March 1, 2008
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's (17-9; 8-5) will host Temple (15-12; 8-5) in a key Atlantic 10 matchup on Sunday evening at the Palestra at 7 p.m. Entering the game, both teams are tied for second place in the league.
The game will be telecast locally on Comcast SportsNet with Tom McCarthy and John Griffin calling the action. The Saint Joseph's Sports Network team of Ken Krsolovic 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. Hawks' All-Access subscribers can view the game free of charge on www.sjuhawks.com, while others can purchase the pay-per-view for $9.95.
GAME NOTES: Tonight's game counts in the Big 5 standing, as well as the Atlantic 10's. The Hawks are currently 2-1 in the Big 5 and seeking a share of the title. SJU has not won or shared a Big 5 title since 2003-04. Pat Calathes was the hero in the last meeting between these two teams, hitting a 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds to go to give the Hawks the 68-67 win. The Hawks are seeking their 18th win of the season - it would mark the eighth straight year that SJU has achieved that number. Last year, the Hawks finished at 18-14. Pat Calathes tops the Hawks in scoring (18.0 ppg) and rebounding (7.7) and is second in assists (2.8). He ranks sixth in the A-10 in scoring and ebounding, and is fifth in the league in scoring in conference games (18.4 ppg). Saint Joseph's ranks sixth in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage (40.9) and 13th in field goal percentage (48.5) (as of Feb. 24). The Hawks are in the midst of a stretch of three straight home games before closing out the regular season at Dayton on March 8. SJU is 55th in the RPI (kenpom.com) for Feb. 29.
OFFENSIVE SHUTDOWN: The Hawks' offense, which had put up some big numbers, was stonewalled by Saint Louis in the 64-55 loss. Entering the game, SJU was averaging 89.5 points and shooting over 60 percent from the field in its previous two games. Saint Louis, which was holding its foes to a conference-low 60.6 points per game, did just that, limiting the Hawks to a season-low total in points and just 38.6 percent shooting.
MORE ON THE SHUTDOWN: Saint Louis also shut down Pat Calathes, ending his double-figure scoring streak at 22 games. The senior had his worst shooting game of the year (3-for-16; 0-for-6 from 3-pt. range) and finished with six points. It was only the second time this year that the senior did not register double figures.
HIGH-SCORING HAWKS: Throwing the Saint Louis loss out of the mix, the Hawks have scored over 80 points nine times this year and reached the 90-point mark twice.
NOT ON BOARD: The Hawks were outrebounded by Saint Louis, 41-28, for the largest negative margin all year. It was also the third consecutive game in which the Hawks were beaten on the boards.
WHICH COURT IS HOME?: SJU seems to be getting ready for next year when it will play of all its home games in the Palestra, due to the renovation/expansion project of Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse. The Hawks have struggled in the Fieldhouse this season, going 5-3, while posting a 4-1 record at the Palestra. They've also posted a 7-5 road record. The stats show a marked difference as well, and are as follows: Fieldhouse Palestra Road Scoring Avg. 71.6 79.2 75.4 Opp. Scoring Avg. 64.9 61.0 70.7 FG Pct. .436 .530 .488 Opp. FG Pct. .411 .392 .449 3-pt. Pct. .369 .471 .408 Opp. 3-pt. FG Pct. .353 .321 .360
CAMPAIGNING FOR PAT: Pat Calathes has put himself in the conversation for Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. The senior is doing it all for the Hawks this year, topping the team with career-best numbers in scoring (18.0) and rebounding (7.7), He ranks sixth in the conference in scoring and rebounding, while ranking fifth in the A-10 in scoring in league games with his 19.4 average. He has led the Hawks in scoring in 15 games and in rebounding 17 times, while posting seven double-doubles and tallying 20 or more points 11 times this year. Calathes has been the Player of the Week in the A-10 three times this season and in the Big 5 four times.
FERGUSON'S FIRST: Rob Ferguson had his first career double-double vs. Saint Louis with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
ALESTRA 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 321-150 record (.681) at The Palestra, with more wins than the program's victory total at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse (318).
CITY RIVALRY: Saint Joseph's is 2-1 in the Big 5 thus far this year. For the past two seasons, the Hawks have gone 3-1 in the Big 5, with the lone loss each year coming to Villanova. 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).
KEY TO THE CITY: SJU owns a 29-8 record against city teams over the last six seasons (counting this year). This mark counts all games against Philadelphia teams (Drexel included). The Hawks have defeated Drexel, Penn and Villanova and have lost to La Salle this season.
LOOKING AHEAD: SJU ends its three-game homestand on Thursday, March 6 vs. league-leading Xavier. It marks the final regular-season game in Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse before the expansion and renovation project begins following this season. The Hawks close out the regular season on Saturday, March 8 at Dayton.