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St. Joe's wins in final seconds

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Sometimes the best plays aren't always the ones a coach draws up.

That was the case Sunday when St. Joseph's edged Old Dominion, 66-64, in the consolation game of the Mohegan Sun Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament Naismith Bracket.

Two free throws by ODU's Aaron Bacote tied the game at 64 with 14 secondsleft in regulation. But after a Hawks timeout, Shavar Newkirk buried a 15-foot shot with one second left, enabling the Hawks to gain a split in the tournament.

"It was pretty much a broken play," Newkirk said. "Normally, I'm a point guard and a playmaker and I create. I saw a broken play and took the opportunity.

"Coming from high school, I was the man. I was put in multiple positions like that, and I came up the majority of the time. But it was just a broken play and I took the opportunity."

Newkirk was one of a trio of Hawks (4-1) who reached double figures in scoring, with Isaiah Miles getting a game-high 18 points and DeAndre' Bembry adding 15.

"(Newkirk) was going to 'X' off Isaiah, and Aaron Brown was going to circle," Hawks coach Phil Martelli said while explaining how the final play transpired. "Then, we were going to have Isaiah and DeAndre play a two-man game.

"I'll have to look and find out how he ended up there. I don't have any idea how he ended up in that position. I don't have a complaint with anybody taking a shot. Obviously, he hasn't practiced that. But we should have done more with that."

Trey Freeman (15) and Zoran Talley (12) led the Monarchs (3-2) in scoring.

"It was a hard turnaround for us because their offense stuff is intricate," Martelli said. "We really did this on film and paper study. And we had to bring our motors.

"For long stretches of time, they had a much better motor than we did. There was a point where the older guys were talking and saying, 'We're not coming up here to lose two in a row.' Give credit to our players."

The Hawks' inability to shoot free throws had cost them in Saturday's 74-63 loss to Florida, but it was just the opposite against ODU. St.  Joseph's shot 70.4 percent (19-27) from the line, including a pair by Brown with 35.5 seconds left that gave the Hawks a 63-60 lead.

A tip-in by ODU's Denzell Taylor sliced his team's deficit to one point, and at the other end, Newkirk converted only 1 of 2 attempts to give the Monarchs a chance to tie it.

That's exactly what happened when Bacote drained his free throws, which, in retrospect, set up Newkirk's "broken play."

The Hawks' defense was anything but "broken" considering it held the Monarchs to 38 percent shooting and limited their leading scorer, Freeman, to a modest 15 points on 7-for-19 shooting.

"We knew coming in that Freeman was an all-league player," Martelli said. "We went with a smaller guy on him early with Shavar and Lamarr Kimble guarding him. Then, we went with James (Demery) and DeAndre'.

"I thought James' defense that last 12 minutes was really a big plus for us."