Jan. 26, 2007
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's will look to improve on its Big 5 record (1-0) when it takes on Penn at the Palestra on Saturday evening, Jan. 27. The game is sold out.
The game will not be televised but will be broadcast on WNTP (990 AM) with Scott Graham and Joe Lunardi.
The Hawks are coming off a 74-65 loss at George Washington last Wednesday and are currently 11-8 on the year. Penn is 11-6 and 1-1 in the Big 5 after a 76-74 win over Temple.
Fans can obtain a video streaming of the game via Penn Athletics. Click here for the link. It will be free, but requires users to set up an account.
GAME NOTES: Because of the yearly rotation in Big 5 play, Saint Joseph's is the `home' team for this game. With a win tonight, Phil Martelli would tie Hall of Famer Jack Ramsay on SJU's list for coaching victories. Ramsay totaled 234 in 11 years (234-72 from 1955 to 66) while Martelli's 12-year mark stands at 233-133. This game begins a stretch of six consecutive games in Philadelphia for the Hawks. The only game not at the Fieldhouse or Palestra is the visit to Villanova on Feb. 6. The Hawks began the Big 5 slate with an 80-67 win over Temple on Jan. 10. SJU faces Villanova on Feb. 6 and La Salle on Feb. 10. Pat Calathes leads the Atlantic 10 in 3-point percentage in conference games only, hitting 62.1 percent (18-for-29). In the past three games, the junior is averaging 17.7 points, while shooting 58.3% from 3-point range and 47% from the field. He has made his last 14 free throws. Ahmad Nivins is averaging 19.1 points in conference games, while converting 61.4 percent of his field-goal attempts. The Hawks rank second in the Atlantic 10 in scoring defense, limiting the opponents to 63.3 points per game.
TUR-NO-VERS: As Phil Martelli has said repeatedly, the Hawks can give themselves a chance if they limit the turnovers. The win over Xavier was a perfect example as SJU had only nine in the game. Even more impressively, the Hawks only had three turnovers in the second half, and were without any in the final 15 minutes of the game. That's a season-low, tying the effort against Duquesne. On the flip side, turnovers cost them the game at GW, as SJU committed 20 in the game, including four critical ones in the last six minutes. In conference games, the Hawks are averaging 12.8 per game - in their non-conference slate, SJU had 16.6 turnovers per game.
COLD SPELL: After starting the game with a 15-2 run and hitting its first six shots, the Hawks held the lead at GW until the 3:42 mark. SJU went without a field goal in the final 6:56 and committed four crucial turnovers during that span, while allowing GW to go on an 18-3 run.
TWO AGAINST FIVE: A rare occurence happened in the first half at Fordham as Ahmad Nivins and Pat Calathes accounted for all of the Hawks' 21 points, with Nivins notching 12 and Calathes tallying nine. Jawan Carter became the first Hawk other than the duo to reach the scoring column when he hit a 3-pointer at 18:19 of the second half. One telling statistic for the first half was that third leading scorer Rob Ferguson did not have a shot, as he was saddled with three early fouls.
3-POINTS THE HARD WAY: In the seven conference games combined, Ahmad Nivins has converted a total of 12 3-point plays. The Hawks' leading scorer is taking advantage of his free throw shooting, as he is hitting 79.4 percent from the line in league games.
CITY RIVALRY: Saint Joseph's is 1-0 in the Big 5 after the win over Temple on Jan. 10. Last season, SJU went 3-1 in the Big 5, suffering its lone loss to Villanova in the game that decided the outright title. SJU has won a total of 19 Big 5 titles (9 outright/10 shared), which is second all-time to Temple's 22 titles (5 outright/17 shared). A loss to Penn on Jan. 25, 2005 snapped a 10-game Big 5 winning streak for the Hawks.
KEY TO THE CITY: SJU owns a 20-5 record against city teams over the last five seasons (counting this year). This mark counts all games against Philadelphia teams (Drexel included). The Hawks were defeated by Drexel in December of this year, but beat Temple in January.
PALESTRA PLAY: With the formation of the Philadelphia Big 5 in 1955, SJU began utilizing The Palestra as a home venue. Since that year, the Hawks have played at least one home game in the historic arena every season. SJU has compiled a 314-149 record (.678) at The Palestra, with more wins than the program's victory total at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse (311). The Hawks are playing at the famed building four times this year, having lost to Drexel on Dec. 2. Still to come are games with La Salle (Feb. 10) and Temple (Feb. 22).