Wednesday, December 03, 2014

SJU holds off Temple in Big Five opener

Philadelphia, PA -- December and it's City Series basketball again for the five member institutions as we approach three weeks to Christmas.

In the first of two contests between Philly college rivals on Wednesday night, Isaiah Miles scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds as the Saint Joseph's Hawks held on for a 58-56 win over the Temple Owls in a Big 5 clash at Hagan Arena.

DeAndre' Bembry netted 11 points to go with seven rebounds for SJU (4-3), which faces an even larger matchup on Saturday afternoon against No. 10 Villanova in this season's revival of the Holy War. 

Quenton DeCosey had 22 points and Will Cummings tallied 13 for Temple (4-3), which also rests until Saturday when La Salle comes calling.

It appeared that SJU was going to coast to victory after the first half, The Hawks led, 34-22, at intermission, after holding Temple to just 33.3 percent shooting, while connecting on 43.8 percent themselves.

The Owls found their stroke in the second half, hitting 46.4 percent from the field, while the Hawks managed a total of six field goals in the frame. Temple cut its deficit to a single point with 30 seconds to play on a layup from Josh Brown.

Miles then split a pair of free-throws on the other end. Temple had two chances to tie the game in the final seconds, but Bembry blocked a shot attempt from Cummings and DeCosey couldn't hit a shot as time expired.

The Owls had 14 turnovers, while forcing only nine from the Hawks.

The Hawks held a 51-42 lead with 8:44 remaining, but went cold from the floor. SJU would go without a field goal the rest of the way, but converted 7-for-8 from the foul line to preserve the win.

During that stretch, Temple came within 57-56 with 30 seconds to play on a layup by Josh Brown. The Hawks turned the ball over on their next possession, but an offensive foul by Temple gave the ball back to SJU. Miles made 1-of-2 free throws with 11.7 seconds to go to provide the winning margin.

Saint Joseph’s used a 12-5 run to take a 16-10 lead early in the contest.

Miles made 4-of-7 field goals in the first half, and the Hawks increased their lead to double digits, 27-17, with 4:31 to play. A three-pointer by Miles as the clock ran out in the first half gave SJU its biggest lead of the half, 12 points, at intermission.

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