Dec. 20, 2005
LEWISBURG, PA - Saint Joseph's begins a stretch of three challenging road games when it visits Bucknell on Wednesday, December 21 at Sojka Pavilion. Tip off is 7 p.m.
The game will not be televised, but all of the action can be heard on the Saint Joseph's Sports Network on WPEN Radio (SportsTalk 950 AM) with Tom McCarthy and Joe Lunardi calling the action. The SJSN broadcast can also be heard thru streaming audio on sjuhawks.com.
SJU is 4-2 and has not played since an 81-74 loss to Ohio State on December 10. Bucknell is currently 7-1 and coming off a 76-44 win over Haverford on Monday evening.
Following a short break for Christmas, the Hawks will make their fifth consecutive trip to the West Coast. SJU will visit Saint Mary's in Moraga, CA, on Dec. 28 and meet eighth-ranked Gonzaga on New Year's Eve in Spokane for a nationally-televised game (ESPN2).
Click here for streaming audio and live stats.
SAINT JOSEPH'S GAME NOTES:
Chet Stachitas leads the nation in 3-point field goal percentage (63.0). He's made 35 percent of the team's total of 48 3-pointers. He also ranks second in the A-10 in scoring (18.0).
The Hawks lead the A-10 in both free throw and 3-point field goal percentage.
In the 10 years under Phil Martelli, Saint Joseph's is 4-6 in the game right before Christmas. The Hawks' last win was a victory over California in the Pete Newell Challenge on Dec. 20, 2003 during "the Perfect Season".
The Hawks are at four wins much faster than last year - - in 2004-05 it took them until January 5 to earn the fourth victory.
PERSONAL BESTS: Abdulai Jalloh and Dwayne Lee had career games vs. Ohio State, but the Hawks still fell short. Jalloh scored 30 points, hitting 11 of 21 field goals. Lee had 20 points for the first time in his career as the duo combined for all but 24 of SJU's total points.
PRIME TIME PLAYER: Chet Stachitas put on a shooting clinic at Madison Square Garden, tying his career-high with 27 in the win over Kansas. He made 9-of-12 from the field, with 6-of-7 from 3-point range, including a crucial three at 4:16 to give the Hawks a 66-62 lead. The senior hit one free throw with 17 seconds remaining to give SJU a three-point cushion. His effort was reminiscent of last year's sharpshooter Pat Carroll, as Stachitas was constantly moving and using screens to get his shots, while hitting from all areas of the floor.
REVENGE FACTOR: The Hawks are at the third of three consecutive games against teams which handed them losses last season - Kansas, Ohio State and Bucknell. SJU already gained "revenge" on Kansas from a 40-point loss in November, 2004, defeating the Jayhawks in Tuesday's Jimmy V Classic. Ohio State earned its second straight against the Hawks, winning 81-74 on Dec. 10 in Philadelphia. Bucknell beat Saint Joseph's, 69-62, on Dec. 28, 2004, at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse.
AWAY FROM HOME: SJU has not played at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse since the season opener on November 18, and won't until January 4. But mixed in this eight-game stretch was two contests at Saint Joseph's "home away from home", the Palestra.
TOUGH GAME: Coach Phil Martelli calls this the "hardest game of the year to coach". Not just because it's against a strong Bucknell team, but it's the game which comes as final exams have ended. As the Hawks were leaving campus for the trip to Lewisburg, all of their school mates were leaving SJU for the Christmas break.
SURE SHOTS: Free throw shooting has been one of the team's strengths, while showing a marked improvement from last year. In 2004-05, SJU hovered around the 50 to 60 percent mark at the line. This season, the team is making a league-best 81.1% of its free throw attempts. The Hawks have four players ranked among the league's top 10, including conference leader Ahmad Nivins at 94.7 percent, and Chet Stachitas ranking third at 90.6.
ON TARGET: The Hawks are shooting the ball well from all spots on the floor. The team is hitting 46.7 percent from the field, 81.1 percent from the foul line and making 43.2 percent of its 3-point attempts, leading the A-10 in free throw and 3-point percentage. SJU ranks fourth in the nation in free throw percentage.
ON BOARD: The Hawks are rebounding "by committee" with no dominant player on the boards. In fact, guard Abdulai Jalloh is tied with Ahmad Nivins for the team lead with 5.3 per game. SJU holds the rebounding margin over its opponents, at +6.8.