Jan. 29, 2010
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's (8-12; 2-4 A-10) will look to get on the winning track when it travels to Duquesne (10-10; 1-5) for an Atlantic 10 contest on Sunday, January 31. Game time is 4 p.m. at the A.J. Palumbo Center.
The game is a CBS College Sports Regional broadcast and will be televised in Philadelphia on The Comcast Network, with the broadcast team of Jason Knapp and John Griffin. It will also be carried by Comcast Sports South, Cox Rhode Island and the Comcast Network Mid-Atlantic and can be seen on a pay-per-view basis on SJUHawks.com for a one-time charge of $7.95. The game can 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: The Hawks had their three-game winning streak come to an end with the loss to UMass on Wednesday night. SJU is finishing a stretch of four games in eight days, which included three in five. The Hawks are seeking their first road win outside of Philadelphia. Today marks the annual Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Awareness Weekend. Saint Joseph's coaches will wear sneakers instead of dress shoes with their suits during weekend games to demonstrate their support for the American Cancer Society and its vision of a world without cancer. Nike has donated a special pair of sneakers for the coaches to wear for this game. (more on page 4) In the decade that just ended, 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 142. Saint Joseph's is celebrating the Centennial of SJU Basketball this year, as the inaugural season took place in 1909-10.
LAST TIME OUT: Massachusetts outlasted Saint Joseph's, 87-80, to snap the Hawks' three-game winning streak. The loss ruined a solid all-around effort by SJU's Garrett Williamson, who had 16 points and tied his career-high with 10 assists, while recording three blocks and six steals. Idris Hilliard had 14 points, Todd O'Brien had 12 points and three blocks, and Carl Jones scored 11. The game saw seven lead changes, five ties and a number of lengthy runs. Massachusetts took the lead for good with 12:33 to play, as Freddie Riley hit consecutive 3-pointers to give the visitors a 62-56 lead. UMass would end the 15-4 run owning a 69-58 lead with 9:17 to play. Saint Joseph's fought back and came within 71-67 on a jumper by Bryant Irwin, but UMass built its lead back up to 75-67 with 3:23 to go. UMass would convert 10-of-13 from the foul line in the final three minutes to keep the game out of reach.The Hawks jumped out at the start of the game, going up 20-14 at the midway mark. Massachusetts would turn that around with a 16-2 run, and eventually led, 35-23, with 4:05. Saint Joseph's closed out the half with a 14-4 run as Williamson had a hand in every point. He scored six points and assisted on 3-pointers by Justin Crosgile and Jones, and a jumper by O'Brien. Both teams shot over 45 percent from the field in the game, but the Hawks were just 12-for-20 from the foul line.
MR. EVERYTHING: The Hawks have needed Garrett Williamson to be more of a scorer this year and he's done that, while also bringing all of the intangibles every game. The senior has quietly tallied double figures in all but five games this season, is averaging 11.6 ppg and has scored 231 points, which is the highest single-season total for his career. Williamson has also continued to do all the little things on the court to help the cause. Against Towson he had four assists and three blocks while playing 40 minutes for the first time this year. He had the game-saving block on a driving layup attempt with :04 to play to preserve the Hawks' win over Dayton. Against UMass, he had an impressive stat line - 16 points, 10 assists (tied career-high), 3 blocks, 6 steals (career-high), for the third double-double of his career.
MORE ON GARRETT: Phil Martelli had high praise for Garrett Williamson after the Dayton win, saying, "Garrett is a winner. Unfortunately it doesn't bear out this year with our record, but Garrett Williamson plays winning basketball. It's the reason he has the most minutes, it's the reason his teammates voted him captain. I actually compared him the other day to Dmitri Domani on the A-10 championship team in 1997. Dimitri just did everything that was necessary and that's what Garrett does," said Martelli.
COACHING FOR THE CAUSE: Phil Martelli and his coaching staff will be wearing sneakers today for the annual Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Awareness Weekend. Coaches nationwide will wear sneakers instead of dress shoes with their suits during weekend games to demonstrate their support for the American Cancer Society and its vision of a world without cancer. Martelli is very active for the cause. He is a member of the Coaches vs. Cancer Council and serves as the co-chair of Philadelphia Coaches vs. Cancer, which has become one of the most successful fundraising groups in the country. The Philadelphia group sponsors a number of events during the year, including a golf outing, the March Madness Tip-Off Breakfast, the "BasketBall" black-tie gala, and the "Beach Ball" cocktail party.
HANDOUTS: One positive for the Hawks is that in each fo the past two games, they have handed out a season-high 21 assists. Garrett Williamson led the way with 10 against UMass and now leads the A-10 in assists in conference games with 5.1. SJU has limited the turnovers as well, with just 10 in each of those two games. On the year, the Hawks have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.0, which ranks fifth in the A-10.
BIG WIN: The Hawks notched their biggest win of the season with the victory over a previously 14-4 Dayton team at Hagan Arena on Jan. 23 to improve to 2-3 in the conference. SJU has a tough road ahead in the A-10 with games still remaining against the top five teams.
STREAKS: The Hawks' three-game winning streak, which ended against UMass, was tied as their longest of the year, matching the three-game streak at the start of the season.
ROAD BLOCKS: The Hawks notched their first win on the road by beating Penn, although it was in the building (Palestra) that is their "home away from home. SJU is still looking for its first win outside of Philadelphia. SJU is 1-7 on the road, and is 6-3 in Hagan Arena.
IN THE LEAGUE: The Hawks' 2-4 conference start matches that of the 2005-06 squad, which ended the year with a 9-7 league record.
REJECTED: Garrett Williamson shows his defensive intensity and athleticism every game, but lately he's been accumulating a number of blocked shots. In fact, the 6-5 guard leads the team in blocked shots with 23. He's had a total of seven in the past four games, and hit his career-high high twice with three blocks in versus both Towson and UMass. He also had the game-saving rejection with four seconds left in the win over Dayton.
STEALING AWAY: The Hawks have registered 47 steals in the past four games, with a high of 12 against Penn. Garrett Williamson is tied for first in the A-10 for steals in conference games (2.1), Darrin Govens is tied for third (2.0), and SJU is tied for first in that category with 8.1.
HE'S BACK: Carl Jones had the hot hand against Penn, shooting 5-for-8 in the second half while converting all four of his 3-point attempts. The freshman finished with 16 points, which was his highest point total since January 2 (17 points). He followed that with 11 points vs. UMass, making 3-of-4 3-pointers. In the six games previous to Penn, Jones was shooting 25.7 percent from the field and 21.1 percent from beyond the arc, averaging just 6.7 points per game.
LOOKING AHEAD: Saint Joseph's returns home on Wednesday to host Richmond in the first of three consecutive games at Hagan Arena.