Oh what a difference a year can make.
On Tuesday night, Saint Joseph’s faced off with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) and came away with a 78-68 win to improve to 10-2 on the season. It was a welcome send off to 2015, as Saint Joseph’s played its final game before the New Year and before conference play begins.
“The experience is in the 12 games,” Saint Joseph’s Coach Martelli said. “What did we find out? We found out, certainly, that we have two high double-digit scorers. We found out that James (Demery) can come off the bench and impact the game.”
After jumping out to a 14-point lead with 4:13 minutes remaining in the first half, Saint Joseph’s would see its lead dwindle courtesy of a 14-3 UMES run to close the half, sending Saint Joseph’s to the locker room with just a 36-33 advantage.
Saint Joseph’s would knock down two threes early in the second act to stretch its lead back to nine, but UMES would refuse to go away, continually matching Saint Joseph’s baskets. Saint Joseph’s would maintain its poise, however, not allowing UMES to get closer than four in the second half on its way to a 78-68 victory.
Isaiah Miles recorded 17 points and six rebounds, DeAndre’ Bembry notched 15 points and nine rebounds and James Demery pitched in 11 points as well in Saint Joseph’s 10th win of the season.
“It’s great,” Miles said of Saint Joseph’s 10-2 start. “Great momentum coming into Richmond, but I’ve been telling everyone, we’re 0-0 when it comes to conference (play). Come Richmond…we’re starting off 0-0 and that 10-2 doesn’t mean anything.”
It’s clear Miles is not alone in feeling that way. While a 10-2 start is nothing to turn your nose up at, the consensus among this Saint Joseph’s team is that there is still plenty of work to be done.
“There is no celebration over 10-2,” Martelli said. “There is a lot of work to be done and when that ball goes in the air on Saturday, we’re going to be 0-0 and Richmond is going to be 0-0. You make your statement at Saint Joseph’s in the Atlantic 10.”
Martelli and his squad will now get back to work in hopes of carrying the momentum they have built into the New Year. Awaiting Saint Joseph’s in 2016 is the start of conference play and a matchup with a tough Richmond squad on the road this Saturday.
By: Kyle Babcock
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