Lamarr Kimble hit the gamewinner with 15.8 seconds to go to lift Saint Joseph’s to a 73-72 win over La Salle (11-8; 5-3 A-10) in Atlantic 10 action at sold-out Hagan Arena. Sophomore Chris Clover had a career-high 21 points in Saint Joseph’s (10-10; 3-5 A-10) victory.
With 35.3 seconds remaining the Hawks inbounded to Kimble, who took it to the right elbow and pulled up for the winning jumper to end the Hawks’ four-game Atlantic 10 losing streak.
Kimble finished the game with 14 points, making 3-of-5 from three-point range. Clover shot 8-for-11 from the field, and made 4-of-5 three-pointers, while handing out a personal best five assists. James Demery had 13 points and 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season with Charlie Brown adding 15, including 10 in the last 10 minutes of the game. Jai Williams had a career-high eight rebounds in a personal best 25 minutes played.
Jordan Price led La Salle with 21 points and four three-pointers while Amar Stukes scored 16. B.J. Johnson had 14 points and seven rebounds for the Explorers.
Saint Joseph’s led by as much as nine in the first two minutes of the second half, but La Salle used a 10-2 run to cut the deficit to 44-43 on a three by Johnson at 14:28. The Explorers took their first lead since the early going, 50-49, on a pair of free throws by Tony Washington at 11:52.
La Salle maintained the lead until Charlie Brown scored five straight points to force a 65-65 tie at 6:19. From there, the teams traded points but a Jai Williams’ layup at 5:52 would be the Hawks’ last field goal until Kimble’s shot at the end.
La Salle’s Demetrius Henry hit one free throw to tie it for the last time, 70-70, at 3:06, and Stukes followed with a jumper to give the visitors a 72-70 lead at 1:25.
Demery made one of two from the line at 1:03 to pull the Hawks to within 72-71 and after a La Salle miss at :40, SJU called timeout to set up Kimble’s gamewinner.
La Salle led in the early minutes, but the Hawks took the lead, 13-12 on a three by Clover. By 11:19 of the first half, Clover had established a new career-high with 13 points as the Hawks held a 20-13 advantage. Saint Joseph’s opened up its biggest lead of the half, 27-18, on a pair of free throws from Demery at 7:56.
La Salle would close to within four points two more times, but the Hawks went into the lockerroom with a 37-29 edge. SJU connected on 52.2 percent from the field in the half, while holding La Salle to a 9-for-29 effort.
"At the one of the floor, he (Clover) was good. On the other end of the floor, he was their best player. So, there was confidence. He has been practicing better. But you have to play, and now we get to the next part with him, which is defense. He did not do a very good job defensively, but he shot with confidence. That's all I want. I just want somebody to step up, like they think the ball is going in."
Saint Joseph’s struggles from the foul line continued, as the Hawks hit just 56 percent from the line in the game. “It's awful. It really is. We shoot as many as we've always shot. We do two segments of it in practice. The ones that get me are when we miss two in a row. We you miss two in a row, you're not zeroed in. We have to become purposeful. We came back from St. Bonaventure and we were 7-of-14 from the foul line. And you should lose a Division I game with that,” said Martelli.
Saint Joseph’s returns to action on Tuesday evening hosting Davidson at 8 p.m.