Feb. 9, 2007
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's (13-10; 5-4 A-10) will look to get back on the winning track when it takes on La Salle (9-15; 2-8) at the Palestra on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 1 p.m.
Streaming video of the game will be available to All-Access members on www.sjuhawks.com, courtesy of La Salle University. The game can also be heard locally on WNTP Radio (990 AM), with audio streaming also available on www.sjuhawks.com. Tom McCarthy and Joe Lunardi will call the action.
Phil Martelli and his coaching staff will be wearing sneakers today for the annual Coaches vs. Cancer National Awareness Day. This joint effort by the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball strives to increase awareness and continue raising funds to fight the disease.
GAME NOTES: Pat Calathes has made 33 consecutive free throws. His last miss came in the Rhode Island game, when he went an uncharacteristic 0-for-3, and he's now shooting 85.1 percent on the season. The school record is 37 consecutive free throws by Delonte West in 2003-04. Ahmad Nivins celebrates his 20th birthday today. The Hawks are in the midst of a six-game stretch of games in Philadelphia. The only game not at the Fieldhouse or Palestra was the visit to Villanova on Feb. 6. SJU is currently 2-2 during this stretch. Ahmad Nivins ranks second in the Atlantic 10 in field goal percentage, and 14th in the nation, with his percentage of 62.5. Arvydas Lidzius has been cleared by doctors to resume play, but has not practiced since the fracture over his left eye on Jan. 15. He is questionable for today's game.
CITY RIVALRY: Saint Joseph's is 2-1 in the Big 5 after wins over Temple and Penn. SJU has won a total of 18 Big 5 titles (8 outright/10 shared), which is second all-time to Temple's 25 titles (7 outright/18 shared). A loss to Penn on Jan. 25, 2005 snapped a 10-game Big 5 winning streak for the Hawks, but Saint Joseph's is 15-4 in the Big 5 in the last five seasons (counting this one).
KEY TO THE CITY: SJU owns a 21-6 record against city teams over the last five seasons (counting this year). This mark counts all games against Philadelphia teams (Drexel included).
LOW POINTS: Although there's no need to dwell on it much more, the 56-39 loss to Villanova was the lowest points scored by the Hawks since a 56-34 defeat to Southwest Missouri State in the 1993 NIT. SJU's 19 points in the second half vs. the Wildcats was the lowest point total for a half this season. The Hawks shot a season-low 26.0% from the field while committing 21 turnovers.
STREAK ENDER: With no SJU player recording double figures in the Villanova game, it ended the double-figure scoring streaks of Ahmad Nivins (13), Pat Calathes (12), and Rob Ferguson (5). Calathes also saw his three-game string of double-doubles come to an end.
CHAMPIONS FOR A CAUSE: Phil Martelli's passion extends to his work in the community and his efforts with Coaches vs. Cancer are tireless. Martelli and the five other Division I coaches in the city (Drexel, La Salle, Penn, Temple, Villanova) comprise the Philadelphia Coaches vs. Cancer group, which has become one of the most successful group in the nation. The six coaches raised over $400,000 last year to fight the disease, while setting a goal of $1 million for this year. The group was honored with the Coaches vs. Cancer Champion Award by the NABC at the 2004 NCAA Final Four. One of the main events for Coaches vs. Cancer this year is the third annual "BasketBall", a black-tie event at the Park Hyatt on April 28. Also, the ninth annual Tourney Tip-Off Breakfast is set for March 12 at the Palestra.
LOOKING AHEAD: SJU closes out its six-game "Philly" homestand by hosting George Washington on Valentine's Day at the Fieldhouse. The Hawks will then go on the road for the first time in three weeks visiting balmy St. Bonaventure on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 4 p.m. The Hawks then return to Philadelphia to host Temple at the Palestra on Feb. 22.