If trying to end the four-game losing streak that started their Atlantic 10 schedule wasn’t task enough for Saint Joseph’s, the Hawks had to play league-leading Davidson on Wednesday without the services of starting guard Lamarr Kimble and sixth-man Pierfrancesco Oliva.
Oliva is done for the season after dislocating his left knee Saturday at Duquesne.
Kimble broke his right hand in the same game and is undergoing evaluation to determine if surgery will be necessary. He is out indefinitely.
Considering the downward spiral the Hawks have been in since the start of the new year, they were likely going to struggle against Davidson at full strength.
Being shorthanded was basically a recipe for guaranteeing St. Joe’s remained winless in 2019.
Then again, there are reasons why they play the games.
In a seesaw second half that featured 12 lead changes and three ties, senior guard Chris Clover hit a three-pointer with a minute remaining, then the Hawks survived a wild final 60 seconds to post a 61-60 victory over Davidson at Hagan Arena.
Taking the place of Kimble in the starting lineup, Clover scored a season-high 18. His last three-pointer was his fourth of the game on five attempts.
Hawks freshman point guard Jared Bynum had 12 points with seven rebounds and a season-high nine assists. Graduate student Troy Holston, who had played just one minute in the previous four games, scored a season-high 11 and made three three-pointers.
St. Joe’s (8-9, 1-4) ended a three-game winning streak for the Wildcats (12-5, 3-1).
The Hawks were trailing, 60-58, before Clover hit the eventual game-winner. But Davidson had the hearts of St. Joe’s fans skipping beats in the final minute.
After the Wildcats’ Luke Frampton missed a layup with 35 seconds left, teammate Luka Brajkovic missed the front end of a one-and-one with 33.6 seconds left. The Hawks' Bynum returned the favor by missing on the front end of a one-and-one seven seconds later.
Kellan Grady (11 points) missed a shot for Davidson with less than seven seconds on the clock, but the rebound went off the hands of the Hawks' Charlie Brown and the Wildcats retained possession.
Grady missed a three-pointer but the rebound went to teammate KiShawn Pritchett. His desperation shot at the buzzer went off the rim and St. Joe’s survived to get back into the win column.
Brown was the third Hawk to score in double digits with 11.
Jon Axel Gudmundsson led Davidson with 14 points.