PHILADELPHIA - Isaiah Miles scored a career-high 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds as Saint Joseph’s held off Temple, 58-56, in Philadelphia Big 5 action at Hagan Arena.
The game came down to the final play, with Temple (4-3) inbounding the ball with 11.7 seconds to go. The Owls’ Will Cummings drove to the basket but SJU’s DeAndre' Bembry made a game-saving block. Quenton DeCosey grabbed the rebound but his last-second attempt was off the mark.
Miles shot 7-for-14 from the field and added four assists for Saint Joseph’s (4-3), while Bembry finished with 11 points, going 5-for-6 from the line, and grabbing seven rebounds.
The win was the fourth in a row for Saint Joseph's vs. Temple at Hagan Arena, dating back to February, 1999.
DeCosey led Temple with 22 points and Cummings chipped in with 13.
The Hawks held a 51-42 lead with 8:44 remaining, but went cold from the floor. SJU would go without a field goal the rest of the way, but converted 7-for-8 from the foul line to preserve the win.
During that stretch, Temple came within 57-56 with 30 seconds to play on a layup by Josh Brown. The Hawks turned the ball over on their next possession, but an offensive foul by Temple gave the ball back to SJU. Miles made 1-of-2 free throws with 11.7 seconds to go to provide the winning margin.
Temple led for only the first two minutes of the game, before Saint Joseph’s used a 12-5 run to take a 16-10 lead. Miles made 4-of-7 field goals in the first half, and the Hawks increased their lead to double digits, 27-17, with 4:31 to play. A three-pointer by Miles as the clock ran out in the first half gave SJU its biggest lead of the half, 34-22, at intermission.
"Right away, the turnover numbers is the biggest thing and to only have nine turnovers. Mixing the defenses in the first half certainly had an impact, and I think the biggest thing they [Temple] had going for them is that they get to the foul line, and we didn't let them get to the foul line. And they didn't get to the foul line until late in both halves," said Hawk coach Phil Martelli. "So, I would expect more fire from our team. For whatever reason, there was a little casual, and we'll address that tomorrow."
"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. 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."
Saint Joseph’s will play its second Big 5 game in a row when it visits #10/9 Villanova on Saturday in a 1 p.m. start at The Pavilion. The game will be televised nationally by Fox Sports 1.