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Men's Basketball

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Courtesy: Sideline Photos, LLC
Men's Basketball Travels to VCU on Tuesday
Courtesy: SJU Athletic Communications  
Release:  02/13/2017

Saint Joseph's (10-14; 3-9 A-10) will go on the road again and face VCU (20-5; 10-2) on Tuesday evening in a nationally-televised game on the CBS Sports Network. Game time at the Siegel Center is 6 p.m.

The radio broadcast can be heard on 97.5 (FM) the Fanatic or via streaming audio on SJUHawks.com.

ARENA: E.J. Wade Court at the Siegel Center (7,637)
TELEVISION: CBSSN (Carter Blackburn, Pete Gillen, Evan Washburn)
RADIO: 97.5 the Fanatic (Matt Martucci)
AUDIO STREAMING: SJUHawks.com - LISTEN
VIDEO STREAMING: none
HAWKS’ NEXT GAME: Feb. 18 at La Salle, 4 p.m., CBSSN

GAME NOTES
• Saint Joseph’s suffered an 87-76 loss to Massachusetts and even a bigger loss as leading scorer Lamarr Kimble sustained a fracture in his left foot and will be out for the rest of the year (more on pg. 4). Kimble had 12 points in the game while Charlie Brown led SJU with 15 points.
• Charlie Brown was named the A-10 Rookie of the Week (Feb. 13) for the third time this year. He averaged 16.0 points and 6.5 rebounds in two games last week.
• The Hawks are looking to avoid a five-game losing streak, which be the longest since a nine-game skid in January 2011.
• The UMass game was the 700th coached by Phil Martelli in his 22 years at SJU.
• Nick Robinson will replace Lamarr Kimble in the starting lineup.
• This is the first meeting for SJU and VCU since the teams faced off in the 2016 A-10 Championship game as Saint Joseph’s won its second title in three years.

AST TIME OUT: Saint Joseph’s fell behind early and couldn’t recover, dropping an 87-76 decision to Massachusetts at Hagan Arena. Charlie Brown led Saint Joseph’s 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 fracture in his foot that ended his season. Nick Robinson added 10 points for SJU. Donte Clark hit four three-pointers in the first three minutes as UMass staked a quick 14-5 lead and led for all but two minutes of the entire contest. 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 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 and returned for a few miutes before leaving the game for good with 4:27 to play and the Hawks trailing by 12 points.

LAST TIME VS. VCU: The teams last met in the 2016 Atlantic 10 Championship as Saint Joseph’s scored an 87-74 win to capture its second conference title in three years. DeAndre’ Bembry led all scorers with 30 points while Isaiah Miles, the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, scored 26 points and added 12 rebounds.  Senior Aaron Brown joined the pair on the All-Championship Team, chipping in with 13 points, including 10 in the first half, while Lamarr Kimble dished out a career-high nine assists. Saint Joseph’s never trailed in the second half after leading by nine at the break.  SJU quickly pushed the lead to 15 and VCU pulled to within 57-44 with 14 minutes remaining, but the Hawks went on a 13-5 run over the next five minutes to expand the lead. Things tightened up and the Rams hit on five of he ensuing six free throws to cut the margin to 70-54. That sparked a 14-5 VCU run to get within seven at 75-68 with 4:28 to go.  Miles hit a pair of free throws on the next possession, and then Bembry hit a layup to push the lead back to 79-68. Brown made 1-of-2 to give the Hawks a 12-point lead and Bembry then converted a three-point play to make it an 83-70 game with 2:22 to play.

THE HITS KEEP COMING: You can pick from any number of terms - snakebitten, unlucky, cursed, jinxed - but they could all describe what SJU has faced this year with injuries. The latest blow is that leading scorer Lamarr Kimble will be sidelined for the rest of the season after sustaining a fracture in his foot during the Hawks’ loss to Massachusetts (Feb. 11). He has a fracture in the fifth metatarsal of his left foot which will require surgery and two months of recovery. Kimble, a sophomore point guard, led the Hawks in scoring with 15.5 points per game, as well as assists with 4.5 per game. He scored double figures in 19 games, with five games of 20 points or more. This is the second season-ending injury to a Hawks’ leading scorer and point guard as junior Shavar Newkirk suffered a torn ACL on December 30 after leading SJU with a career-best 20.3 scoring average. Kimble is also the fourth SJU player to be sidelined for the year as sophomore Pierfrancesco Oliva was declared out for the year in June because of a chronic knee condition that required surgery. Freshman forward Lorenzo Edwards also underwent shoulder surgery in December because of a recurring injury. “We’re obviously disappointed for ‘Fresh’. We’ll certainly miss his on the court skills and do expect, as Shavar has done, that he will continue to be prominent in a leadership role. Speaking for the program, we’re all disappointed but not discouraged. Our challenge now is to exemplify ‘the Hawk will never die’ spirit,” said  coach Phil Martelli. This marks the most number of significant injuries in Martelli’s 22 years at Saint Joseph’s.

