Dec. 7, 2010
PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's men's basketball team will return to Hagan Arena after five games away from campus when it hosts 22nd-ranked Minnesota (7-1) on Wednesday, December 8. Game time at Hagan Arena is 7 p.m.
Rally towels will be distributed to all fans, courtesty of TD Bank. For tickets, call 888-SJU-HAWK.
Audio and video streaming of the game will be available on SJUHawks.com. The audio stream, with Matt Martucci and Joe Lunardi calling the action, is available free of charge. Click here to listen. A subscription to Hawks All-Access is necessary to view the game. Click here to subscribe.
GAME NOTES: The Hawks have lost three in a row after putting together a three-game winning streak the previous week. SJU lost to Princeton, 74-65, on Sunday to end its stretch of three games in five days. Phil Martelli is in his 16th year as Saint Joseph's head coach, and his 26th year on Hawk Hill. The coach needs eight wins to reach 300 for his career, and the 24th game he coaches this year will be his 400th. Leading scorer Carl Jones has scored double figures in 10 straight games dating back to last season. He has notched 20-plus points in three of the last four. Freshman C.J. Aiken ranks sixth in the nation in blocked shots with his Atlantic 10-leading average of 3.5 per game. SJU is fielding its youngest team ever under Phil Martelli with two seniors, one junior, four sophomores and five freshmen. The opening day starting lineup included three freshmen, which is the most ever under Martelli. The next game for SJU will be a trip to Omaha, Neb., to meet fellow Jesuit school Creighton on Saturday evening.
LAST TIME OUT: Saint Joseph's used a spirited second-half effort, but couldn't overcome the deficit, as the Hawks fell to Princeton, 74-65, at Jadwin Gym for their third loss in a row. Ronald Roberts had a season-best 10 points and seven rebounds. Princeton dominated from the start, jumping out to an 8-0 lead and shooting 5-of-9 from 3-point range, to take a 30-12 lead by the 10-minute mark. The Tigers connected on 58.1 percent from the field and owned a 45-27 lead at halftime. The Hawks came out like a different team in the second half, and forced five Princeton turnovers while keeping the Tigers off the scoreboard for over five minutes. Trailing 47-34, Roberts would spark the Hawks with two dunks and a steal as Saint Joseph's pulled within 52-42, on a dunk by C.J. Aiken. But back-to-back three-pointers by Mack Darrow and Dan Mavraides, and a layup by Ian Hummer built the Princeton lead back up to 60-46 with 7:40 remaining. SJU couldn't get the deficit below double digits but scored six points in the final two minutes to provide the final margin.
A HAGAN FIRST: Minnesota will be the first ranked team to play in Hagan Arena. The last time SJU met a ranked team on campus was in the final game at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse on March 6, 2008, when SJU scored a 71-66 win over #8 Xavier.
NO REST FOR THE WEARY: The Hawks didn't fare too well in their NBA-type schedule last week, losing all three games on the road in a span of five days. SJU lost at Drexel, Villanova and Princeton, making three short trips which had a total round-trip distance of 125.2 miles.
JONES-IN': Carl Jones has recorded double-figures in all eight games and has a streak of 10 games dating back to last year. He has scored 20-plus points in three of the last four games, including a career-best 24 points at Princeton and leads the Hawks with his 17.5 average. The sophomore is also the Hawks' top free-throw shooter, converting 80.9 percent, which included an 11-for-12 effort in the win over Norfolk State.
BLOCK PARTY: Freshman C.J. Aiken had six blocks in the second half in the win at Fairfield, which was the highest total for a Hawk since Ahmad Nivins had the same number at UMass on Jan. 9, 2008. Langston Galloway added three in the game as the Hawks totalled 11 blocks, which was the most since they had 10 vs. Syracuse on Nov. 13, 2007. Aiken upped his season best with seven blocks at Villanova. He is averaging 3.5 per game and leads the Atlantic 10, while ranking sixth in the nation. Saint Joseph's tops the A-10 with 5.4 blocks per game and ranks 36th nationally.
PEP TALK: Whatever Ronald Roberts provided a spark off the bench, scoring five of his season-best 10 points and grabbing six of his seven rebounds in the second half. Saint Joseph's also had one of its best shooting halves, hitting 51.7 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from 3-point range.
CHARTING CARL: As the days are getting colder, Carl Jones continues to heat up. In the three games of December, he has converted 53.2 percent (25-for-47) from the field and 50 percent (7-for-14) from 3-point range, while averaging 21 points per game. It's a drastic improvement from November when Jones shot just 37 percent from the field and 25 percent from beyond the arc. His November scoring average was 15.4 points per game.
FROM THE LINE: Free-throw shooting has been one of the Hawks' strengths as they rank fourth in the Atlantic 10 in free throw percentage, hitting 70.4 percent. But they shot a season-worst 28.6 percent from the line at Villanova, going just 2-of-7. Overall, Langston Galloway is 9-for-9 from the line while Carl Jones is hitting 80.9 percent, to rank sixth in the A-10.
REBOUNDING WOES: Rebounding was one of the Hawks' biggest weaknesses last year and SJU has shown glimpses of that again this season. In 2009-10, the Hawks were outrebounded in all but four contests and owned a -8.0 margin. This season, Saint Joseph's has been outrebounded in five games, with the biggest margin being 46-23 at Drexel. On the season, SJU owns a rebounding margin of -4.1.
HAWKS VS. THE POLLS: Saint Joseph's last victories over Top 25 teams came in 2007-08 when it defeated Xavier twice in a span of two weeks. The Hawks topped #8 Xavier, 71-66, on March 6, 2008, in the final game at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse, and then beat the 12th-ranked Musketeers on March 14 in the A-10 Semifinals. SJU is 0-1 vs. ranked teams this year, losing to #12 Villanova last week.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Hawks travel to Creighton for a Saturday evening game and then take a break for final exams. SJU will resume play after exams on Dec. 21 at Boston University.