Dec. 10, 2010
OMAHA, NEB. - Saint Joseph's (3-6) men's basketball will visit fellow Jesuit school Creighton (4-4) on Saturday evening at the Qwest Center Omaha. Game time is 8:05 p.m. EST (7:05 p.m. local time).
The game will be seen on ESPN3.com and ESPN Fullcourt. Click here.
The Saint Joseph's Sports Network broadcast, with Matt Martucci and Joe Lunardi calling the action, can be heard on WNTP (990 AM) beginning with a pre-game show at 7:30 p.m. EST. Audio streaming will be available on SJUHawks.com free of charge. Click here to listen.
GAME NOTES The Hawks have lost four in a row after putting together a three-game winning streak earlier this season. The streak is the longest since a seven-game skid in 2008-09. 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 11 straight games dating back to last season. He has notched 20-plus points in four of the last five. Freshman C.J. Aiken ranks sixth in the nation in blocked shots at the start of this week and is now second in the Atlantic 10 with 3.2 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. Tonight'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 Creighton are Jesuit schools. The Hawks are 1-0 this year in the JBS, having defeated Fairfield on Nov. 23. The Hawks get a much-needed break for final exams after tonight. They will be back in action on Dec. 21 at Boston University.
LAST TIME OUT: Minnesota placed five players in double figures and fought off a second-half Saint Joseph's rally as the 22nd-ranked Gophers defeated the Hawks, 83-73, at Hagan Arena. Ronald Roberts. But every time the Hawks got close, the Gophers seemed to answer with three-pointers. Saint Joseph's pulled within 68-63 on a layup from Idris Hilliard at 4:04 but Minnesota would build the lead back to 75-65 to put the game out of reach.
JONES-IN': Carl Jones has recorded double-figures in all nine games and owns a streak of 11 games dating back to last year. He has scored 20-plus points in four of the last five games, including a career-best 29 points vs. Minnesota. Jones leads the Hawks with his 18.8 scoring average, while ranking fifth in the A-10, and is the team's top free throw shooter, converting 82.1 percent.
CHARTING CARL: As the days are getting colder, Carl Jones continues to heat up. In the four games of December, he has converted 50 percent (33-for-66) from the field and 48 percent (12-for-25) from 3-point range, while averaging 23 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. Jones has bettered his career-high in points (18 at the start of the year) three times with the highest being the 29-point performance against #22 Minnesota.
WHAT WAS HE THINKING?: Over the past few weeks, Phil Martelli has been asked questions about his scheduling and the Hawk coach has answered in the way that only he can. For example, he said that one of his coaching friends called him "nuts". Counting tonight's game at Creighton, the Hawks have played five games in 11 days, with all but one at home. Included in that stretch has been two games against ranked teams - #12 Villanova and #22 Minnesota. SJU gets a much-needed rest after this game taking the traditional break for final exams and returning to action at Boston University on Dec. 21.
BACKCOURT BOOST: The backcourt of Carl Jones and Langston Galloway combined to score 50 of the Hawks' 73 points vs. Minnesota, while also totalling nine of the team's 13 assists and seven of the 10 steals. The duo made all nine of the team's 3-pointers and 14 of the 25 field goals.
THE WEATHER OUTSIDE IS FRIGHTFUL: Saint Joseph's is seeking its first win in the month of December. SJU was 3-2 in November.
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 3.2 per game ranks second in the Atlantic 10, and at the start of this week, was sixth in the nation.
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.
LANGSTON'S LINE: Freshman Langston Galloway has been putting up some solid all-around numbers for the Hawks. He recorded season bests of 21 points and seven steals vs. Minnesota, while making 4-of-9 from 3-point range. He currently ranks second on the team in scoring, but leads the team in rebounding (5.0), assists (3.0) and assist/turnover ratio (2.7), while also topping the A-10 in that category.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Hawks take a break for final exams and will resume play on Dec. 21 at Boston University, and then visit Holy Cross on Dec. 28.