St. Joseph’s gave the Atlantic 10’s first-place team all it could handle in the first half and held a seven-point lead at halftime.
Unfortunately for the Hawks, there was a second half to be played, and Davidson eventually found its footing in an 80-72 victory before a sellout crowd at Belk Arena in Davidson, N.C.
After the Hawks (11-15, 4-9 A-10) made 10 three-point shots in the first half, the Wildcats (19-6, 10-2) made 10 of their own in the second half.
Charlie Brown scored 20 points for the Hawks despite sitting out nine minutes in the second half after picking up his fourth foul with more than 16 minutes to play. The A-10′s leading scorer re-entered the game with 7:11 to play and the Hawks trailing, 68-63.
Chris Clover added 17 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double and Troy Holston came off the bench to score 10 points.
Jon Axel Gudmunsson led Davidson with 21 points, 15 in the second half. KiShawn Pritchett and Luke Frampton each had 18.
St. Joe’s was up 42-35 at the half and still held a 53-46 lead in the second half before Davidson went on a 7-0 run to tie it 53-53, with over 11 minutes to go. Davidson took its first lead since the start of the game, 57-55, on a three by Gudmunsson at 10:19.
The Hawks cut it to 75-70 on free throws by Anthony Longpre with 2:23 to play, but that’s the closest they would come.
“It was really a one-possession game,” said Hawks coach Phil Martelli. “Everyone, including me, has a possession that they should’ve made. Whether it’s our foul shooting in the second half [12 for 17] or whether it’s a turnover.”
The Hawks made just 2-of-13 from behind the arc in the second half and shot 12-of-17 from the foul line in the second period.