The Saint Joseph's men's basketball team (6-5) will open defense of its Atlantic 10 Championship when it hosts George Washington (10-3) on Saturday, January 3 at Hagan Arena. Game time is 2 p.m.
The game will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network with Tom McCarthy and Alaa Abdelnaby calling the action. There is no video streaming of the game due to the national tv broadcast.
The Saint Joseph's radio broadcast with Matt Martucci and Joe Lunardi will be carried by WNTP 990 AM (NOTE CHANGE), 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.
• Junior Isaiah Miles bettered his career-high with 24 points, but the Hawks fell to Denver, 77-73, in overtime on Monday night. DeAndre’ Bembry had 20 points, eight rebounds and a career-high three blocks in the loss.
• It marked the straight game that Isaiah Miles registered a career-high. Against Marist on Dec. 20, Miles hit for a personal best 23 points, before improving on that number with 24 at Denver.
• DeAndre’ Bembry leads the Hawks in points, rebounds, assists, and steals.
• Saint Joseph’s opens defense of its Atlantic 10 Championship today with the start of conference play.
• This is SJU’s first home game since December 9, when the Hawks defeated Loyola Maryland, 68-42. The Hawks are 4-1 in Hagan Arena this year, with the only loss coming in the season opener to FDU.
• Phil Martelli owns a 178-126 record in Atlantic 10 play, which is the most conference wins for any active coach.
DEFENDING THE CROWN: Saint Joseph’s opens defense of its Atlantic 10 Championship today. The Hawks captured last year’s tournament title led by a trio of All-Conference performers - Langston Galloway, Ronald Roberts, Jr. and Halil Kanacevic - as well as the A-10’s Co-Rookie of the Year DeAndre’ Bembry. SJU went 24-10 on the year and lost in overtime to eventual national champion Connecticut in the NCAA Second Round.
FOR OPENERS: The Hawks are 13-6 in A-10 openers under Phil Martelli but have lost four of their last six - to Butler, Duquesne, Temple and UMass at home last season. SJU’s last win in the first game of conference play was an 84-82 overtime win over Duquesne on Jan. 4, 2012.
WORKING OVERTIME: Saint Joseph’s has gone to overtime twice this season, most recently with the loss at Denver on Dec. 29. The Hawks also scored a home win over LIU Brooklyn in the NIT Season Tip-Off.
LEADER OF THE PACK: DeAndre’ Bembry leads the Hawks in scoring (15.4) and rebounding (6.8), as well as assists (2.7), steals (1.9) and minutes played (38.0). He has scored double figures in nine consecutive games.
BEMBRY’S BACK: After a slow start, DeAndre’ Bembry has looked more like the preseason All-League performer that he is. In the win over Vermont, he tied 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 with 23 points and then had 21 points on 8-for-11 shooting vs. Loyola Maryland. The sophomore followed that with 16 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in the win over Marist and had 20 points, eight rebounds and a career-high three blocks at Denver. Bembry is now averaging team-highs of 15.4 points and 6.8 rebounds. He ranks eighth in the Atlantic 10 in scoring, is 10th in rebounding and sixth in steals per game.
RACKING UP THE MILES: Isaiah Miles is turning into a consistent scorer for the Hawks. He has bettered his career-high in points three times this year. After establishing a new one with 20 points against Temple, he bettered that with 23 points in the win over Marist. And in the following game at Denver, Miles scored 24 points on 8-for-11 shooting while making 4-of-6 three pointers. Against Marist, the junior made 7-of-9 shots in the first half to score 17 points by halftime. He finished the game going 9-for-14 from the field and a career-best 4-for-7 from three-point range. To go along with his 20 points against Temple, he also grabbed nine rebounds and handed out a career-high four assists. In the opener against FDU, Miles made the first start of his career and posted his first-ever double-double with 12 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. He is the team’s second leading scorer, now averaging 11.5 points, with five games in double figures.
MAKING THEM COUNT: The Hawks have struggled from the foul line most of the season, and are now hitting 62.6 percent. There have been some signs of improvement as SJU shot 73.1 percent from the line in the loss at Denver, led by a 6-for-6 effort from Aaron Brown. It was just the second time that Saint Joseph’s converted over 70 percent this season. The first came when SJU shot a season-best 76.2 percent (16-for-21) in the win over Temple. Although the Hawks did not score a field goal in the final 8:44 of the game, they converted 7-of-8 from the foul line to preserve the 58-56 victory.
IRON MAN: DeAndre’ Bembry leads the Atlantic 10 and is ranked sixth in the nation in minutes played per game, with an average of 38.0. He’s played 418 minutes out of a possible 450 this season. Bembry has played all 40 minutes in two games, and has played 44 of 45 minutes in the two games that went into overtime.
HANDS OFF: One thing the Hawks have done well over the past few years is to limit their number of personal fouls. They are doing the same this season, committing just 16.2 per game to rank 32nd in the nation.
DEE-FENSE: Saint Joseph’s is only allowing 61.1 points per game, which ranks seventh in the Atlantic 10.
BREATHING ROOM: The Hawks posted their largest winning margin of the season (26 points) against Loyola Maryland. They followed that with a 17-point win over Marist. In both games, the Hawks held a 26-point lead during the game, which is the largest lead of the season. Seven of the Hawks’ 11 games have been decided by 10 points or less.
IT GOES BOTH WAYS: The Hawks are not shooting well from three-point range (26.1), but neither are their opponents. SJU’s foes are converting just 33.0 percent from beyond the arc, ranking the Hawks seventh in the Atlantic 10 in three-point defense.
THREE’S A CROWD: Isaiah Miles leads the Hawks in three-point field goals with 16 on the season and he’s totaled eight threes in the past two games. Despite struggling from three-point range for most of the season, the Hawks had one of their better efforts of the year at Marist. SJU converted 38.9 percent (7-for-18). At Denver, SJU went 6-for-17, but Miles connected on 4-of-6. As a team, the Hawks hit a season-best 40 percent (6-for-15) from behind the arc against Vermont.
LOOKING AHEAD: SJU goes on the road for two straight games- at Duquesne on Jan. 7 and at VCU on Jan. 10. The Hawks return home to host Fordham on Jan. 14.