Tied at 38-all at the intermission, Bembry made back-to-back 3-pointers to start a 14-5 spurt to give Saint Joseph's a 52-43 lead. But the Hawks did not score for the next seven-plus minutes as Rhode Island went on a 10-0 run to take a 53-52 lead.
Brown hit consecutive 3-pointers, both off of assists from Bembry, to take a 63-56 lead with three minutes left.
Bembry had seven rebounds, five assists and three steals, and Brown made all four of his 3-pointers for Saint Joseph's (12-3, 2-1 Atlantic 10), which won just 13 games last season. The Hawks had a seven-game winning streak snapped in their last game after seeing a 13-point lead slip away in a three-point loss to VCU.
Hassan Martin led Rhode Island (10-6, 2-1) with 20 points and eight rebounds.