Miles' Career Day Propels Hawks Past Hokies

Senior Isaiah Miles had a career game on Tuesday afternoon afternoon at the Barclay's Center as the Hawks ran Virginia Tech off the court. Miles' final stat line of 36 points, 15 boards, and 4 blocks, staggering as it is, almost doesn't do his performance justice. Get a full recap inside.

St. Joe's took care of business Tuesday afternoon at the Barclay's Center, disposing of Virginia Tech 79-62. It was all about DeAndre Bembry in the first half, where he tallied 18 of his 22 points. Then it was the Isaiah Miles show in the second half.

Miles finished the game with 36 points on 11-18 shooting from the field (3-5 from three) and 11-12 shooting from the charity stripe. He's now 43-47 (91%) from the free throw line on the year. Miles was the best frontcourt player on the court Tuesday, and it wasn't even close. And this was against an ACC opponent with a very highly-regarded freshman in Chris Clarke and a big-bodied 235-pound junior averaging nearly a double-double in Zach LeDay.

Offensively, it was all about Isaiah Miles and DeAndre Bembry, as the two combined for 58 of the Hawks' 79 points. There is no underselling the defensive intensity though. Virginia Tech's sophomore shooting guard Justin Bibbs entered Tuesday shooting 32-50 from three on the year, including 7-10 in VT's last outing. He was defended superbly by Bembry and James Demery Tuesday, finishing with only 9 points on 0-2 shooting from downtown.

While Bembry and Miles stole the show, Demery's outing isn't worth overlooking. 5 points doesn't jump out at you, but he had 7 boards and 2 steals in his 26 minutes, playing tenacious defense. Pierfrancesco Oliva didn't score a single point but led the team with 5 assists. Other guys contributed.

So where does this game leave the Hawks? They are now 9-2, with their only two losses to Florida, in a game they had nearly in the bag, and at home to Villanova. Watching this team Saturday in person against Illinois State, then on video Tuesday against Virginia Tech, they're playing like a team that can run with anybody in the Atlantic 10 right now. To me, George Washington and Dayton are the two teams to beat, but it's rather wide open after that. Why can't this Hawk team be in the mix for a bye? Is URI that much better, if at all? How about VCU? Richmond? This Hawk team looks to be for real.

The Hawks have off a full week now until the 29th, when they host Maryland Eastern Shore at Hagan Arena. Then St. Joe's kicks off Atlantic 10 play with Richmond on the road and VCU at home. Those two games will give us a lot more insight into this Hawk team, but for now, they look to be legitimate contenders.

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