Jan. 13, 2009
OLEAN, N.Y. - Saint Joseph's (7-7; 1-0 A-10) will look to extend its winning streak to three games when it visits St. Bonaventure (10-5; 1-1) on Wednesday, January 14 at the Reilly Center at 7 p.m.
The Saint Joseph's Sports Network team of Tom McCarthy and Joe Lunardi will broadcast the game on WNTP (990 AM). Streaming audio will also be available on www.sjuhawks.com free of charge as provided by Stretch Internet.
GAME NOTES The starting time for the SJU-Charlotte game on Sunday, January 18 has been changed to noon, to avoid conflict with the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship game. The game will be televised live on CBS College Sports. The Hawks are riding a two-game winning streak, marking the first time this season they have put together back-to-back wins. Saint Joseph's owns a 13-game winning streak against St. Bonaventure, which is its longest current streak vs. an opponent. Senior Ahmad Nivins tops the Hawks with a league-leading seven double-doubles in the first 14 games. He's averaging 19.5 points and 10.9 rebounds. Garrett Williamson ranks second in the Atlantic 10 in assist/turnover ratio (2.2). The junior fell two points shy of a triple-double when he had 8 points-10 rebounds-10 assists at Towson. He also had five steals in the recent win over Rhode Island. Ahmad Nivins leads the A-10 in field goal percentage (.676) and ranks third nationally. He also tops the league in offensive rebounds (4.4) and minutes played (39.4), while ranking among the conference's top 10 in eight categories. Ahmad Nivins was named the Atlantic 10 Co-Player of the Week for the fourth time this season. He also earned Big 5 honors for the second time.
LAST TIME OUT: Ahmad Nivins had 28 points and a career-high 20 rebounds, Darrin Govens added 21 points and Saint Joseph's outlasted Rhode Island, 92-86 in triple overtime in the Atlantic 10 opener. Tasheed Carr scored 14 points and Idris Hilliard 13 for the Hawks, who won consecutive games for the first time this season. It was the longest game for Saint Joseph's since a 60-56 three-overtime win over Penn at the Palestra on January 23, 1980. Govens hit a 3-pointer with 4.5 seconds left in the second overtime to give the Hawks an 80-77 lead. But URI's Keith Cothran hit a 3-pointer from the wing at the buzzer to force a third extra period. In the third overtime, Nivins hit a layup to give Saint Joseph's an 85-81 advantage with 2:03 left. Nine seconds later, Rhode Island coach Jim Baron was whistled for a technical foul. Nivins missed both free throws but he came back just a few seconds later and hit 1-of-2 from the line to give the Hawks a five-point lead, 86-81, with 1:40 remaining. Jimmy Baron's third 3-pointer of the game cut the lead to 86-84 with 1:23 remaining. At that point, Rhode Island called for a timeout, but the Rams didn't have any remaining and were whistled for a technical foul. Rhode Island had erased a 17-point SJU halftime lead as the Hawks went cold, making just 5-of-21 from the field in the second half.
SEEING DOUBLE: Ahmad Nivins has now scored in double figures in 72 of the 108 games of his career and in 26 consecutive games. He's grabbed double-figure rebounds 19 times, with a league-leading seven double-doubles this season alone. The senior has 17 career double-doubles.
AHMAD'S ACCOLADES: Ahmad Nivins has been named the Atlantic 10 Co-Player of the Week four times thus far (Nov. 16, Dec. 7, Dec. 28, Jan. 11), which is the most by any player this year. He earned the most recent award with his 28-point, 20-rebound effort in the triple overtime win over Rhode Island. He was also chosen the Big 5 Player of the Week on Dec. 7 and Co-Player of the Week on Jan. 11.
CARR SHOW: Senior Tasheed Carr has upped his scoring lately and is now averaging 17.0 points in the past three games. Carr scored 14 points in the first half vs. Ball State, helping the Hawks overcome an early 10-point deficit and take the lead by halftime. He finished that game with 18 points while scoring 19 in the loss to Drexel. He had 14 against Rhode Island, while handing out six assists. Carr is averaging 12.6 ppg on the year.
BIG SHOTS: Darrin Govens is the team's leader with 38 3-pointers, but his biggest one so far was one with :04 left in the second overtime against Rhode Island. Govens' three gave the Hawks an 80-77 lead until the Rams hit one at the buzzer to force the third overtime. The junior, who made 3-of-6 against URI, is converting 38.8 percent on the season.
INSIDE FORCES: Forwards Ahmad Nivins and Idris Hilliard are teaming up to give the Hawks an inside presence. In the three games prior to the Ball State game, the duo combined for 105 points and 54 rebounds while hitting 64.4 percent (38-59) from the field. Nivins had a season-high 26 points and 16 rebounds against Cornell, while Hilliard recorded his first career double-double with 14 points and 10 boards. In the Siena game, Hilliard had a career-best 20 points with nine rebounds while Nivins chipped in 15 points.
WORKING OVERTIME: The Hawks' triple overtime win over Rhode Island snapped an eight-game overtime losing streak. It was the first overtime victory for Saint Joseph's since December 31, 2002, a 79-78 victory at Gonzaga. It was the longest game for Saint Joseph's since a 60-56 three-overtime win over Penn at the Palestra on January 23, 1980.
20-20: Ahmad Nivins' 28-point, 20-rebound effort vs. Rhode Island marked the first time in his career that he posted more than 20 in both categories. The 20 rebounds are tied as the 14th highest total in the nation this year. It was also the first 20-plus point and rebound game for a Saint Joseph's player since Carlin Warley in December of 1992.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Hawks return to Philadelphia to begin a three-game homestand on January 18 against Charlotte. The game time has been changed to noon.