Jan. 8, 2010
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's (4-9; 0-1) will look to get back on the winning track when it hosts Fordham (2-11; 0-1) on Saturday in the first-ever Atlantic 10 Conference game at Hagan Arena. Game time is 4 p.m., and it will be preceded by the SJU women's basketball game with Fordham beginning at 1 p.m.
The game will be televised regionally by Comcast SportsNet with Jason Knapp and John Griffin calling the action. It can also be seen on The Comcast Network in Massachusetts, Time Warner in New York City and Fios New York. 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: This marks the conference home opener for Saint Joseph's. Under Phil Martelli, the Hawks own a 10-4 record in the first A-10 home game of the year. Today also marks the first Atlantic 10 Conference game in Hagan Arena. Today's matchup between Saint Joseph's and Fordham is part of the nationwide Jesuit Basketball Spotlight project. The Hawks are currently 2-0 against fellow Jesuit schools, with wins over Holy Cross and Boston College. Fordham is 0-1, having lost to Fairfield. SJU has lost three in a row and nine of its last 10. 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 141. Saint Joseph's is celebrating the Centennial of SJU Basketball this year, as the inaugural season took place in 1909-10.
LAST TIME OUT: Lavoy Allen had 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead #21 Temple to a 73-46 win over Saint Joseph's in the Atlantic 10 opener for both teams at the Liacouras Center. It marked Temple's sixth consecutive win over the Hawks. Saint Joseph's, which scored a season-low 22 points in the second half, did not have any players reach double figures. Chris Prescott and Carl Jones each had a team-high eight points. Justin Crosgile, who made the first start of his career, had seven points, as did Garrett Williamson. The Hawks spotted the Owls a 7-0 lead but fought back to tie it, 11-11, at the 14-minute mark. Then Temple went on a 9-0 run to take a 20-11 lead and eventually take a 34-24 edge at halftime. Temple earned its double-digit lead early in the second half, running off six straight points to go up 40-27 in the first three minutes. SJU could get no closer than 12 points the rest of the way, while the Owls' final margin was the largest lead of the game. Williamson limited Temple's second leading scorer Juan Fernandez to an 0-for-10 shooting night and a scoreless effort. SJU, which has struggled all season on the boards, was outrebounded by its biggest margin of the year, 49-25. The Hawks shot just 28 percent in the second half, while Temple converted close to 44 percent.
THE STOPPER: Garrett Williamson played the role of the stopper against Temple as he held the Owls' second leading scorer, Juan Fernandez, to a scoreless night and an 0-for-10 shooting effort. Heading into the game, Fernandez was scoring 14.1 ppg.
SHAKING IT UP: Phil Martelli has changed the starting lineup twice in an effort to change the Hawks' results. He started Carl Baptiste in place of Todd O'Brien against both Siena and Princeton. At Siena, Baptiste had a short-lived appearance as he was quickly whistled for two fouls and played just four minutes. Against Princeton, the freshman saw only five minutes of action. At Temple, Justin Crosgile got his chance, starting in place of Chris Prescott for his first career start. He had seven points in the game with one assist and one turnover.
LIGHTING A FIRE: Todd O'Brien was pulled out of the starting lineup at Siena, but responded with a career-high 11 rebounds in 21 minutes of action. O'Brien didn't start against Princeton but returned to the lineup at Temple and had a team-high seven rebounds.
BY THE NUMBERS: Phil Martelli says it's a "game of numbers" and in the nine losses there are a few telling stats. In those defeats, the Hawks are shooting just 31.4% from 3-point range and are being outrebounded by 9.0 boards. SJU is also averaging 14.4 turnovers in those games, while the opponents are shooting 46.5 percent from the field and 36.9 percent from 3-point range.
WITHOUT A DOUBLE: The Hawks didn't have any scorers reach double figures at Temple. The last time that happened was February 6, 2007, in a 56-39 loss to Villanova.
JUST-IN TIME: Justin Crosgile made the first start of his career at Temple, and responded with seven points. Crosgile got a late start to the season, missing the first six games after recovering from surgery (Oct. 9) on a torn ligament in his left thumb. He made his debut at Rider on Nov. 30 and scored a season-high 12 points on 4-for-9 shooting. He matched his season-high with 12 points against Villanova, going 4-for-5 from the foul line.
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.
JUST ONE CHANCE: The Hawks have been outscored this season in second chance points, 210-99.
LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL: Although the 4-9 record through the first 13 games is the worst under Phil Martelli, the Hawks were actually 5-8 at this time last season. SJU then turned things around to finish with a 17-15 record. That 2008-09 squad won seven in a row in the early part of January.
BETTER EFFORT: Phil Martelli attributed the Princeton loss to a sense of lifelessness in his players, but he didn't feel that was what led to the defeat at Temple. "I was happy with what I saw in their eyes tonight (at Temple). Before the Princeton game, I saw 14 sets of dead eyes. Tonight was not due to that lifelessness from Saturday - we just weren't good enough."
LOOKING AHEAD: The Hawks go on the road for consecutive games at Rhode Island (Jan. 13) and St. Bonaventure (Jan. 16). SJU then has a quick turnaround with a non-conference game against Towson on Jan. 18 at Hagan Arena.