Jan. 14, 2011
ST. LOUIS, MO. - The Saint Joseph's men's basketball team (5-11; 0-3) will look for its first conference win of the season when it visits Saint Louis (5-11; 0-3) on Saturday, January 15. Game time at Chaifetz Arena is 1 p.m. local time (2 p.m. Eastern). The contest will be televised in Philadelphia on Comcast SportsNet.
The Saint Joseph's Sports Network broadcast of the game will also available on SJUHawks.com, with Matt Martucci and Joe Lunardi calling the action. The audio stream is available free of charge. Click here to listen.
Phil Martelli is in his 16th year as Saint Joseph's head coach, and his 26th year on Hawk Hill. The coach needs six wins to reach 300 for his career, and will coach his 500th game with eight more. He also owns the most Atlantic 10 wins among active coaches, with 146. Freshman C.J. Aiken ranks second in the nation in blocked shots and leads the Atlantic 10 with 3.7 per game and 5.7 in conference games only. Leading scorer Carl Jones has scored double figures in 15 of 16 games this year, with five games of 20-plus points. Freshman Langston Galloway tops the Atlantic 10 in free throw percentage, hitting 94.1 percent. SJU is fielding its youngest team ever under Phil Martelli with two seniors, one junior, four sophomores and five freshmen. The starting lineup has included three freshmen, which is the most ever under Martelli. Today's game is part of the nationwide Jesuit Basketball Spotlight project, using Jesuit basketball to raise awareness of Jesuit education. Both Saint Joseph's and Saint Louis are Jesuit schools. The Hawks are 2-1 this year in the JBS, having defeated Fairfield and Holy Cross and falling to Creighton.
LAST TIME OUT: Chris Wright had 14 points and 10 rebounds as Dayton edged Saint Joseph's, 65-59, at UD Arena. Carl Jones had 19 points for the Hawks. The game came down to the final few possessions but the Hawks couldn't capitalize. Wright hit a jumper at 1:47 to give Dayton a 62-57 lead, but C.J. Aiken's dunk pulled the Hawks to within 62-59. SJU missed on a three-pointer with 59 seconds to go and then forced a Dayton turnover at 17.7 seconds. On the Hawks' possession, Justin Crosgile missed a three-pointer with six seconds to play. Coming out of a timeout, Saint Joseph's was the whistled for a technical foul for six men on the court, and Dayton's Chris Johnson made one free throw at :04. SJU then fouled again and Josh Parker connected on a pair of free throws with three seconds to go to provide the final margin. SJU had erased a 12-point UD lead in the first half, with a 13-1 run that tied the score at 28-28 with 33.5 seconds to play. Justin Crosgile led the way, scoring five points in the run. Langston Galloway hit a three-pointer with 1.9 seconds left to give the Hawks their first lead of the game, 33-31. Dayton called an immediate timeout and attempted one last shot at 1.9 seconds, but the inbounds pass went untouched. Saint Joseph's set up under its basketball for the final play and Aiken caught the inbounds from Galloway and hit a fallaway jumper at the buzzer to give SJU a 35-31 lead at halftime. The Hawks shot 54.2 percent from the field in the second half, while limiting Dayton to just 36 percent and a 1-for-6 effort from three-point range. Aiken finished with 11 points for SJU to go along with three blocks.
1500 CLUB: With two more victories, Saint Joseph's will reach 1,500 wins in the program's history. The Hawks currently own a 1,498-996 record in 102 seasons. SJU will become one of 35 programs to reach the plateau, joining an impressive list.
MARTELLI MILESTONES: Head coach Phil Martelli is closing in on a few milestones. Here's the numbers he needs to reach those marks: 300 career victories - needs 6 150 Atlantic 10 victories - needs 4 500 games coached - needs 8 Martelli will join an exclusive group of head coaches in A-10 history that have recorded 300 wins - John Chaney of Temple had 516 while Gale Catlett of West Virginia notched 333 for West Virginia (1979-95).
REJECTION NOTICE: Freshman C.J. Aiken continues to make his presence known in the middle with his talent for blocking shots, averaging 3.7 and 5.7 in A-10 games. The freshman had a season-high nine against GW, with seven in the first half alone, to go along with 15 points. Earlier this season he had six at Fairfield, which was the highest total for a Hawk since Ahmad Nivins had the same number at UMass on Jan. 9, 2008. Aiken had also notched seven at Villanova in December. The school record for blocks in a game is 12 by all-time leader Rodney Blake against Cleveland State on Dec. 2, 1987. Phil Martelli said, "C.J. has become more of a presence defensively. When you can walk out as a freshman with nine blocks that's something. But we have to get more than face-up jumpers. We have to get some baskets when he outruns people. It's a bright future but we just need it to be today. We can't wait for it to be a year from now."
BLOCK PARTY: Led by C.J. Aiken, the Hawks top the Atlantic 10 in blocks per game, with 5.7 overall and 7.7 in league games. Aiken ranks second in the NCAA stats while Saint Joseph's is 13th as a team.
TRAVEL LOG: The Hawks have been on the road since Tuesday and took a different route than planned. Because of the impending snowstorm on Tuesday, SJU's afternoon flight to Dayton was cancelled. The Hawks then took a nine-hour bus ride to Dayton, arriving at their hotel at 11 p.m. on Tuesday night. SJU played at Dayton on Wednesday night and stayed in Dayton to practice on Thursday. The Hawks bused to Columbus, Ohio, on Friday morning to catch a flight to St. Louis, which was the original plan. And despite the afternoon contest with the SLU on Saturday, SJU won't be flying home until Sunday morning because of the airline schedule.
LEAGUE LEADERS: Two of the Hawks' freshmen find themselves leading the Atlantic 10 in a few categories. Langston Galloway tops the A-10 in free throw percentage in overall (94.1) and conference games (1.000) and also in assist/turnover ratio in overall games (3.00). C.J. Aiken ranks first in blocked shots overall (3.75) and A-10 games (5.7) and in 3-point percentage (66.7) in conference contests.
JONES-IN': Carl "Tay" Jones has recorded double-figures in 15 of 16 games and has scored 20-plus points six times, including a career-best 29 points vs. Minnesota. He had a 13-game scoring streak, which dated back to last year, come to an end at Holy Cross. Jones leads the Hawks with his 17.9 scoring average, while ranking fifth in the A-10.
LOOKING AHEAD: SJU returns home for the first of four straight games in Philadelphia, hosting Rhode Island on Jan. 19 and then playing the final non-conference game of the year against Penn at The Palestra on Jan. 22.