Nov. 18, 2006
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's (2-0) hosts Bucknell (0-2) on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse. The Hawks will be looking to avenge consecutive losses to the Bison from the past two years.
The game will be broadcast on the Saint Joseph's Sports Network in Philadelphia on WFIL Radio (560 AM), while audio and video streaming will be available thru Hawks All-Access on www.sjuhawks.com.
Darrin Govens had successful surgery on Friday (11/17) on his right hand to repair the fracture suffered in the season opener. His timetable for return to the court is still undetermined, but he has begun rehabilitation and will be evaluated on a weekly basis. Rob Ferguson owns a 13-game double-figure scoring streak dating back to last year. Phil Martelli needs 11 wins to surpass Hall of Famer Jack Ramsay on SJU's list for coaching victories. Ramsay totaled 234 in 11 years (234-72 from 1955 to 66) while Martelli's 12-year mark stands at 223-125. Today's contest is the 350th game coached by Phil Martelli, while a win today will give him 225 for his career. In the two games thus far, the Hawks have turned the ball over more than the opponents (43-32), but SJU has still won both contests.
LAST TIME OUT: Solid shooting and a balanced scoring attack helped the Hawks to an 81-73 win over Lafayette to improve to 2-0. SJU went 27-of-49 from the floor (55.1 percent) and had five players in double figures. Rob Ferguson and Ahmad Nivins led the way for the Hawks, scoring 19 points apiece with freshman Jawan Carter hitting for a personal best 18. After a back-and-forth opening 14 minutes of play, the Hawks began to pull away. Leading 26-24, the Hawks went on an 18-6 run over the next five minutes, capped by a pair of free throws by Carter. SJU would enter halftime up 44-32 despite the Leopards hitting 62 percent of their shots. In the second half, Saint Joseph's quickly opened an 18-point lead, and held the same advantage, 60-42, at the 11:11 mark. The Hawks committed 16 turnovers in the second half and allowed Lafayette to fight back to within five, 78-73, at :28. But SJU hung on as Pat Calathes converted three free throws to seal the win, as he finished with 10 points and a career-high nine rebounds.
INSIDE INFO: SJU players might be hearing the words, "pass it inside" more than they have in the past few years, with frontcourt players Rob Ferguson and Ahmad Nivins already proving to be the main scoring threats. This is a marked change from the guard-dominated teams of the last few years. Ferguson and Nivins have lived up to that billing so far with a pair of double-figure games. Nivins currently leads the team with 19.5 ppg while Ferguson is scoring 16.5 ppg.
PERIMETER PLAY: Any worries about the Hawks' perimeter shooting were calmed, at least for a night, as SJU made 9-of-17 from 3-point range at Lafayette. Freshmen Jawan Carter (4-for-5) and Garrett Williamson (2-for-2) led the way.
NOTICING NIVINS: Ahmad Nivins lived up to the high expectations with a career-high 20 points in the win over Fairfield. The sophomore made his first five shots of the second half en route to scoring 15 points in that period. He finished with nine rebounds and made 7-of-9 shots from the field. He followed that with 19 points on 8-for-11 shooting at Lafayette.
BALANCING ACT: Five Hawks scored in double figures at Lafayette, including freshmen Jawan Carter (18) and Garrett Williamson (11). The 81 points scored by SJU was the most since an 82-51 win over St. Bonaventure on Feb. 4, 2006.