Nov. 28, 2005
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's will visit Drexel in men's basketball action at the Palestra on Tuesday, November 29, at 6 p.m. It is the first game of a doubleheader with Penn hosting Colorado at 8:30 p.m.
The Hawks (2-1) are coming off of a 100-94 overtime loss at Davidson on Saturday. Chet Stachitas led five Saint Joseph's players in double figures with 25 points. Drexel is 3-3 after a loss to Penn on Saturday.
The game will not be televised, but will be broadcast on WPEN Radio (Sports Talk 950 AM) with the Saint Joseph's Sports Network team of Tom McCarthy and Joe Lunardi calling the action.
Click here for streaming audio and live stats.
LAST TIME OUT: SJU fell to Davidson in overtime, 100-94, despite a game-high 25 points from Chet Stachitas. Dave Mallon forced the overtime with a 3-pointer at the buzzer in regulation after Abdulai Jalloh missed one with :02 to play. Davidson grabbed the momentum at the beginning of the extra period and scored five straight points to put the Hawks in an 88-83 hole. The Wildcats would lead by as much as eight points, and SJU could come no closer than 92-89. SJU trailed 40-33 at halftime, and by as much as 11 in the second half, but Dwayne Lee scored all 18 of his career-high points in the final half and the OT to pull the Hawks closer. Trailing 75-70 with 1:28 left in regulation, SJU converted quickly on each possession and continued to send the home team to the foul line. With Davidson up 81-77 with 18 seconds to play, Stachitas nailed a 3-pointer at :12 to pull the Hawks within one. Two more free throws gave Davidson the 83-80 lead setting the stage for Mallon's tying shot. Both teams shot over 80 percent from the foul line and they took a combined 68 free throws. Other Hawks in double figures were Ahmad Nivins with 14, and Mallon and Rob Ferguson with 13.
ON THE OFFENSIVE: Prior to the season, Phil Martelli voiced his concern as to how the Hawks were going to score points. He set 65 points as a goal, but thought it could be a struggle. The Hawks have gone well beyond that, hitting for 70 or more in the first two wins and then reaching 94 points in the overtime loss at Davidson (100-94). SJU is now averaging 78.7 points per game. On the down side, the Hawks' scoring defense average is thrown off a bit - SJU held its first two foes to under 50 points. But by giving up 100 to Davidson, the Hawks' opponents are now averaging 62.7 ppg.
BALANCED ATTACK: After losing one of the top scorers in school history in Pat Carroll, there was a preseason question as to who would emerge as a top scorer. The Hawks have taken the more balanced approach with four players currently averaging double figures. Chet Stachitas is ahead of the pack with his 18.7 average, while Abdulai Jalloh (12.3), Rob Ferguson (11.3) and Dwayne Lee (11.0) round out the group.
SURE SHOTS: At this time last year, and for a good part of the season, the Hawks struggled from the foul line. In fact, after three games in `04-05, SJU was making just over 60 percent of its foul shots. So far this season, that doesn't look to be a problem as the team is hitting a league-best 84.2% of its free throw attempts. Included in that is an impressive 30-for-34 performance at Davidson, led by Chet Stachitas (10-for-11) and Ahmad Nivins (10-for-10). Three starters are perfect from the line after three games (Abdulai Jalloh, Ahmad Nivins, Rob Ferguson),while Stachitas is at 93.3% and Dwayne Lee is hitting 83.3%.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: The Hawks are facing a challenging schedule this year, meeting seven teams which reached the 2005 NCAA Tournament. And when looking at ESPN's early-season predictions, SJU has 10 "NCAA" teams on the slate with 12 games against ESPN's preseason NCAA Tournament bracket: Davidson, Kansas, Ohio State. Bucknell, Gonzaga, Xavier (twice), George Washington (twice), Charlotte, Pennsylvania and Villanova. SJU is currently in the midst of a eight-game stretch in which it faces seven of those teams.
SLOW START: Coming off of two games in which SJU jumped out to two quick double-digit leads, the Hawks were outscored 6-0 at the start of the Davidson game. Saint Joseph's also allowed Davidson to run off five straight points at the start of the second half, falling into an 11-point deficit. And then despite battling to force an overtime, the Hawks saw Davidson score the first five points in the extra period, for a deficit they could not overcome.
SOPHOMORE STANDOUT: Rob Ferguson doesn't appear to be affected by a "sophomore jinx" as he has put up double figures in two of three games. Ferguson is shooting an impressive 76.2 percent from the field (16-for-21) while averaging 11.3 ppg. The sophomore had a strong offensive game at Davidson, making four of his first five shots, and going 6-for-8 in the contest before fouling out late in the game.
CHECKING ON CHET: Chet Stachitas looks to have regained the form he had in the early season last year, when he topped the team in scoring. Stachitas poured in 25 points at Davidson and is now leading the Hawks with 18.7 ppg. He currently ranks 8th among the Atlantic 10's scoring leaders.
TAKING CARE OF THE BALL: SJU committed only eight turnovers at Davidson and is averaging 13 on the season. Point guard Dwayne Lee is averaging 2.0 per game, but has an assist/turnover ratio of 3.17. The senior also leads the Atlantic 10 with 6.3 assists per game.
SENIOR LEADERSHIP: SJU's seniors came up with big performances at Davidson. Chet Stachitas scored 25 points against Davidson (for the second year in a row) and Dwayne Lee scored all of his 18 career-high points in the second half, as the Hawks battled back from an 11-point deficit. Dave Mallon scored 13 points off the bench and sent the game into overtime with a 3-pointer from the top of the key at the buzzer.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Hawks return to action in a week, taking on Kansas in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden on December 6 at 7 p.m. It will mark the third consecutive season that Saint Joseph's will play in the "world's most famous arena". Last year, SJU had its run to the NIT title game, while the Hawks opened the 2003-04 season with a win over Gonzaga in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. The Kansas game will be televised nationally on ESPN.