Duquesne edges Saint Joseph’s, 85-84; Brown scores 28

Courtesy of SJUHawks.com

Charlie Brown Jr., scored 28 points, but Saint Joseph’s (7-9; 0-4 A-10) was edged by Duquesne, 85-84, at the A.J. Palumbo Center.

Lamarr Kimble and Jared Bynum scored 14 points apiece while Chris Clover added 12 as the Hawks put up their highest scoring total in seven games.

In a contest that featured 10 ties and seven lead changes, Duquesne broke a 73-73 tie with over four minutes to play with a 9-2 run, led by six points from Michael Hughes, to take its biggest lead of the half, 82-75. The Hawks pulled within 83-81 on a three-pointer by Clover at :24. Eric Williams, Jr., then hit a free throw at :22 and SJU’s next three-point attempt was off the mark. Hughes hit one free throw at :08 to seal the game, and Bynum connected on a three at the buzzer to provide the final margin.

The Hawks held the early lead but faced an emotional setback after SJU redshirt junior Pierfrancesco Oliva went down with a serious knee injury midway through the first half.

SJU was ahead, 25-14, at the time and play was stopped for over 10 minutes as Oliva was attended to by medical personnel. After play resumed, the Dukes went on a 17-4 run to take their first lead of the game, 31-29, with 5:33 to play. But by halftime, the Hawks had regained the lead, 40-39, behind 17 points from Brown.

In an intense second half, the Hawks held their biggest lead, 56-48, but saw Duquesne go on a 10-2 run to tie it, 58-58. A layup by Bynum with six minutes left gave SJU a 73-71 lead, for the Hawks’ final advantage of the game. The teams struggled to score for the next three minutes but Williams’ dunk with under two minutes left gave the Dukes a 77-73 lead.

“I thought one of the keys to the game was going to be getting a shot every time down. But there were eight turnovers in the first half. We had a nice offensive half but the turnovers negated a lot of the good that we did. And it was a tale of two halves – we gave up three foul shots in the first half and 19 in the second. We had a lot of trouble guarding the low post,” said head coach Phil Martelli. “It was certainly not a lack of effort, it was just an unfortunate result. We came out of the first half and two of our starters had not scored, so everybody’s got to do more. I think they were just really stunned about Checco’s (Oliva) injury.”

At the start, the Hawks jumped out quickly, making seven of their first nine shots to take an 18-7 lead in the first six minutes. Brown had 10 points in the early going on 4-of-5 shooting, and SJU took its biggest lead, 22-7, with 12:15 to play.

Duquesne (11-5; 2-1) had six players in double figures, with Michael Hughes hitting a team-high 17 points.

It was the Hawks’ fourth straight loss, matching a streak from 2014-15.

Saint Joseph’s returns home from the two-game road swing to host Davidson on Tuesday night for a nationally-televised game (ESPNU) at 9 p.m.

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