Hawks Travel to Saint Louis

On Tuesday evening, St. Joe's will square off with St. Louis on the road at Chaifetz Arena. The Hawks are coming off arguably their best win of the season, erasing a 13-point halftime deficit to beat Davidson 75-70. The Billikens have dropped four straight, and are losers of eight of their last nine. A full preview is inside.

On Saturday afternoon, St. Joe's got a performance for the ages from sophomore swingman DeAndre Bembry in a come-from-behind win over Davidson. The 6'6 North Carolina native dropped 21 points, 17 rebounds, and 7 assists on the Wildcats as St. Joe's outscored Davidson 47-29 in the second half to win 75-70. Aaron Brown, in his first career start as a Hawk, erupted for 20 points in the win.

St. Joe's will now look to build on that gritty, character win when they face off against St. Louis Tuesday night. The game is a 7:30 tip and can be seen nationally on CBS Sports Net.

Like St. Joe's, St. Louis has taken a significant step back from a year ago. Last year's Billikens team went 26-6 in the regular season, defeated NC State in the opening round of the NCAA tournament, and then fell 66-51 to Louisville. What a difference a year makes. The Billikens enter this year's match-up with the Hawks at 9-12, and just 1-7 in Atlantic 10 play.

St. Louis' lone Atlantic 10 win was at home against Duquesne. They have, however, given some of the Atlantic 10's top teams a scare in losing efforts. The Billikens lost 75-72 at George Washington. They lost at home to VCU on a Treveon Graham buzzer-beater. While they have not been good this year, by any stretch, they are capable of running with just about anyone in the league.

St. Louis has 12 players that average double-digit minutes per game. They are led by 6'6, 230-pound freshman forward Milik Yarbrough. Yarbrough does his damage around the rim, and isn't shy to put up shots. He had a career-high 26 points on 11-18 shooting against George Washington; a GW team with a strong frontcourt. In the Billikens' last two losses, he is just 8-30 from the field. It would not come as a surprise if St. Joe's stuck newly-minted starter Aaron Brown on Yarbrough for stretches, mixing up duties with Isaiah Miles.

Another player to keep an eye on tomorrow night is Villanova transfer Ashcraf Yacoubou. The 6'4, 210-pound Yacoubou is St. Louis' second-leading scorer, at 9.5 points per game. He is a capable, but not great, three-point shooter. In the best game of his season, the win against Duquesne, he shot 3-5 from three, finishing with 18 points and 10 rebounds. St. Joe's will likely put DeAndre Bembry on Yacoubou on the wing.

St. Joe's is one of the worst offensive teams in college basketball, averaging just 61.9 points per game, which is good for 303rd nationally. Incredibly, the Billikens rank even worse offensively, scoring just 60.7 points per game, which is 321st in Division 1.

The Hawks should have a major advantage on the boards Tuesday night. St. Joe's averages 35.7 rebounds per game, while the Billikens corral 30.1 per game. Look for the offensive glass to be an important facet of this game.

While the Billikens are just 1-7 in league play, Chafietz Arena is a difficult place to play. The game opened as a pick'em and then quickly moved to favor St. Joe's by a point. A win at St. Louis would be a confidence-builder for this Hawks team. With DeAndre Bembry playing at his current level, the Hawks will have the best player on the court Tuesday night. The question will be whether the supporting cast of Aaron Brown, Isaiah Miles, James Demery, and company can do enough to back him up.

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