Charlie Brown, Jr., notched his second consecutive double-double but Saint Joseph's (9-11; 0-3 Big 5) couldn't get past Penn, falling 78-70 to the Quakers in a Big 5 battle at The Palestra. With the win, Penn (12-6; 4-0) clinched the outright Big 5 title, its first since 2001-02 season.
Brown finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds for his second straight game of 20-plus points. Jared Bynum scored 14 points and handed out seven assists, and Chris Clover had 14 points and eight rebounds.
Brown’s three-point play at 2:09 pulled the Hawks within 70-67, but Jake Slipe answered for Penn with a three-pointer at 1:40, building the lead back to 73-67. SJU came within 75-70 with 25 seconds left on a basket by Bynum, but the Hawks ran out of time as Penn hit 4-of-4 free throws in the final 22 seconds.
Penn’s biggest lead was 56-43 with over 12 minutes to play, but the Hawks used an 11-2 run, with five from Bynum, to cut it to 58-54. But Washington hit a three to give the Quakers a 61-54 cushion as Saint Joseph’s would only come within three points two more times.
Saint Joseph’s led by as much as five points up until the midway point of the first half, but the Hawks would trail the rest of the way. Penn used a 10-2 run late in the first half to take its biggest lead of the period, 35-27, with 3:49 to play. Consecutive baskets by Lorenzo Edwards pulled the Hawks within 35-31 at halftime.
SJU was 0-for-10 from three-point range in the first half and it took until the 12-minute mark of the second before Edwards connected on the team’s first three of the game on SJU’s 13th attempt. The Hawks finished the game making just 3-of-24 from behind the arc.
“Turnovers and missed layups, that’s the thing. You can’t turn the ball over. And the plays at the rim,” said SJU coach Phil Martelli.
“Charlie is playing easier and I like the fact that he’s getting shot attempts,” said the coach of the Hawks' leading scorer.
Bryce Washington led Penn with 23 points and 10 rebounds with AJ Brodeur scoring 20 points and Michael Wang adding 12 points.
The Hawks have a quick turnaround and resume Atlantic 10 play on Tuesday at Dayton in a nationally-televised contest on the CBS Sports Network.