Jan. 5, 2010
PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's men's basketball team will tip off the Atlantic 10 Conference play on Wednesday, January 9, when it visits #21/25 Temple. Game time at the Liacouras Center is 7 p.m. The Hawks are currently 4-8 while Temple is 11-3.
Tickets are still available for the game by calling the SJU Ticket Office at 610-660-1712.
The contest will be televised in Philadelphia on The Comcast Network (formerly CN8), with Tom McCarthy and Steve Lappas calling the action. It will also be seen on Time Warner New York City and Charter St. Louis.
The game can also be heard on WNTP Radio (990 AM) with Matt Martucci and Joe Lunardi calling the action. Audio streaming will be available free of charge on SJUHawks.com, via Stretch Internet.
GAME NOTES: Saint Joseph's is 12-2 in Atlantic 10 openers under Phil Martelli. The Hawks have won the last three in a row. This game does not count in the Big 5 standings - the February 20th game at The Palestra is this year's City Series game. Saint Joseph's last win over a ranked team came on March 14, 2008 against #12 Xavier. The last time SJU played Temple when it was ranked was February 29, 2000, as the Hawks scored a 62-59 win over the #5 Owls at The Palestra. SJU has lost two in a row and eight of its last nine. In the decade that just came to a close, the Hawks amassed a 201-103 record (counting this season to date) and made seven post-season appearances. Phil Martelli is in his 15th season as head coach and his 25th at the University. Martelli served as an assistant coach for 10 years on the staffs of Jim Boyle and John Griffin. He is the A-10's active leader in conference wins with 141. Saint Joseph's is celebrating the Centennial of SJU Basketball this year, as the inaugural season took place in 1909-10.
SERIES NOTES: The Hawks have lost five in a row against the Owls beginning with a March 2, 2008 defeat... Prior to that, SJU had won five straight vs. Temple... Saint Joseph's last win against Temple came on January, 26, 2008, when a Pat Calathes 3-pointer lifted the Hawks, 68-67... The teams have met three times in each of the past four seasons - the series is deadlocked 6-6 during that time... SJU and Temple last played in the 2009 A-10 Quarterfinals.
LAST TIME OUT: Princeton held off a late Saint Joseph's rally to defeat the Hawks, 70-62, at Hagan Arena. Trailing 34-25 at halftime, freshman Carl Jones tried to bring the Hawks back into the contest. He keyed a 12-4 Saint Joseph's run by scoring eight points, grabbing three rebounds and handing out one assist, to bring the Hawks to within 41-37 at 15:53. The Hawks cut the deficit to two points twice, but trailing 43-41, Princeton would bump it back up to 46-41 at 9:57. After a layup by Idris Hilliard pulled the Hawks to within 50-47, Princeton used an 8-1 spurt to build its lead back up to 58-48. After just hitting one 3-point field goal almost the entire game, the Hawks got two in a span of 30 seconds. Darrin Govens connected on a three and a hit a free throw to pull SJU within 61-53 at :52. Jones followed with a conventional 3-point play to cut it to 61-57 at :40 and Bryant Irwin hit a 3-pointer at :24. The Hawks then began fouling and couldn't overcome the difference as Princeton went 9-for-10 from the line in the final 40 seconds. Jones finished with 17 points while Govens was the only other Hawk in double figures with 13 points. Princeton led from the start, jumping out to a 12-4 lead from the outset, and hit 6-of-12 3-pointers in the first half to maintain the edge. The Tigers led by as many as 13 points and held a 34-25 advantage at halftime, while Saint Joseph's went just 1-for-9 from beyond the arc and 9-for-25 from the field.
FAMILIAR FOES: There probably aren't many teams in the country as familiar with each other as Saint Joseph's and Temple. The two rivals have met three times in each of the past four seasons, splitting those 12 meetings. SJU had a five-game winning streak beginning in March 2006, but the Owls have turned the tide and are in the midst of their own five-game winning streak. From January 2003 to January 2008, Saint Joseph's had won 12 of 13 games.
