Dec. 6, 2006
LOUISVILLE, KY - Saint Joseph's (4-2) goes on its longest road trip of the regular season to participate in the NABC Classic at Louisville's Freedom Hall. The Hawks will face Bellarmine (3-2) on Friday at 9:30 p.m., then play the host Cardinals on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. before closing out the weekend against Ohio on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
The radio broadcast of the Bellarmine game can be heard on WNTP (990 AM), while both the Louisville and Ohio contests will be broadcast on WFIL (560 AM). Tom McCarthy and Joe Lunardi will call the action. The Louisville game will be televised in Kentucky only on WHAS-TV.
GAME STORIES: The Hawks have the top-ranked defense in the Atlantic 10, limiting the opponents to 58.2 points per game. Phil Martelli needs nine 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 226-127. If the Hawks make a 3-pointer in this game, it will be the 400th consecutive contest with at least one 3-point field goal made, a streak which stretches back to 1993. Freshman Rockwell Moody is doubtful for this weekend due to a back injury. It is not certain how long he will be sidelined. The last time the Hawks played three games on consecutive days was last year's Atlantic 10 Championship. SJU had to play four in a row, and fell just two points short of the conference title, losing to Xavier. On Saint Joseph's campus is Bellarmine Hall, which is named for St. Robert Bellarmine, a Jesuit scholar, who is the namesake of Bellarmine University. SJU has met Bellarmine twice before, in the 1960's... The Hawks have won both meetings... The first came in 1965-66 when the Jack Ramsay-coached Hawks won at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse... In 1967-68, the Hawks traveled to Bellarmine and scored a 66-62 win.
LAST TIME OUT: SJU couldn't recover from an early 21-2 run by Drexel, to fall to the Dragons, 72-56, at the Palestra in the first city game for the Hawks. Drexel took a 25-9 lead with seven minutes to play in the half as SJU needed 13 first-half points from Pat Calathes to keep it close. Drexel finished a 14-3 run with 10 minutes to play to give it a 54-34 lead. DU's defense recorded 13 blocks and held Hawks' leading scorer Ahmad Nivins to just one point. Calathes had a career-high 19 points and was the only Hawk in double figures.
THE COMEBACK KID: Darrin Govens made an extremely quick return to action playing in the Boston University game, just 10 days after having surgery on his fractured right hand (fourth metacarpal). Govens, who had surgery on Nov. 17, asked to participate in practice on Nov. 26, and then was cleared by the doctor just hours before the BU game. The freshman made an impact, playing 24 minutes and scoring 11 points, while making 3-of-3 3-point field goals. He's now averaging 19.0 minutes per game.
DEE-FENSE: Defense has always been one of the Hawks' trademarks and thus far they've limited the opponents to 58.2 points per game, the best number in the Atlantic 10. The Hawks faltered against Drexel, allowing the Dragons to shoot 57.8 percent from the field to drop to eighth in FG percentage defense (.434) and fourth in 3-point defense (.434).
MORE ON THE DEFENSE: The Hawks limited BU to a dismal 2-for-20 shooting effort in the second half of the win. The Terriers scored their last field goal of the game with 12:21 to play, while amassing 26 turnovers in the contest.
DOUBLE TIME: Freshman Garrett Williamson had a solid all-around effort against Boston University, notching his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. The freshman shot 5-for-8 from the field and keyed the defense with a season-best three steals. He played a season-high 36 minutes against Drexel and scored seven points while recording three steals.
SHORT TRIPS: The Hawks won't be racking up the frequent flier miles this year, as it is first time in four seasons that SJU does not have a West Coast trip on its schedule. This weekend's tournament is the longest regular-season road trip of the year for the Hawks. In three previous seasons, SJU has gone to California. Last year's trip took the Hawks to California (Saint Mary's) and Spokane (Gonzaga).
THE BLUEGRASS STATE: The last time Saint Joseph's played in the state of Kentucky was on Dec. 21, 2000, when the Hawks beat Western Kentucky, 74-68.
HIGH HONOR: Freshman Darrin Govens had his Chester High School uniform number retired (13) on December 1 in a banquet at Chester.