Bembry likes it that way. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t still able to take over when needed.
With the majority of its players struggling on Tuesday night against Princeton, Saint Joseph’s was forced to resort to last year’s tactics, relying on Bembry to step up with a dominant performance.
He would do just that, scoring a season-high 27 points to go along with 10 rebounds, four steals and three assists to guide the Hawks to a 62-50 win over the Tigers.
“I had to do that almost every game last year, so it’s not really anything new to me or anything I’m uncomfortable with,” Bembry said of taking command. “I’m comfortable taking as many shots as I need to.”
But as the half wore on it became more evident the Hawks would struggle to put away the Tigers early. Despite shooting just 27.3 percent (9-for-33) from the field, Princeton would head to the locker room at the half trailing just 28-25, thanks largely in part to six first half threes.
Bembry would record 11 points and three rebounds in the half to lead the Hawks, but it wouldn’t be until the second act that he truly began to take over.
With his teammates struggling to sink shots, Bembry took the reins, racking up 16 second half points to carry the Hawks to a 62-50 win to improve to 6-2 on the season.
In all, Bembry would record a season-high 27 points and 10 rebounds in the win as he did the vast majority of the heavy lifting for Saint Joseph’s.
“He’s been so versatile and he’s been good,” Saint Joseph’s Coach Phil Martelli said. “My thing is not the shooting, not the scoring, it’s been the turnovers and he has cut those down. I think he had zero the last two games and two here tonight, and he’s a communicator.”
Isaiah Miles would pitch in 13 points and eight rebounds and James Demery would add 12 points of his own, but the Hawks would have just five players score in the game, as three starters were held scoreless on a combined 0-for-16 shooting from the field.
“He was the best player,” Martelli said of Bembry. “We had four guys score in the first half and five guys score for the game and that hasn’t been our M.O. We’ve played free and easy (this season).”
While it is always nice to have a player with the ability to step up and take over a game when others are struggling, having just five players score in a game is not typically a formula for success.
“Calling it the way it is, they just missed shots and we didn’t take advantage of being at home,” Martelli said. “So, win number six does not beget win number seven unless we play much better.”
Saint Joseph’s will now need to make adjustments and play better if they do hope to pick up win number seven in their next game, a road contest against Big 5 rival Temple on Sunday.
By: Kyle Babcock
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