An open question walking in the door Wednesday night at Hagan Arena: Could the St. Joseph’s Hawks double up on their last effort? Last time had been last week, and an eye-opener, an impressive 83-56 win down at Richmond, which had been picked second in the Atlantic 10.

This time, Davidson was in town, which meant the scoreboard on Hawk Hill had to be ready. The Wildcats are going to get their points. It’s up to the opponent whether they can match it or beat it.

This time, Davidson was good for 88 — the final was 88-73, as 6-footer Foster Loyer, the shortest guy on the floor, was the most dominant, scoring 25 points.

“In my three years we’ve been here, this is one of the best teams, if not the best, in our league that we’ve gone against,” said Hawks coach Billy Lange. “You have to approach each possession with a high level of concentration and maturity. And we did for a lot of it, but then you have to finish it. ... You don’t trick a team that has this level of experience and continuity. It’s just not going to happen. ... You just have to endure, and you have to play collectively for each minute, at both ends. It’s really hard to do.”

The visitors were in sync right out of halftime, making 12 of their first 18 second-half shots, inside and out, cutting and screening. St. Joe’s? Out of sync, making 6-of-19 over the same span.

So what does it mean?

The Hawks are 7-6 on merit. Improved but not ready yet for the A-10 top ranks. A great road win followed by a tough home beating. Davidson (11-2), if you’re into the bracketology produced by a guy doing St. Joseph’s radio, is a “Last Four In” type of squad. They looked it. Move ‘em up, Lunardi.

Davidson always has that guy

This game, and so often this season, Davidson has turned to Loyer, a Michigan State transfer. In the first half, the 6-footer, who also had considered St. Joe’s when leaving the Big Ten, hit four of five threes, had 16 points. Loyer doesn’t always doesn’t need a screen but he knows how to use them and you can’t always tell where they lead him. After 23 minutes, he had 23 points, making 5-of-8 threes, but getting to the hoop when the Hawks tried to run him off the line.

How close were the Hawks to getting Loyer?

“Like, very close,” Lange said. “To the point where we thought we were going to get him. The transfer portal is an interesting thing. The advantage ... they recruited him out of high school, so they had a great relationship.”

Looking at some of the defensive assignments Hawks freshman Erik Reynolds has faced, Lange ticked off veterans, from Cam Wynter to Collin Gillespie, to Loyer, including fifth-year players. “It’s not like they’re only playing four. No, no, no. They’re playing in their fifth year. ... What Loyer does, he just punishes every single mistake you make, so it’s a great lesson for Erik Reynolds. [Loyer] was like the perfect fifth-year guy they could get to complement the other four.”

But St. Joe’s has a guy

Jordan Hall hit all three first-half threes he tried, and was still leading both teams with three assists. A couple of late threes by Dahmir Bishop also kept the Hawks within range.

After four lead changes and six ties, the last shooting spree of the half belonged to Davidson, putting Bob McKillop’s squad up 38-33 at the break. Could St. Joe’s answer? Not this night.