A career night from junior forward Isaiah Miles would help the Saint Joseph’s Hawks build a lead as large as 14 against the Temple Owls on Wednesday night at Hagan Arena.
However, in typical Big 5 fashion, Temple would come storming back, cutting the Saint Joseph’s lead to just one with 30 seconds remaining.
After a somewhat quiet night (by his standards at least), DeAndre’ Bembry would show up at the perfect time for the Hawks, blocking a shot with just two seconds remaining to preserve the 58-56 win for Saint Joseph’s.
Temple would grab a quick 5-2 lead in front of a raucous crowd at Hagan Arena, but the Hawks would just as quickly string together a 7-0 run to usurp that lead.
The Hawks would not relinquish their lead from there.
Isaiah Miles would close out a strong first half in style, knocking down a three-pointer as time was winding down to send the Hawks to locker room with a 34-22 lead.
Saint Joseph’s would grow their lead to as much as 14 in the second half, and seemed to have this one in hand. Temple had other ideas however.
The Owls would storm back over the last five minutes of the game, holding the Hawks to just five points in that timespan, as they pulled within 57-56 with 30 seconds remaining.
The Owls would send Miles to the line with 11 seconds remaining, and the forward would knock down one of two foul shots to extend the Hawks’ lead to 58-56, but there was still time left for a last shot for Temple.
Temple would get a nice look, but Bembry would come seemingly out of nowhere to block the shot and save the game, as the Hawks held on for a 58-56 win over Big 5 rival Temple.
“My concern leaving here is that there were some empty shells out there,” Martelli said. “There wasn’t enough fire in their bellies for me. I’m leaving here shocked about that. But I think it was both teams. ‘It wasn’t a blood and guts.’”
Miles would lead all scorers, finishing with a career-high 20 points to go along with nine rebounds in the win.
“I thought he [Miles] was really tough,” Martelli said. “I liked the fact that he had five offensive rebounds and you’ve gotta live with making the corrections. I mean, we’re holding three and he throws a ball to whom? We break the press and he takes too long to get a layup. Those are all things you have to grow on…but I like the fact that he shot the ball.”
While a Big 5 win is welcomed by Martelli and his Hawks, they realize their is still quite a lot of work to be done.
"My team is a wonderful group of young guys who have basketball flaws, and they accept those basketball flaws. But they can't be weighed down by their basketball flaws,” Martelli said. “I know exactly what we are. That's five games where the last ball in the air decided who was going to win and who was going to lose."
By: Kyle Babcock
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