Dec. 27, 2007
ALBANY, NY - The Saint Joseph's men's basketball team (5-4) returns to action after the holiday, traveling to Siena (6-3) on December 28. Game time at the Times Union Center is 7 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.
GAME NOTES: Saint Joseph's has been off since the December 21st win at Fairfield, which snapped a two-game winning streak. Pat Calathes tops the Hawks in scoring (17.4 ppg) and ranks second in rebounding (6.4) and assists (2.6). Saint Joseph's and Siena have met only twice before. This is the first meeting since 1985. Tasheed Carr leads the Atlantic 10 in assists with 6.78 per game and ranks ninth in the latest NCAA statistics.
LENGTHY BREAKS: Saint Joseph's has had a week break since its last game at Fairfield on Dec. 21 due to Christmas. The Hawks close out 2007 on New Year's Eve against Drexel and then have some more time before opening the conference season on January 9 at UMass. SJU had a long hiatus earlier this year because of the Preseason NIT. After defeating Boston University on Nov. 17, the Hawks played their next game on Nov. 27 and defeated Ball State. They also had an 11-day hiatus between the Dec. 9 game at Creighton and the Dec. 21 game at Fairfield.
NEW YORK STATE OF MIND: The Hawks have compiled a 5-4 record in games played in the state of New York over the past five years, but there have been some heartbreaking losses. Earlier this year, the Hawks lost in the final seconds at Syracuse in the Preseason NIT. In 2006-07, SJU lost again in the last seconds to Hofstra in the Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden, and suffered an overtime loss at Fordham. Against teams from the state of New York, SJU is 7-3 over the past five years.
BOUNCING BACK: Ahmad Nivins bounced back from a 2-point performance at Creighton (Dec. 9) with 15 points in the win at Fairfield. Nivins made 7-of-8 shots from the field - a marked difference from the Creighton game in which he didn't have a field goal attempt.
TAKING OVER: Tasheed Carr did what leaders do as he scored 10 key points in the final seven minutes at Fairfield. The Hawks lost their 17 point lead and saw Fairfield close to within seven points. Carr took over, hitting three field goal attempts and 3-of-5 free throws in that stretch. The junior, who joined the Hawks this year after transferring from Iowa State, was elected co-captain by his teammates before even playing in a game for SJU. Carr has always felt certain of his role, as he has the words "born leader" tatooed on his wrists.
UNSUNG HERO: Garrett Williamson wasn't the high scorer in the Fairfield win, but he was the difference maker according to Phil Martelli. "Garrett was the player of the game for us. He made every one of those small plays - like a steal or offensive rebound - that you need to win a game like this." Williamson had seven points, two rebounds and three steals in 20 minutes of action. One of the key plays came with 1:36 to play and the Hawks holding a seven-point lead. Williamson made a diving backcourt steal and set up a 3-pointer by Rob Ferguson that gave the Hawks a 10-point lead.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Hawks return to Philadelphia to take on Drexel at the Palestra on New Year's Eve at 6 p.m. Then SJU gets another break before starting the conference season on January 9 at UMass.