DEPLETED SQUAD: With Lamarr Kimble being the latest Hawk forced to the sidelines with an injury, SJU is now down to 13 healthy players, nine of which are scholarship players.

TOP ROOKIE: Charlie Brown was named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week on Feb. 13 for the third time this year. He averaged 16.0 points and 6.5 rebounds in two games, while making eight three-pointers.

KIMBLE IN THE CLUTCH: Lamarr Kimble has repeatedly shown that he’s the Hawks’ go-to guy in the clutch and in fact, showed that a few times in the Fordham game. He made a three-pointer with :07 left in regulation to put the Hawks ahead, but Fordham tied it with a last-second layup. Kimble sent the game into the second overtime with a pair of free throws at :05 of the first overtime. With :07 left in the second overtime, he made two free throws to tie the game again, but Fordham’s Antwoine Anderson hit the game-winning three at the buzzer. Kimble does have one game-winning shot this season, as he hit a short jumper with 15.8 seconds to go to lift the Hawks over La Salle, 73-72, on Jan. 28. It was the second gamewinner of his career as his three-pointer in overtime helped defeat Temple on Dec. 13, 2015.

GIVING IT THEIR ALL: The Hawks entered the game at Dayton with only 10 healthy players as James Demery and Chris Clover were ill and couldn’t make the trip. Brendan Casper and Nick Robinson were inserted into the starting lineup and each played career-highs in minutes. A total of eight players got into the game for SJU, but only six saw significant minutes. Saint Joseph’s showed a lot of heart and gave Dayton a run, being tied at halftime and within three points in the final four minutes. The Hawks also shot a season-high 92.3 percent from the foul line in the 77-70 loss.

LID ON THE BASKET: Free-throw shooting is a glaring weakness as the team is hitting just 65.1 percent from the line and has shot 60 percent or below eight times this year.  In conference games, the Hawks are converting 61.9 percent from the line. Against Fordham, SJU couldn’t take advantage of 26 fouls committed by its opponent and went 24-for-40 from the foul line in the double overtime loss. One of their best free-throw shooters (Shavar Newkirk at 84.7%) is on the sidelines and Charlie Brown is the only player hitting over 80 percent, at 86.0, to rank third in the A-10. The team ranks 308th in the nation in free throw percentage.

REVERSAL OF FORTUNE: The Hawks actually broke their four-game streak of shooting 60 percent or less from the foul line at Dayton. The team converted a season-best 92.3 percent from the line, led by Lamarr Kimble’s 7-for-8 effort.

START IT UP: Injuries and illnesses have shaken up the starting lineup this year and that will happen again in Lamarr Kimble’s absence. Chris Clover has started 10 games in place of Shavar Newkirk.  James Demery returned to the starting lineup at Fordham for Nick Robinson, who replaced Demery while he was sidelined. Here’s a rundown of the Hawks’ starting lineups this season with the number of games:
    • Kimble, Newkirk, Brown, Demery, Lodge - 1 game
    • Kimble, Newkirk, Brown, Robinson, Lodge - 11 games
    • Kimble, Clover, Brown, Robinson, Lodge - 1 game
    • Kimble, Clover, Casper, Robinson, Lodge - 1 game
    • Kimbler, Brown, Casper, Robinson, Lodge - 1 game
    • Kimble, Clover, Brown, Demery, Lodge - 9 games

LOOKING AHEAD: Saint Joseph visits La Salle on Feb. 18 for an Atlantic 10 and Big 5 matchup and then returns home to take on St. Bonaventure on Feb. 22

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