While the Explorers were at full strength – for eligible players – for the first time since December 22, things would continue to be rough for La Salle against Saint Joseph’s.
The Hawks built a 13-point cushion at the half and would continue to pile on in the second half, stretching their lead to as much as 30 in an 88-62 win over the Explorers.
“City games are very, very important to us and I thought we addressed it with a very mature approach,” Saint Joseph’s Coach Phil Martelli said. “I’m proud of these guys.”
Saint Joseph’s would waste little time quelling those fears.
After opening the game on a 9-0 run, the Hawks would continue to dominate the Explorers early, building their lead to as large as 18 before heading to the locker room with a 40-27 lead at the half.
Saint Joseph’s would be even more dominant in the second half. After scoring just three points in the first half, Isaiah Miles would find his stroke, scoring nine straight points for the Hawks to put them up 57-36.
DeAndre’ Bembry picked up his fourth foul with 12:07 remaining, relegating the forward to the Hawks’ bench, but with Miles and the rest of the lineup firing on all cylinders, Saint Joseph’s wouldn’t skip a beat.
Saint Joseph’s would soon stretch its lead to 30 on a pair of free throws by Miles, and would put things on cruise control from there, picking up an 88-62 win to improve to 21-4 on the season and 10-2 in A-10 play.
“We were aggressive. DeAndre’ and James (Demery) did a wonderful job on Jordan Price,” Martelli said. “Not turning the ball over has been a big deal with this team.”
The Hawks were led in the win by Miles, who scored 19 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. Demery added 17 points of his own, while Bembry scored 13 points, all in the first half, to go with nine rebounds and four assists.
“We approached this game like any other game,” Miles said. “We didn’t want to come home after a big win at GW and take this team lightly and end up losing. That would’ve been a bad loss for us. We didn’t want to take this team for granted. But now that we won, it’s time to focus all of our attention on Dayton.”
Having avoided what some considered a trap game, the Hawks can now turn their focus to Dayton, who will visit Hagan Arena on Wednesday for a clash between the A-10’s top two teams.
By: Kyle Babcock
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