Feb. 13, 2007
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's (14-10; 6-4 A-10) hosts George Washington (15-7; 6-4 in a critical Atlantic 10 battle on Wednesday evening, February 14 at 7 p.m. at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse. The Hawks and Colonials are tied for fourth place in the conference standings, but are each only a game and a half out of first place.
The game will not be televised or on commercial radio, but video streaming will be available free of charge. Both audio and video streaming can be accessed on www.sjuhawks.com. (Due to personnel issues with the weather, CCI Video will not be able to provide the 3-camera feed as originally announced).
GAME NOTES: Pat Calathes has made 35 consecutive free throws, which is two shy of the school record of 37 by Delonte West in 2003-04. Calathes' last miss came in the Rhode Island game, when he went an uncharacteristic 0-for-3, and he's now shooting 85.1 percent on the season. The Hawks are closing out the six-game stretch of games in Philadelphia. The only game not at the Fieldhouse or Palestra was the visit to Villanova on Feb. 6. SJU is currently 3-2 during this stretch. Ahmad Nivins ranks second in the Atlantic 10 in field goal percentage, and 15th in the nation, with his percentage of 62.5. This is only the third time under Phil Martelli that the Hawks have played on Valentine's Day, but SJU has played two consecutive years. The Hawks lost to Temple last season at the Liacouras Center and defeated Rhode Island at home in 2004. On this day last year, the Hawks were 10-11 overall, and 4-16 in the A-10. SJU lost to Temple, but would then its last five regular-season games and three straight in the conference tournament.
DOWN THE HOMESTRETCH: This is the time of year when Phil Martelli's teams are generally at their best, exemplified by some strong runs into the postseason. In fact, counting the last six games of the regular season in the past four years, Martelli's teams are a combined 20-4. In both 2005-06 and 2004-05, the squads won five of the last six regular-season contests. In 2003-04, they were unbeaten, and in 2002-03, the Hawks went 4-2. Last year, Saint Joseph's was 10-11 and despite losing at Temple on Feb. 14, won five in a row to enter the A-10 Tournament with a 15-12 record. SJU increased its winning streak to eight consecutive to reach the conference championship game.
MAKING HIS START: Darrin Govens made the first start of his career, replacing Jawan Carter. Govens responded with 15 points on 5-for-10 shooting in 28 minutes and will get his second consecutive start tonight.
BACK TO DEFENDING: The Hawks' defense was back, at least in the first half, versus La Salle. SJU limited the Explorers to 29.6% shooting and just 19 points in the first half. The second half was much different as La Salle converted 52.4 percent of its shots, but the Hawks weren't threatened, holding onto close to a 20-point lead for most of that period.
AGAINST THE COLONIALS: Saint Joseph's had one of its best starts of the season on Jan. 24 at the Smith Center, but couldn't hold on in the last six minutes to fall to GW, 74-65. The Hawks hit their first six shots and started the game with a 15-2 run. In the second half, the game was tied seven times but the Hawks did not relinquish the lead until 3:20 to play. SJU went without a field goal in the final 6:56 and committed four crucial turnovers during that span, while allowing GW to end with an 18-3 run.
HE'S BACK: Arvydas Lidzius made his return to the lineup after missing seven games with a fracture over his left eye (frontal bone). He played 12 minutes against La Salle and needs to wear a protective mask.
INJURY REPORT: Walk-on Marcus Mitchell is sidelined for at least three weeks with a dislocated elbow suffered on Feb. 5.
HOME COOKING: The Hawks are closing out a six-game stretch in which they did not leave the Philadelphia area. It started on Jan. 27 at the Hawks' "home away from home", the Palestra. This stretch included three games at the Fieldhouse, two at the Palestra and one just seven miles away at Villanova. SJU goes on the road again for the first time in three weeks on Saturday to St. Bonaventure. That starts a stretch of three of the last five games to be played on the road.