Hampered by injuries, aches and pains, the senior point guard has averaged just seven points per game for Saint Joseph’s while watching his field goal percentage dip to its lowest in his career.
On Wednesday night, however, opportunity knocked for Wilson.
He made sure to answer.
With just seven seconds remaining in the game, Wilson buried a corner three, boosting Saint Joseph’s to a 65-64 win over A-10 leader Rhode Island.
While the game would end in a favorable outcome for the Hawks, it would not start out so well, as Rhode Island used staunch defense to jump out to a 24-16 lead just more than 12 minutes in.
The Hawks would go on an 8-0 run, however, knotting the game at 24-24 before eventually heading to the locker room at the half down 35-31.
With Rhode Island pressuring DeAndre’ Bembry early, the Hawks would be forced to look elsewhere for contributions in the first half.
The point guard would lead Saint Joseph’s in the half with seven points to help keep the Hawks within striking range.
The Rams would only be able to hold down Bembry for so long, however, as the sophomore erupted for the Hawks’ first 10 points of the second half to help Saint Joseph’s keep pace.
Saint Joseph’s would begin to gain momentum from there, taking a 57-56 lead on a three by Isaiah Miles, the Hawks’ first lead since a 2-0 advantage at the beginning of the game.
The two teams would trade leads down the stretch, with Saint Joseph’s finding itself ahead 62-61 with just more than a minute remaining.
Hassan Martin would drive the lane for the go-ahead layup with 51 seconds remaining, however, and make a free throw on the next possession to give the Rams a 64-62 lead with 27 seconds left in regulation.
With 12 seconds remaining, Wilson would get a good look from the top of the key, but would be unable to get the shot to go. Aaron Brown would come up with the rebound, however, kicking the ball out to Wilson in the corner for the go-head three with just seven seconds remaining.
“The fact that he shot it, I’m OK with him shooting it. He shot the one from the top of the key. I’d be OK with him shooting it,” Martelli said. “Now, I’d be stomping, bitching and moaning if we had lost, but you have to be willing to take a shot. You have to be willing to miss a shot to take that shot.”
The points would be Wilson’s first of the second half, and they couldn’t have come at a more opportune time, as the senior got his moment in the sun in the Hawks’ 65-64 win.
“For us to be able to get a stop at the end, that was great, because we’ve lost a lot of games this year the exact same way,” Wilson said. “So, it felt good to be on the other side of it.”
Wilson would finish with 10 points for the game, while Bembry filled the stat sheet with 19 points, nine rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks.
Despite Bembry’s impressive numbers, this night belonged to Wilson, and if you ask his coach or teammates, he more than deserved it.
“Calling it the way it is, he hasn’t had much of a senior year, so to have that moment for him was pretty good,” Martelli said.
By: Kyle Babcock
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