Balanced attack leads Hawks past Explorers

St. Joe's had all five starters score in double-digits Saturday afternoon, powering the Hawks to a 75-64 win at La Salle. With the win, the Hawks improve to 17-7 and 7-3 in Atlantic 10 play. St. Joe's took a 9-8 lead five minutes in and never looked back, essentially leading start to finish.

The Hawks traveled uptown to La Salle this morning to play their first game since knocking off VCU at Hagan Arena last Saturday. St. Joe's took two of three last week at home, beating both UMass and VCU. Those two wins placed the Hawks firmly on the bubble. Their win Saturday against the Explorers likely flipped Phil Martelli's squad to the right side of that proverbial bubble.

Langston Galloway led the Hawks in scoring, dropping 12 of his 18 in the first half as the Hawks built a 36-26 halftime lead. His deep three with under a minute to go in the half allowed the Hawks to bring that ten-point lead into the locker room. Galloway had 12 in the first half, senior forward Ron Roberts had 10 of his 15 in the first half. The third senior, Halil Kanacevic, had 9 of his 10 in the first half. Galloway, Roberts, and Kanacevic combined for 31 of the Hawks' 36 first-half points.

The seniors carried the scoring burden in the opening stanza, building a double-digit halftime lead. In the second half, the torch was passed to freshman swingman DeAndre Bembry. After a rough opening half, Bembry went on a tear over the final 20 minutes. He had all 16 of his points after intermission, hitting from three, slashing to the rim, and knocking down 5-6 from the free throw line. Bembry was also a difference-maker on the defensive end in the second half.

The fifth Hawk in double digits was junior point guard Chris Wilson, who had 10 points on 4-7 shooting to go along with 3 rebounds and 3 assists. Isaiah Miles and Papa Ndao each hit a three off the bench for the Hawks, accounting for all six of the Hawks bench points.

La Salle made several second-half runs. With over ten minutes to play, they cut the SJU lead to 56-48, but Bembry responded immediately with a driving lay-in to extend the lead back to ten. A Taylor Dunn three pulled La Salle within 68-62 with just over two minutes to play, but Galloway went 4-4 from the charity stripe in the game's closing minutes to secure the victory for the Hawks.

St. Joe's shot 18-22 from the free throw line in this one. The Hawks have struggled from the line all year, but today was a different story. Ron Roberts and DeAndre Bembry both knocked down five of 6 from the line. Galloway went 6-6.

With the win, St. Joe's continued their impressive recent play. The Hawks take to the road again on Wednesday when they travel to Rhode Island. St. Joe's beat URI 61-57 at home earlier this season. URI has lost five in a row, including a home tilt today with Duquesne.

After playing at URI Wednesday, the Hawks return home for back-to-back games against Fordham and Dayton at Hagan Arena. They then finish the year off at St. Bonaventure, at George Washington, then home against La Salle.

With six games remaining on the regular-season calendar, the Hawks have positioned themselves in a spot to make a run at an at-large bid. They return to the hardwood Wednesday at URI.

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