BALTIMORE - St. Joseph's coach Phil Martelli joked that the Hawks should play all of their games in the Baltimore area.
That would be fine with St. Joe's sophomore forward Isaiah Miles, who came off the bench to score a career-high 17 points in just 12 minutes of action in an 88-77 win for the Hawks on Saturday afternoon at Loyola in north Baltimore. Miles played in front of about 25 family and friends, including his parents.
"I just came out confident," said Miles, who is from nearby Owings Mills, Md. "Last year we played in Baltimore twice, against Coppin [State] and Morgan [State]. I did not play as well as I wanted to."
He made up for it Saturday as the Hawks (6-4) raced to a 60-24 lead at halftime. Miles easily surpassed his previous career high of six points at Temple in 2012.
"I wanted to play good in front of my family," said Miles, who finished his high school career at nearby Milford Mills Academy.
"We all know what he is capable of," Hawks guard Chris Wilson said of Miles.
"I am delighted for him," Martelli said of Miles. "We need to have productive minutes from him."
Martelli was dismayed that the Hawks gave up 53 points in the second half, but he said he would address those concerns at practice after Christmas. St. Joe's had enough firepower with Ronald Roberts Jr. (20 points), Wilson (17), and Langston Galloway (14), who made four three-pointers in the first four minutes.
The Hawks had 18 assists on 20 baskets in the first half but just one assist in the second half.
"In the first half we did a great job of moving the ball," Wilson said.
But Loyola (5-5) battled back.
The Greyhounds' Dylon Cormier, one of the leading scorers in the nation, had 23 of his 27 points in the second half.
"This kid is a scorer," Martelli said of Cormier. "He scores in a lot of ways. His ticker kept beating."
The Hawks won the battle of the boards, 37-30.