St. Joe's opens season with road win

On Saturday evening, St. Joe's raced out to a 17-point halftime lead at Vermont. That cushion proved to be just enough, and the Hawks outlasted the Catamounts 74-64 to earn a season-opening win on the road against the America East pre-season favorites.

St. Joe's got 21 points apiece from seniors Langston Galloway and Ron Roberts. Freshman DeAndre Bembry also chipped in 11 points and 6 rebounds in his collegiate debut. The Catamounts were led by Clancy Rugg, who went 11-13 from the charity stripe en route to a team-high 17 points.

The Hawks put together a brilliant opening stanza, which was capped off by a buzzer-beating 15-foot pull-up jumper by freshman DeAndre Bembry. That jumper gave the Hawks a 43-36 lead at the half.

Ron Roberts, who had 9 boards in addition to his 21 points, scored an and-one basket at right before the under-16 minute timeout in the second half, giving the Hawks a 51-35 lead. The Hawks appeared to be in complete control at that time.

The Catamounts ran off a 12-0 run over the next three minutes, however, and cut the deficit to 51-47. The Hawks actually went 7 scoreless minutes, and Vermont cut the Hawk lead to 3, before senior wing Darys Quarles scored on a runner, was fouled, and hit the free throw. That opened the SJU lead back up to 6, and proved to be one of the game's pivotal plays. Quarles, who has been a starter much of his Hawk career, has been relegated to a bench role. He was an asset off the bench last night, though, chipping in 5 points and 4 rebounds in 14 minutes.

St. Joe's also got 6 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 blocks from sophomore forward Isaiah Miles. Miles played sparingly as a freshman a year ago, but has transformed his body, and looked very good in the first half last night. Miles knocked down a three off the secondary break last night, showing off that perimeter shooting ability that has the coaching staff excited.

Freshman point guard Kyle Molock, who has been the subject of much discussion and speculation, did not play at all last night. Molock is coming off three knee injuries, but is a key piece this season for the Hawks. He is worth keeping a close eye on.

While things got tight down the stretch, the Hawks reaffirmed control in the game's waning minutes and earned a ten-point road victory in their season opener. St. Joe's has their home opener Wednesday night against Marist. Marist lost their season opener to Stony Brook, 71-55. They play again today, at home, against Elon, before traveling to Hagan Arena on Wednesday night.

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