PHILADELPHIA, PA. 12/22/2018 – For many college basketball fans in the east, the last time we saw the Ramblers of Loyola of Chicago was in their run to the Final Four last season. This year is this year. The Hawks of Saint Joseph’s were the hosts in a game at the Palestra, a Jesuit Basketball Spotlight game, a game to raise awareness of Jesuit education. A crowd of 5,736 witnessed the game
For the Hawks it was a return to the court after a two-week layoff. This was a defensive battle, no free flowing basketball. However, the ending was a masterpiece as a three-point basket by Lamarr Kimble with a half second on the clock lifted the Hawks to 45 – 42 win over the Ramblers.
“This was about this forty minutes,” said Saint Joseph’s Coach Phil Martelli. “It wasn’t the way we drew it up, but he (Kimble) has a little bit of freedom because his heart is bigger than his body. “
Both teams shot in the low 30 percent total. In the last minute the game turned into an offensive duel between Kimble and Marques Townes. Saint Joseph’s lead 40 – 37 with 2:14 on the clock. At the 45 second mark Townes sank two free throws cutting the deficit to a point. Kimble answered for the Hawks driving to the basket getting a layup with 20.8 ticks to go. Townes made a three-pointer 8 seconds later. It looked like overtime. SJU called timeout and set up the final game-winning play. A Kimble three from 23 feet away. He had to make a play and made one.
“We had to respond and play a different game,” Kimble said. “They made it that way. We had to find a way to come out with the win.”
Kimble, who scored a game-high 15 points, had the most visible impact. But Coach Phil Martelli credits the defense during the time off in earning the victory.
“We went back, broke everything down,” Martelli said. “We did all ball screens, we did all challenge shooters. That was the result. I knew watching them (Loyola) that they were the best defensive team we played. “
The three-game Loyola winning streak was snapped. The Hawks improve to 6 – 5 and will enjoy the holiday until the Wagner game on December 29th at the Hagan Arena.
Written By: Glenn Papazian