Saint Joseph’s fell behind early and couldn’t recover, dropping an 87-76 decision to Massachusetts in Atlantic 10 action at Hagan Arena.
Charlie Brown led Saint Joseph’s (10-14; 3-9 A-10) with 15 points, on 4-of-8 three-pointers, to go along with eight rebounds. The Hawks’ leading scorer Lamarr Kimble had 12 points and six assists before leaving the game with a foot injury and will undergo x-rays to determine the severity. Nick Robinson added 10 points for SJU, which has lost four in a row.
Donte Clark hit four three-pointers in the first three minutes as UMass (13-12; 3-9 A-10) staked a quick 14-5 lead and led for all but two minutes of the entire contest. Clark finished with a game-high 24 points and Luwane Pipkins added 19 as the Minutemen snapped a five-game winning streak.
Down 55-45 with 13 minutes to play, the Hawks went on a 10-0 run with six points from Brown and four from Javon Baumann to force the first tie, 55-55, since the opening minute of the game. UMass broke the tie right away, scoring seven straight points to go back up 62-55.
Seven straight points from Zach Lewis stretched the UMass lead to 71-59 with 4:37 to go and from that point, the Minutemen converted 10-of-13 from the foul line to secure the win.
The Hawks played the last part of the second half without Kimble at full strength as he suffered the injury with over 12 minutes to play. He hit a three-pointer immediately after that but left the game briefly at 8:58. The sophomore played a few more minutes before leaving the game for good with 4:27 to play and the Hawks trailing by 12 points.
After Clark’s barrage of three-pointers at the start, the Minutemen built their lead up to 17-7. before the Hawks went on a 9-2 run, ending in a three-pointer by Brown that pulled SJU within 19-16. UMass then ran off seven straight points to regain the double-digit advantage, 26-16.
UMass took its biggest lead of the game, 36-25, but Saint Joseph’s used an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to 36-33 on a three-pointer by Brown with 1:22 to play. But the Minutemen rattled off the final eight points of the half, ending with a dunk by Tyrn Flowers to take a 43-33 halftime lead.
"We worked really hard to get to 53-53, and then I think they had a loose ball recovery with a bad offensive possession. And then they had another loose ball recovery. The plan in the beginning was to zone them, and they made eight threes, so credit to them. They beat the plan. Obviously, we're not getting to the mid-70s with the way we're formed right now," said SJU coach Phil Martelli.
Saint Joseph’s travels to VCU on Tuesday night for a nationally-televised game on the CBS Sports Network at 6 p.m.
Photos from today's game are available for purchase at sjuhawksphotos.photoshelter.com