Jan. 16, 2007
BRONX, NY - Saint Joseph's (10-6; 3-1 A-10) will look to get back on the winning track when it visits Fordham (9-7; 2-1) on Wednesday, January 17 at 7 p.m. at Rose Hill Gym. The Hawks have won four of their last five games.
The game can be heard via audio streaming on www.sjuhawks.com, without charge, with Tom McCarthy and Joe Lunardi calling the action. To listen, click here.
GAME NOTES: SJU has won four of its last five, after having its four-game winning streak ended by Rhode Island. It was SJU's best conference start (3-0) since the 2004-05 squad won its first four league games. The Hawks lead the Atlantic 10 in scoring defense, limiting the opponents to 60.8 points per game. Ahmad Nivins is averaging 21.0 points in conference games, while converting 71.1 percent of his field-goal attempts. Ahmad Nivins earned Big 5 Player of the Week honors for the second consecutive week. Phil Martelli owns the most Atlantic 10 wins among active coaches with 117. His winning percentage in conference games (.650) is the highest among active coaches who have been in the league for more than one season. He also owns the longest tenure at one school of any of the league's coaches. Phil Martelli needs three 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 232-130.
SCORING MACHINE: SJU's scoring average of 81.2 points in conference games even has Phil Martelli scratching his head. "The scoring has me absolutely flabbergasted. It's like overnight there's a confidence level. I don't know where it came from... They carry themselves differently... The shooting has been a surprise to me all year." The last time the Hawks had 75 points or more for four games in a row was a six-game string in the middle of SJU's 27-0 regular season in 2003-04.
ON FIRE: Phil Martelli has been pleasantly surprised with the way the Hawks have been shooting the ball as of late, with the team hitting 52.6 percent from the field and 46.2 from 3-point range in the past four games. Martelli sees the shooting percentages as a direct correlation to the Hawks taking better care of the ball, limiting themselves to 11 turnovers per game. This is a decrease from the 16.6 per game they were averaging before the conference season began.
PHIL'S FOUR FRESHMEN: With all due respect to other standout groups of freshmen across the country, the Hawks' four guards have started to come into their own and make an impact. At Temple, Jawan Carter, Garrett Williamson, D.J. Rivera and Darrin Govens had collectively, one of their best games so far. Rivera and Govens provided a spark off the bench and combined for 15 points in the first as the Hawks came back from an early deficit. Williamson and Rivera shut down Temple's leading scorer Dionte Christmas, limiting him to nine points. Carter ran the offense and scored nine points while handing out four assists.
COMEBACK KIDS: The Hawks fought back from a double-digit deficit at Charlotte to pull out a 75-70 win. It was the largest deficit (13 pts in 1st half; 12 in 2nd) overcome for a win this season. Down 45-33 with 15:40 to go, the Hawks outscored Charlotte 24-11 to take their first lead, 57-56, with 6:50 to play. The game featured 64.3 percent shooting and only six turnovers in the second half by the Hawks. SJU fought back from an 18-point deficit against Rhode Island to come within two points, 83-81, with 50 seconds to play, but fell short in the attempt to take the lead.
CONFERENCE CALL: In conference games only, the Hawks have four players notching double figures - Ahmad Nivins (21.0 ppg), Pat Calathes (15.0), Rob Ferguson (14.5) and Darrin Govens (10.8). Nivins is shooting 71.1 percent from the field in A-10 contests.
THE BIG THREE: The Hawks are getting balanced scoring and have had their three leading scorers- Ahmad Nivins, Rob Ferguson and Pat Calathes - provide 59.8 percent of the offense. In fact, there have been eight games this year in which all three have notched double figures, and the Hawks have won seven of those contests.
SEEING DOUBLE: Ahmad Nivins and Pat Calathes put up some career-best numbers against Rhode Island. Nivins matched his career-highs with 28 points and 11 rebounds, while Calathes posted 20 points and 11 boards.
WHERE'S THE D?: The Hawks' defense deserted them against Rhode Island, as they gave up a season-high 86 points. It was the highest total produced against SJU since Gonzaga scored 102 on Dec. 31, 2005. Saint Joseph's allowed the Rams to shoot 53.7 percent, the best effort for an opponent since Ohio hit 60.4 percent on Dec. 10. Heading into the URI game, the Hawks led the A-10 with a scoring defense of 60.2.