The Saint Joseph's men's basketball team (3-3) will play its first Big 5 game of the season when it hosts Temple (4-2) on Wednesday evening at Hagan Arena. Game time is 6:30 p.m.
The contest will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network with Tom McCarthy, Alaa Abdelnaby and Jon Rothstein calling the action. Matt Martucci and Joe Lunardi will broadcast the game on Sports Radio 610 AM, with free audio streaming available on SJUHawks.com. Download the SJUHawks app and upgrade to the premium app to listen to the game on your mobile device.
Members of the Taney Dragons, Philadelphia's team that made a run to the Little League World Series, will present the game ball.
Saint Joseph's University is also again partnering with the U.S. Marines in their "Toys for Tots" collection. There will be boxes in the Hagan Arena lobby until December 16 to donate unwrapped toys.
• DeAndre’ Bembry scored a career-high 23 points on 10-for-20 shooting, but the Hawks lost to Western Kentucky, 62-59, on Thanksgiving evening in the NIT Season Tip-Off.
• Bembry is averaging 20.3 points over the past three games.
• This is the first of two consecutive Philadelphia Big 5 games for the Hawks. On Saturday, SJU will visit #10 Villanova at 1 p.m. The Hawks will play back-to-back Big 5 games again in January against Penn and La Salle.
• The series with Temple is the longest running one for the Hawks, with this being the 158th game played. This marks just the 12th time that the teams have played on Saint Joseph’s campus, with the Hawks holding a 7-4 edge.
• The Hawks finished their stretch of six games in 13 days on Thanksgiving. After the two contests this week, they’ll play Loyola on Dec. 9 before taking a break for final exams.
• Phil Martelli is in his 20th season as the head coach of the Hawks. He is the school’s all-time leader in victories with 365.
LAST TIME OUT: DeAndre' Bembry notched a career-high 23 points, but Saint Joseph's fell to Western Kentucky, 62-59, at Madison Square Garden on Thanksgiving night in the NIT Season Tip-Off. Bembry shot 10-for-20 from the field, and scored 16 in the second half for Saint Joseph's, while Javon Baumann added a career-high 11 points. With SJU trailing 46-40 at the 11:48 mark, Bembry would score 10 of the Hawks’ next 12 points. His steal and dunk with over six minutes to play gave SJU their first tie of the half, 50-50, and he gave the Hawks their first lead since the early part of the first half, 54-52, with 2:46 remaining. Western Kentucky regained the lead and went up 58-54 on a tip-in at :51. WKU then took a 60-56 lead with a pair of free throws with 14.5 seconds to play. Aaron Brown hit a three-pointer with 6.3 seconds left to pull the Hawks within 60-59 before two free throws put the Hilltoppers up three with 5.4 seconds left. Bembry had a chance to send the game to overtime, but his three-point attempt at the buzzer was off the mark. In the first half, WKU held an 18-17 lead and then used an 8-2 run to go up 26-19. The Hilltoppers took their biggest lead of the half, 31-22, with 1:25 to play. A layup by Baumann cut the Hawk deficit to 31-24 at halftime.
THE SJU-TU SERIES: This marks the 158th game in the Saint Joseph’s-Temple series, which is the longest running for the Hawks and the most- played in Big 5 history. SJU won 12 of 13 games from 2003 to 2008, with separate winning streaks of seven games and five games. Temple started a 10-game winning streak on March 2, 2008 in the Atlantic 10 Championship game, but that came to an end on Feb. 25, 2012 when SJU scored an 82-72 win over the Owls in Hagan Arena. The Hawks won the meetings in 2011-12 and 2012-13, but lost last year at the Liacouras Center, 77-69.
LONG-RUNNING SHOW: Last year was the first time in 67 years that Saint Joseph’s and Temple met in a non-conference game. Both schools were members of the Middle Athletic Conference from 1946-47 to 1973-74 and then joined the East Coast Conference. After the 1981-82 season, Saint Joseph’s and Temple became members of the Atlantic 10, with TU moving to the American Athletic Conference for play beginning in 2013-14. There have been 27 games played in the 157 of the series that were non-conference contests, with Temple holding a 15-12 edge.
KEY TO THE CITY: This is the first Big 5 game of the year for the Hawks and their first of two this week. SJU will visit Villanova on Saturday, play Penn at The Palestra on Jan. 24, and face La Salle on Jan. 27. Saint Joseph’s has won 20 Big 5 titles (9 outright/11 shared), which is third all-time to Temple’s 27 titles (6/21 shared). Last year, the Hawks went 1-3 in the Big 5, with the lone victory coming against Penn.
