Chris Wilson demolished his season high in points with 23 and DeAndre' Bembry added 13 as well as 8 rebounds. Aaron Brown and Isaiah Miles also pulled down 8 boards.
Sloppy play was the theme of the first half, highlighted by a 6:19 stretch where neither team scored a point. Fordham had 7 steals to SJU's 0, but don't be fooled. It wasn't Fordham's athleticism that got them all the steals so much as the Hawks' loose ball handling. Though the Hawks only led 25-21 at the half, it could have been by much more if not for the turnovers.
Through this mess of a first half Wilson shined, scoring 11 of the Hawks 25 first half points off 3-for-6 shooting from the beyond the arch. Martelli said in his press conference that "Wilson has not been playing well lately", but tonight he turned a corner and was the reason the Hawks got the win.
The second half was a game of runs. SJU started things off with a 15-4 run to pull away 40-27 with 13 minutes left in the game. They weren't able to hold Fordham off though. The Rams took back the momentum with a 10-0 run of their own paced with 2 big three pointers from Eric Paschall, who was also the team's leading scorer tonight with 16.
After each team had their runs Martelli brought everyone in to settle down with a time out with 1:46 remaining. The Hawks stormed out of that time out with a quick five point burst thanks to a Chris Wilson three and an Aaron Brown tip-in that was made possible by an exceptional play from Bembry.
After originally trying to feed Brown down low Bembry had his pass tipped and stolen by Jon Severe, but he chased him down and stole the ball right back on the other end of the court.
Despite the impressive correcting of his own mistake, Phil Martelli was not thrilled with Bembry's initial turnover, calling it unnecessary. "We had 16 turnovers against no pressure. Bembery also can't have five turnovers...that performance repeated on the road won't do."
Bembry will look to limit his turnovers as the Hawks fly into New York on Saturday with their new found momentum. St. Bonaventure is the next conference test for the Hawks, Saturday at 2:30 pm. It's tough to tell which team the Hawks will see against the Bonnies. They are 2-2 in the A10 with all of their losses and wins coming by nearly 20 points. You can check the game out on NBC Sports.
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