Valentine's Day News and Notes

On Saturday night, Isaiah Miles and James Demery erupted in the second half of St. Joe's win over La Salle. Up 13 at the half, Demery and Miles both caught fire in the second half, leading the Hawks to an 88-62 win to improve to 21-4. Notes from Saturday's Big 5 win, notes on recruits in attendance, and more are inside.

Isaiah Miles scored 19 points and collected 8 rebounds, while sophomore James Demery tied his career-high of 17 points to lead a balanced Saint Joseph's attack past La Salle. Miles and Demery were joined in double figures by DeAndre Bembry (13) and Aaron Brown (11). The Hawks went 8-20 from three, good for 40%, and also went a collective 18-23 (78%) from the free throw line in Saturday evening's 88-point outburst. On a night where the air temperature outside of Hagan Arena was in the single-digits, the Hawks were hot from the field, finishing the night shooting above 50%.

The fact that St. Joe's beat La Salle for the second time this year wasn't a surprise. The Explorers are now 1-11 in Atlantic 10 play this year. The surprising part of the win was the margin of victory, especially when considering the fact that DeAndre Bembry sat the game's final 12 minutes and change with four fouls.

The win improved St. Joe's to 21-4 on the season, and 10-2 in Atlantic 10 play. The Hawks are now tied with VCU for second place in the conference, a game behind 11-1 Dayton. It's a Flyers team that will travel to Hagan Arena on Wednesday night for a big-time match-up with first place in the A10 on the line.

According to RPIForecast.com, St. Joe's now has an RPI of 29, following Saturday's win. Looking at Hawk opponents, George Washington has now dropped out of the Top 50, down to 54 after yesterday's loss at Saint Bonaventure. Princeton, however, has surged up into the Top 50, all the way to 42, following their overtime win last night at Columbia. Temple is at 58 in the RPI, while Saint Bonaventure is all the way up to 34. Totally under the radar, but possibly important come Selection Sunday is that Illinois State has been playing very good ball and is up to 100 in RPI. If they could remain in the Top 100, that gives the Hawks another quality win for the year.

St. Joe's had two important visitors in the house last night. 2018 Academy of the New Church (PA) teammates Marcus Littles and Justin Anderson were both behind the Hawk bench. Littles has been to at least four or five games this year. The 6'9 sophomore already holds an offer from the Hawks. St. Joe's is expending plenty of early time and energy on Littles, who is sure to see his stock explode in April and July. Schools like Villanova, Wake Forest, Virginia, and more are snooping around in his recruitment. Anderson doesn't yet have a Hawk offer, but the combo guards definitely projects, at a minimum, to the A10 level. He had 32 points, including 5 threes, in a recent loss to a loaded Westtown (PA). Littles and Anderson's teammate, Matthue Cotton, also a sophomore, also holds strong Hawk interest and has been to several games this year. He wasn't there last night though.

On the recruiting front, 2016 commit Charles Brown hit the game-winning three Saturday night as St. Thomas More (CT) knocked off DeAndre Bembry's alma mater, St. Patrick's (NJ) 68-65. The Hawks' other 2016 commit, 6'7 forward Gerald Blount, had 14 points and 10 rebounds in a 74-55 Pomfret (CT) win over Westminster (CT) on Wednesday afternoon.

I will be rolling out an update on 2017 Virginia Academy (VA) big man Ejike Obinna on Monday. Obinna is one of St. Joe's top 2017 big man targets. Look for that tomorrow, then a Dayton preview on Tuesday.

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