Brown, Edwards lead Saint Joseph’s over UMass, 64-62

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Charlie Brown scored 20 points and sophomore Lorenzo Edwards scored a career-high 14 as Saint Joseph’s (10-12; 3-6 A-10) held off Massachusetts (8-13; 1-8), 64-62, in Atlantic 10 action at Hagan Arena. The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Hawks.

Brown celebrated his 22nd birthday with his 10th 20-plus point game of the year and Edwards shot 4-for-8 to reach his personal. Freshman Jared Bynum scored 10 for the Hawks and Taylor Funk grabbed 12 rebounds.

Tied at 54-54, the Hawks used a decisive 6-0 run with four points from Brown to go up 60-54 with 1:40 to play. After a dunk by Rashaan Holloway at :27 brought UMass within, 61-59, Brown hit a free throw and then Edwards finished it off with two foul shots at :04. UMass’ Keon Clergeot connected on a three-pointer with one second left to provide the final margin.

The Hawks led for most of the game, but had to rally after UMass overtook them early in the second half, using a 9-0 run to gain a 48-43 lead at 13:16. The score remained the same for another four minutes, while SJU went without a basket for a total of six minutes and committed four turnovers in that stretch.

Once SJU broke the skid on a putback by Troy Holston at 9:08, the Hawks chipped away and used 6-for-6 free throw shooting to tie the game at 50-50 at 7:22.

“We were down five or six in the second half and we stayed with it. The zone was good to us, we had some nice hustle plays and didn’t get hurt on the glass, but the ball’s still not going in,” said SJU coach Phil Martelli. “We got a little bit of something from Troy [Holston] and obviously from Lorenzo [Edwards]. But [there was] a little bit of perseverance, even though a majority of the second half we played with our heads down and feeling sorry for ourselves.”

“We thought that they were just going to pump it inside in every one of those situations, and one of the things we wanted was active hands. I thought on that play in particular (dunk attempt by Holloway), Markell [Lodge] had active hands. Players today just don’t play like that. They don’t play with active hands, they don’t play as aggressively as you would want. Certainly, his energetic play, it’s a big deal. He’s a senior and has 10 games left, so I’m happy for Markell,” said the coach.

For the game, the Hawks turned in a 22-for-27 effort from the foul line, which was their most free throws made since they had 36 in a win over Illinois Chicago on November 29.

In the first half, the Hawks broke an 11-11 tie with a 14-6 run to go up 25-17 as UMass went scoreless for three minutes. SJU built up its biggest lead of the half, 32-22, but the Minutemen fought back to come within 34-30 before Bynum beat the buzzer with a drive to give SJU a 36-30 halftime advantage, for its first halftime lead since January 6.

Holloway had a career-high 23 points on 10-for-13 shooting to go along with 12 rebounds to lead UMass. Curtis Cobb added 13 and Clergeot scored 11 for the Minutemen. UMass’ leading scorer Luwane Pipkins played just 16 minutes after leaving the game with an injury.

Saint Joseph’s will stay in Philly for a “road” game at La Salle on Tuesday, which counts as both an Atlantic 10 and a Big 5 contest.

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