PHILADELPHIA - Shavar Newkirk converted the game-winning three-point play with 6.7 seconds to go, and scored Saint Joseph's final 11 points, as the Hawks rallied to defeat Drexel, 72-71, at the Daskalaskis Center.
Newkirk finished the game with 27 points, one shy of his career high as Saint Joseph’s (4-4) ended a four-game losing streak. He connected on 10-of-16 from the field and 7-of-10 from the foul line while contributing seven rebounds and four assists. Backcourt mate Lamarr Kimble added 16 points and senior Brendan Casper scored a career-high 10 points. Javon Baumann grabbed a career-high nine rebounds for the Hawks.
With the Hawks trailing, 71-69, Newkirk scored on a drive and then put in the ensuing free throw to give SJU a 72-71 lead with 10.7 seconds. On Drexel’s last possession, Javon Baumann blocked an attempt. The Dragons had one more chance, inbounding with two seconds to play, but Nick Robinson came up with a block to preserve the win.
Trailing by 11 points early in the second half, SJU used a 16-3 run and scored eight straight with baskets from Newkirk, Baumann, Casper and Kimble, whose jumper at 9:51 gave Saint Joseph’s its first lead of the game, 54-52.
From there the teams would trade leads and force six ties, with Drexel’s biggest lead being four points, 69-65, at 2:06. Newkirk took over from there, scoring the final 11 points with the defense holding Drexel without a field goal, as SJU achieved its biggest come-from-behind win of the year.
Drexel (4-5) controlled the first half, running out to a 17-6 lead in the first five minutes. The Dragons connected on five three-pointers in the half while SJU managed just 2-of-9 from beyond the arc. Saint Joseph’s got back in the game with an 8-0 run with six straight points from Casper.
Drexel built the lead back to 11, 32-21, with under four minutes to play, but Kimble connected on his first three of the game and hit a pair of free throw to keep SJU within striking distance, 32-26. Newkirk ended the half hitting a jumper at the buzzer to pull the Hawks to 38-34 at halftime.
Saint Joseph’s will head to Princeton on Wednesday, December 14, for a nationally-televised contest on ESPNU beginning at 5 p.m.