HAWKS VS. THE POLLS: Saint Joseph's last victories over a Top 25 team came in 2007-08 when it defeated Xavier twice in a span of two weeks. The Hawks topped #8 Xavier, 71-66, on March 6, 2008, in the final game at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse, and then beat the 12th-ranked Musketeers on March 14 in the A-10 Semifinals. Thus far this season, the Hawks have lost to #7 Purdue and #3 Villanova.
KEY TO THE CITY: Saint Joseph's owns a 26-17 record against Philadelphia teams over the last seven seasons, counting this one. The Hawks struggled against their city foes last year, going 1-6. SJU is 1-1 this year defeating Drexel in the season opener and inaugural game in Hagan Arena and losing to Villanova on Dec. 9.
DOWN TO THE WIRE: The SJU-Temple series has produced some close games in the last few years. On Feb. 12, 2009, the Owls captured a 61-59 win at The Palestra despite leading by 10 points with :54 to play. SJU was successful in sending TU to the foul line as the Owls missed eight free throws in that final stretch. In 2007-08, the Hawks and Owls split the regular-season series with two thrillers. SJU won the first one at Temple (1/26/08), 68-67, on Pat Calathes' 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds to play. Temple came out ahead in the second game at The Palestra (3/2/08), 57-56, on Mark Tyndale's layup with :21 to play. Temple then won the third meeting, defeating the Hawks, 69-64, in the 2008 Atlantic 10 Championship game.
SHAKING IT UP: Phil Martelli changed things up at Siena by starting Carl Baptiste in place of Todd O'Brien. Baptiste, who had a career-high 13 points in the previous game, had a short-lived appearance as he was quickly whistled for two fouls. O'Brien ended up playing 14 minutes in the first half and grabbed nine rebounds en route to a career-high 11 boards in the game. There have been two other starting lineup changes this year, but they were for non-competitive reasons. Baptiste made his second straight start vs. Princeton and played five minutes.
DECADE OF EXCELLENCE: The past decade was one of the most successful in Saint Joseph's history. The Hawks amassed a 201-103 record (counting a 4-7 mark at the beginning of this year) and made seven post-season appearances (4 NCAA, 3 NIT). Included in that list of accomplishments is the Hawks' run to the 2004 Elite Eight, a trip to the NCAA Second Round in 2001, and runner-up status in the 2005 NIT.
EVERYBODY INTO THE ACT: More Hawks are seeing action this year than last, with nine players averaging at least 10 minutes per game or more.
EVERYBODY INTO THE ACT, PART II: As a result of more Hawks seeing significant action this season (nine averaging at least 10 minutes), more players have reached double figures than in any other season under Phil Martelli. A total of nine players have scored in double figures at least once this year. The previous high was eight players in five different campaigns in Martelli's 15 seasons.
NOT ON BOARD: Rebounding is one of the biggest deficiencies for the Hawks as they have been outrebounded in all but one contest. SJU's rebounding margin of -8.4 ranks last in the Atlantic 10, while the Hawks also rank last in defensive rebounding. JUST ONE CHANCE: The Hawks have been outscored this season in second chance points, 189-95.
BENCH MARKS: Phil Martelli has been using 10 players in the rotation and the majority have gotten into the scoring columns in most games. SJU has definitely gotten more points from its bench this year than last season. The bench scoring has accounted for 42 percent of the Hawks' scoring - last year it was at just 11 percent. In fact, Saint Joseph's bench has outscored its opponents by a 307-264 margin. Carl Jones is the top scorer off the bench averaging 10.7 ppg.
THIS DATE IN HAWK HISTORY: January 6, 2001 - The Hawks routed Rhode Island, 82-67, at home in a season which saw them post a 14-2 conference mark, a 26-7 overall record and make an appearance in the NCAA Second Round.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Hawks host Fordham on January 9 before going on the road for consecutive games at Rhode Island and St. Bonaventure.