saint Joseph’s went scoreless for four minutes in the first half, allowing Wagner to go on a 9-0 run and take its biggest lead of the game, 20-15. But SJU answered with seven straight, with 5 from Clover, to retake the lead, 21-20.
Wagner (5-6) was led by Romone Saunders with 15 points, Elijah Davis with 12 and Nigel Jackson with 10 points.
SJU takes on George Mason at home on Thursday, January 3, in the first Atlantic 10 game of the season, with the national telecast on the CBS Sports Network.