Nov. 30, 2007
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's (3-2) will look to rebound from its overtime loss to #19 Gonzaga when it hosts Penn State (3-3) at the Palestra on Saturday, December 4. Game time is 4 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. Streaming video will also be available thru the subscription to Hawks' All-Access.
This is the third game in five days for SJU. The stretch continues on Tuesday, Dec. 4 with a home game against Holy Cross, giving the Hawks a total of four games in eight days. Saint Joseph's has lost nine in a row to Penn State, which is the longest losing streak against an opponent on this year's schedule. The Hawks' last win over the Nittany Lions was on March 7, 1988, an 85-78 overtime victory in the Atlantic 10 Quarterfinals. Pat Calathes still tops the Hawks in scoring with 18.4 ppg, followed by Ahmad Nivins at 13.8 ppg. Other Hawks in double figures are Darrin Govens with 13.6 ppg and Tasheed Carr with a 10.4 scoring average. Pat Calathes has made 21 consecutive free throws. Last season, he set the SJU record with 38 in a row.
LAST TIME OUT: SJU fell short in its upset bid of #19 Gonzaga, 70-65, in an overtime thriller before a raucous standing-room only crowd at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse. Gonzaga came out strong and led by as many as 17 points in the first half, but the Hawks clamped down, holding the Zags without a field goal for seven minutes and to trim the lead to 35-30 at halftime. SJU would take its first lead on a 3-pointer by Rob Ferguson at 14:50 and then went up 55-49 on a Ferguson jumper. With Gonzaga holding a 59-57 lead, Tasheed Carr drove the lane and was fouled, and converted two free throws with 10.3 seconds left to tie the game. GU had two attempts at the gamewinner but they failed. In the extra period, the Hawks went cold and Ahmad Nivins missed a pair of free throws at 1:32 remaining that would've given SJU the lead. Gonzaga would go on to make 7-of-8 free throws and Carr missed the potential tying 3-pointer with one second to play. Pat Calathes went 13-for-13 from the foul line and had a game-high 24 points and career-high five blocks. Nivins scored 14 points while Ferguson had 10.
NON-STOP SCHEDULE: Even though the Hawks had a 10-day hiatus in between games (from Nov. 17 to 27), they're in the midst of a non-stop schedule. The home opener with Ball State last Tuesday was the first of four games in eight days for Saint Joseph's, and was followed by Thursday's matchup with Gonzaga. The Hawks close out this swing on Tuesday, Dec. 4 hosting Holy Cross at the Fieldhouse. Things slow down again after the Holy Cross game as the Hawks will play only four games for the remainder of December.
WORKING OVERTIME: With two games in three days, including an overtime contest, the Hawks' starters have been logging quite a few minutes. Ahmad Nivins played 44 against Gonzaga, and notched 36 versus Ball State. Pat Calathes saw 41 minutes of action vs. Gonzaga and 34 in the previous game.
CAN'T MISS: Pat Calathes converted a career-best 13-of-13 free throws against Gonzaga and is in the midst of a streak of 21 in a row. Last season, Calathes set the school record with 38 consecutive free throws made. He's shooting 87.5 percent from the line.
SHUTTING THEM DOWN: Garrett Williamson came off the bench to provide a stellar defensive effort against Gonzaga. The sophomore was instrumental in getting the Hawks back from a 17-point deficit. He helped force Gonzaga into a seven-minute field goal drought and seven turnovers as the Hawks took their first lead of the game at the 14:50 mark of the second half. Williamson spelled Tasheed Carr at point guard and had only one turnover in 23 minutes of action.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Hawks are in the midst of four games in eight days, with all of the games in Philadelphia. Saint Joseph's hosts Holy Cross on Dec. 4 at the Fieldhouse to finish this stretch. Then the Hawks travel to Creighton on Dec. 9 for the first meeting with the Bluejays since 1981-82.