March 9, 2006
CINCINNATI, OH - Saint Joseph's will take on Saint Louis in the Atlantic 10 Quarterfinals today at 2 p.m. at U.S. Bank Arena. The Hawks (16-12) bring a six-game winning streak into the contest, which will be televised in Philadelphia on Comcast SportsNet.
The game will be broadcast on the A-10 TV Network and can be seen on other regional outlets.
The Saint Joseph's Sports Network will also carry the game on SportsTalk 950 (WPEN-AM) with Tom McCarthy and Joe Lunardi calling the action.
Click here for streaming audio and live stats.
SAINT JOSEPH'S NOTES: SJU's six-game winning streak is the longest of the season and the longest since the 2003-04 regular season, when the Hawks went 27-0. Last year's team put together a five-game streak during the NIT, winning five games to reach the NIT Finals.
Against Dayton, Chet Stachitas played his 125th game in a Hawk uniform, tying Jameer Nelson's record and he can break that record today. Dwayne Lee is one game behind as he will play his 125th today.
SJU is seeking a berth in the semifinals for the second consecutive year.
The Hawks lead the nation in free throw percentage (79.3).
SJU has assured itself of its sixth consecutive winning season and the eighth in Phil Martelli's 11 years.
SERIES VS. SAINT LOUIS: The teams met for the first time in St. Louis earlier this year, with the Hawks scoring a 54-39 win. In that game, the Hawks hit their first seven shots and rolled to a 34-19 halftime lead, and then opened the second half with a 10-0 run to increase it to 44-19. SJU slowed down from there, finishing that half with just 20 points, while committing 16 turnovers in the game. But the Hawks frustrated SLU into shooting just 28.6% in the game and going on a 12-minute scoring drought for the Billikens' lowest scoring game since 1999-00. Abdulai Jalloh and Dwayne Lee had 12 points apiece while Chet Stachitas added 11. The Hawks also held a 32-21 edge in rebounding, led by eight from Ahmad Nivins.
EARLY ARRIVAL: The game with Dayton was the first time the Hawks had played on the first day of the A-10 Tournament since 2000. SJU had a five-year run of earning the first-round bye, including a two-year streak of being the top seed in the tournament.
LAST TIME IN THE QUARTERS: Saint Joseph's won last year's A-10 Quarterfinal matchup with Richmond as Dave Mallon notched a career-high 17 points. In 2004, SJU lost a quarterfinal game to Xavier, which ended their 27-game winning streak. The Hawks were also the nation's top-ranked team at that time.
OFFENSIVE NUMBERS: The Hawks did struggle offensively against Dayton, hitting just eight field goals in the second half. But the nation's best free throw shooting team used that to its advantage, going 22-for-28 from the line, with a 19-for-24 effort in the second half.
NO REST FOR THE WEARY: The Hawks expended a great deal of energy in holding off Dayton and since they use mainly a seven-player rotation, that could come into play if they continue to advance. Point guard Dwayne Lee played 36 minutes in the game, while Chet Stachitas and Rob Ferguson saw 34 minutes of action. Lee is averaging 37.1 minutes on the season.
GETTING IT DONE: Rob Ferguson goes about his business quietly and had a quiet 16 points against Dayton. He had 10 in the first half as the Hawks built a 31-24 halftime lead. He also grabbed seven rebounds and tied his career-high with four assists. Ferguson went to the foul line a career-high six times, and made all six of them.
DAVE'S DEFENSE: The Hawks will be looking for another strong defensive effort from senior Dave Mallon again today, as in the first meeting with the Billikens. In that game, Mallon held SLU's Ian Vouyoukas to five points,with just one field goal. Vouyoukas only took one shot and that came with three mintues left in the game.
HOT AND COLD: SJU started out strong from behind the arc against Dayton, going 6-for-11 in 3-point attempts in the first half, including a string of five in a row. The Hawks cooled off considerably in the second half, making just 1-of-7. The long-range shooting has again become a key weapon for the Hawks as they're hitting 43.5 percent of their 3-pointers during this current winning streak.
SEEKING THE SEMIS: The Hawks will be looking to attain their fifth berth in the A-10 semifinals under Phil Martelli and the 11th overall.