Rhode Island led from start to finish, as the Rams handed Saint Joseph’s a 68-49 loss in the Hawks’ home finale and "Senior Night".
Freshman Charlie Brown led Saint Joseph’s (10-19; 3-14) with 13 points and set a new SJU freshman record for three-pointers in a season with 66. That broke the mark of 65 previously held by all-time leader Langston Galloway (2010-11) and Arthur Davis (1996-97).
E.C. Matthews scored 13 points and Hassan Martin added 12 points and nine rebounds for Rhode Island (20-9; 12-5 A-10), which has won three in a row. Kuran Iverson added 11 points.
Rhode Island jumped out to a 17-5 lead in the first eight minutes of the game. The Hawks scored 10 of the next 15 points, with four from Brown, to cut their deficit to 22-15 at 7:55. But the Rams finished the half with a 14-5 to take a 36-20 halftime lead.
Although SJU came within 13 points, 42-29, in the first five minutes of the second half, Rhode Island used consecutive three pointers by Stanford Robinson and Matthews and increased the lead to 52-32 with 12:58 to play. The Rams’ biggest margin of the game was 61-39 at 6:33 and then matched that, 68-46, with 1:53 remaining.
Neither team shot well from three-point range, with Rhode Island hitting 4-of-26 and the Hawks making just 2-of-9. The Hawks’ struggles from the foul line continued as well, as they made only 9-of-20.
Saint Joseph’s, which has been decimated by injuries this season, had freshman starter Nick Robinson play limited minutes (8) because of a bruised foot. Senior Brendan Casper started in his place and scored seven points and registered three steals, while taking three charges in the game.
It marked the final home game for Saint Joseph’s seniors Javon Baumann and Casper, who were honored prior to the contest, along with Hawk mascot Timmy Parks. "They have two Atlantic 10 championships in four years. Javon graduated in three-and-a-half years and Brendan's a remarkable honor roll student. They're leaving as champions. They get a tattoo for this record also, but they've got two Atlantic 10 rings - job well done," said Martelli.
The Hawks have lost nine in a row, matching the longest streak since 2011.
Saint Joseph’s closes out the regular season at Duquesne on Saturday afternoon. The Hawks will return to Pittsburgh a few days after that for the Atlantic 10 Championship at PPG Paints Arena.
Photos from tonight's game will be available for purchase at sjuhawksphotos.photoshelter.com.