NORFOLK, Virginia (Ticker) -- Jameer Nelson may be good, but his shot against Old Dominion was amazing.
Nelson scored 24 points, including a desperation 3-pointer in the final seconds that helped lift 14th-ranked St. Joseph's to a 75-72 victory over Old Dominion.
St. Joseph's (3-0) had a 72-70 lead and Nelson had the ball with the shot clock running down. He launched a long 3-pointer from near half-court that went in for a five-point cushion with eight seconds to go.
"There were times that he wasn't in the game, but he does things to help your team win," St. Joseph's coach Phil Martelli said. "Everyone is excited about the shot he made."
Old Dominion (0-2) refused to believe Nelson's long heave went in.
"I know we had the game in our hands," Monarchs coach Blaine Taylor said. "I know Jameer is a good player, but the shot was a back-breaker."
Nelson, the preseason Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, scored 24 points. St. Joseph's completed a three-game road stretch heading into Tuesday's home opener against San Francisco.
Old Dominion held a commanding 49-25 cushion on the glass, including 28-7 in the second half.
"We walked out of here with the win, but the better team did not win tonight," Martelli said. "It was disappointing basketball because we didn't play with our heads."
It didn't seem like any late heroics would be needed in the first half. St. Joseph's rallied from an early six-point deficit and Delonte West's basket with just over seven minutes left capped a 22-2 run and gave the Hawks a 30-14 bulge.
St. Joseph's let the margin shrink to 39-29 at halftime.
The Hawks were still ahead, 68-55, after Chet Stachitas scored with 6:32 to go. The Monarchs roared back and pulled within 72-70 on Isaiah Hunter's layup with 46 seconds to go. Hunter scored 21 points.
"All week in practice we worked on spreading the court," Hunter said. "We worked on movement, cutting and trying to get people the ball."
West finished with 23 points and Stachitas added 11. St. Joseph's was 6-of-18 from the arc after connecting at 44 percent (24-of-59) in its first two games.
Alex Loughton collected 24 points and 15 rebounds for the Monarchs and Arnaud Dahi added 10 and 12. Old Dominion finished at 39 percent (27-of-70) from the floor.
"We grew during the course of the evening," Taylor said. "A play or two here and we're maybe sitting here in overtime."
Old Dominion lost its second straight to a ranked opponent after a season-opening 90-64 defeat at North Carolina. The Monarchs fell to 24-4 in home openers.