FRIENDLY FOES: Phil Martelli and Fran Dunphy are very good friends and share a passion for their work in the community. The coaches are co-chairs of the Philadelphia Coaches vs. Cancer effort, which is one of the nation’s highest fundraising groups for Coaches vs. Cancer. The group, which is comprised of the city’s six Division I coaches and their wives, raised over $1 million last year. Martelli is also the chair of the National Coaches vs. Cancer Council.
BEMBRY’S BACK: After two uncharacteristic games (FDU, Gonzaga), DeAndre’ Bembry has looked more like himself as of late. He led the way in the win over Vermont, tying his career-highs in points with 22 and in rebounds with nine. He shot a season-best 6-for-14 from the field and 8-for-10 from the foul line, which included an 8-for-8 effort in the second half. The co-captain followed that with 17 points and a career-high 11 rebounds for the first double-double of his career in the overtime win over LIU Brooklyn. He then established a new career-high against Western Kentucky, scoring 23 points on 10-for-20 shooting. Bembry is now averaging team-highs of 13.0 points and 7.6 rebounds. He is tied for 12th in the Atlantic 10 in scoring and is 14th in rebounding.
BEMBRY’S BACK, PART II: In the past three games, DeAndre’ Bembry is averaging 20.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.3 steals, while shooting 45.0 percent (23-for-51) from the field.
FIGHTING BACK: The Hawks rallied from an eight-point deficit in the second half against Western Kentucky to force three ties in the final six minutes, helped by a season-best 51.9 shooting percentage from the field in that half. The Hawks took a 54-53 lead with 2:31 to play, but saw WKU regain the lead. DeAndre’ Bembry had the potential game-tying three-pointer attempt as time expired, but it was off the mark.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME: After having already made a cross-country trip to Spokane this season, the Hawks will have three consecutive games in the Philadelphia area beginning with tonight’s contest. On Saturday, the Hawks will make the 6 1/2 mile ride to rival Villanova and then host Loyola-Md. on Tuesday, Dec. 9.
PERFECT TIMING: Freshman James Demery picked a great time to make his first collegiate three-pointer. Demery connected on the timely three with :03 seconds to play against LIU Brooklyn, forcing a 67-67 tie. It was only Demery’s second attempt of the season. The freshman had a solid game, with 11 points on 4-for-7 shooting, to go along with five rebounds. He also hit a pair of free throws prior to that three-pointer, which gave the Hawks a 64-63 lead with 1:06 remaining.
WHAT BROWN CAN DO FOR YOU: Junior Aaron Brown has notched double figures off the bench in four of the last five games. He achieved new season-highs with 15 points and seven rebounds in the win over LIU Brooklyn. Brown shot a team-best 7-for-9 from the foul line, making two free throws at the end of the overtime to seal the win. He gave the team a big boost at Drexel, scoring 11 points for his first double-figure game in a Hawk uniform. He hit a driving layup with 1:30 to play to break a 47-47 tie and put SJU up for good. He followed that with a season-best 14-point effort at Gonzaga as the only Hawk in double figures in the lopsided loss. He also had a 13-point, five-rebound effort in the win over Vermont. Brown’s four-game streak came to an end versus Western Kentucky, but his playing time was limited to 15 minutes after he picked up his fourth foul at the 12-minute mark of the second half. The junior, in his first year playing at Saint Joseph’s after transferring from West Virginia, is the team’s second leading scorer with 11.2 points per game.
BOOK ON BAUMANN: Javon Baumann has already seen more playing time this season than he did in all of 2013-14. The sophomore scored a career-high 11 points in the Western Kentucky game, converting 5-of-6 from the field. Baumann has started all six games, and is averaging 23.2 minutes per contest.
IRON MAN: DeAndre’ Bembry leads the Atlantic 10 and is ranked seventh in the nation in minutes played per game, with an average of 38.3. He’s played 230 minutes out of a possible 245 this season.
DOWN TO THE WIRE: The Hawks’ last two games have come down to the wire. Against LIU Brooklyn, James Demery hit the game-tying three-pointer with three seconds remaining to force overtime. The Hawks then scored the first four points of the extra period en route to earning the 74-70 victory. In the Western Kentucky game, SJU trailed by as many as eight points in the second half and took a brief lead with over two minutes to play. Trailing 62-59 the Hawks had the ball with four seconds left, but DeAndre’ Bembry’s three-point attempt as time expired was off the mark, and SJU suffered the loss.
LOOKING AHEAD: Saint Joseph’s will play its second consecutive Big 5 game when it visits #10 Villanova on Saturday. The Hawks then return home to host Loyola-Md. on Dec. 9 before taking a break for final exams.