The Hawks jumped out to an early 10-0 lead on Wednesday night against Marist in their home opener. St. Joe's maintained that lead throughout most of the first half, and went into the half with a comfortable 40-25 lead.
Seniors Daryus Quarles (7 points) and Langston Galloway (20 points) each hit multiple threes to open the second half, and blow the lead open to 71-47 with 8:41 to play. At that point, Phil Martelli essentially unloaded the bench, giving his starters the rest of the night off.
Senior forward Halil Kanacevic, coming off a pedestrian season opener against Vermont, was sensational Wednesday night. He posted a stat-stuffing 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists, falling just two dimes short of a triple-double.
Halil got help from frontcourt-mate Ron Roberts, who also posted a double-double, with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Galloway knocked down three triples en route to a team-high 20 points. Langston also corralled 8 rebounds.
Freshman DeAndre Bembry showed why head coach Phil Martelli thinks so highly of him, and why he was such a major recruiting coup for the Hawks. Bembry finished with 9 points on 4-8 shooting, also dishing out two assists and two steals. DeAndre had a beautiful drop-off pass in the opening half that led to a Halil Kanacevic two-handed flush. Bembry is averaging 10 points through his first two college games, and will be asked to possibly do even more Saturday against Creighton.
There were several other bright spots for the Hawks, admittedly against an inferior Marist team. Daryus Quarles, the 6'6 senior swingman, had 7 points off the bench, including two threes. In some extended second-half minutes, freshman big Javon Baumann showed that he can be a valuable reserve off the bench, putting up 5 points and 6 rebounds.
Possibly the best sight of the night for Hawk fans was the second-half appearance of freshman point guard Kyle Molock. Molock, who redshirted last year after suffering a third serious knee injury in offseason workouts, did not play at all against Vermont. When he stepped onto the court Wednesday night, he received a standing ovation from many of the Hawk faithful.
Marist was led by junior wing Chavaughn Lewis' 26 points, who went 9-20 from the field. The Red Foxes shot only 6-25 from three, as opposed to the Hawks, who went 7-16 from downtown.
St. Joe's, now 2-0, has two days off to regroup and prepare for Doug McDermott and the Creighton Bluejays. I will have a full preview of that contest up Saturday morning.
Hawks take care of business in home opener
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