On Sunday, Temple and Saint Joseph’s would renew their rivalry, meeting for the 158th time.
The two teams would not disappoint.
After 40 minutes of play, the Owls and Hawks would find themselves knotted at 61-61 and need overtime to decide a winner.
Temple would grab an early three-point lead in the extra period, but Saint Joseph’s would respond. With 2:13 remaining in overtime, freshman guard Lamarr Kimble would show the poise of a seasoned veteran in draining a crucial three-pointer to put the Hawks up 66-64, and Saint Joseph’s would hang on from there for a 66-65 victory.
“He’s played in bigger games than this, so he’s never really scared of the moment,” Saint Joseph’s star DeAndre’ Bembry said of Kimble. “I remember watching him for the first time when he played in the (high school) states in our gym and he made a real clutch three, I think with five or 10 seconds left. So that’s just something that reminds me of why he hit the shot today. He’s very confident in himself and that’s what we need from our team.”
Bembry would check back in shortly after and make the most of his limited first half minutes, scoring nine points and grabbing six rebounds in just 11 minutes to send Saint Joseph’s to the locker room with a 34-32 advantage.
Saint Joseph’s would emerge from the locker room ready to go, building a nine-point lead with the help of six early points from Aaron Brown.
Temple would respond with a 13-4 run, however, tying the game at 49-49.
The two teams would continue to trade blows from there, with Saint Joseph’s eventually taking a 61-57 lead on a clutch three by Kimble with 59 seconds left. Temple would have an answer yet again though, cutting the deficit to two with 50 seconds left before tying the game on a dunk by Quenton DeCosey with 12 seconds remaining.
With the score tied at 61-61, the Owls and Hawks would need an extra five minutes to decide a victor.
Early in the overtime period, Obi Enechionyia would hit a jumper to put the Owls up 64-61, as the sophomore forward continued to have a career day.
After missing two free throws with 26 seconds remaining in regulation and a chance to ice the game for Saint Joseph’s, Bembry would find himself on the foul line in yet another crucial situation. This time the results would be different, however, as Bembry knocked down a pair of free throws to pull the Hawks within one.
With 2:13 remaining in overtime, the biggest situation in Kimble’s young collegiate career would arrive and he would make the most of it, knocking down a three-pointer to put the Hawks up 66-64.
The Owls would still have plenty of time to work with, however, but this time it would be free throws that bit them. With just more than a minute remaining, Enechionyia would be sent to the line with a chance to tie the game.
Enechionyia would miss the first shot before making the second, leaving Saint Joseph’s with a one-point lead. After grabbing a defensive board with five seconds remaining, Enechionyia would have one last chance.
The forward would choose not to call a timeout, pressing the floor for the last shot. Enechionyia would get off a three-point shot as the buzzer sounded, but it would rim out, giving the Hawks a 66-65 win.
“I knew there wasn’t much time on the clock, so my best option there was to push it,” Enechionyia said. “The shot felt good coming off, but obviously it wasn’t. It was a tough ending.”
Despite the loss, Enechionyia would turn in a career performance, setting new career highs with 25 points and 13 rebounds in his first collegiate double-double. Enechionyia would be joined by Josh Brown, who also recorded his first double-double with 13 points and a career-high 12 rebounds in the loss.
Bembry would recover from being in early foul trouble, scoring 17 points, grabbing 13 rebounds and recording three assists, two blocks and two steals in the win for Saint Joseph’s. Senior Isaiah Miles would turn in a double-double as well, scoring 12 points and grabbing 15 rebounds, while Kimble added a career-high 11 points, including one very clutch three.
“It was just full of energy,” Saint Joseph’s Coach Phil Martelli said after the win. “Every kid that played gave maximum effort.”
By: Kyle Babcock
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