Bembry leads Hawks past Vermont

DeAndre Bembry had his best game of the young season, tallying 22 points and 9 rebounds, as St. Joe's knocked off Vermont 68-60 Saturday night at Hagan Arena. After suffering a 52-point drubbing at Gonzaga on Wednesday, St. Joe's showed resilience on Saturday night, improving their record to 2-2 with the win.

Early on Saturday night, it appeared that there was a hangover from Wednesday night's beat-down at Gonzaga. Vermont came out of the gate firing, and St. Joe's sleepwalked through the game's opening minutes, As a result, the Catamounts jumped out to an early 11-1 lead. The Hawks trailed 11-1, then later 16-8, in the early goings Saturday night.

Then DeAndre Bembry strung together a series of plays that helped energize the Hagan Arena crowd and ignite the Hawks' offense. Bembry threw home a monster one-handed jam on the break, scored again on the break, then threw the best pass of the young season, a half-court bounce pass through two defenders to a streaking Chris Wilson on the break.

After trailing by 10 early, the Hawks entered the locker room with a 32-26 lead following an Isaiah Miles triple at the half-time buzzer. St. Joe's kept on cruising early in the second half, going up by as many as 46-32. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be that easy though. Over the ensuing ten minutes, the Catamounts pulled within 61-56. St. Joe's knocked down their free throws down the stretch though. After missing his first two free throws in the game, Bembry hit his final eight, including going 4-4 in the game's closing minutes. In the end, it was enough for St. Joe's to hold onto a relatively comfortable 68-60 win.

The Hawks were led by Bembry's 22 points and 9 rebounds. He was one of three Hawks in double figures, joined by Isaiah Miles' 15 points and Aaron Brown's 13. For Miles, it was his best offensive game of the season. Isaiah shot 6-11 from the field, including 3-7 from three en route to his 15 points. Aaron Brown scored in double figures for the fourth straight time to start his St. Joe's career. Brown is averaging 11.8 points per game this year, which is good for second best on the team behind only Bembry's 12 points per.

Chris Wilson led the Hawks in assists with 5. Javon Baumann didn't fill up the stat sheet, but played well inside against Vermont's Ethan O'Day. Javon finished with 6 points and 6 rebounds.

Of note last night, 116 of the 200 minutes played were by underclassmen. Sophomores Javon Baumann (25) and DeAndre Bembry (39) and freshmen Shavar Newkirk (27) and James Demery (25) all played a significant chunk of the Hawk rotation.

With the win last night, St. Joe's is now 2-2 on the year. The Hawks will square off against LIU Brooklyn at Hagan Arena on Tuesday night before traveling to Madison Square Garden on Thanksgiving to play Western Kentucky. Following those two, Phil Martelli's bunch will play Big 5 rivals Temple and Villanova at the beginning of December. It's an important stretch coming up for the young Hawks.

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