Nov. 19, 2009
ST. THOMAS, V.I. - Saint Joseph's (2-0) opens play in the 2009 Paradise Jam on Friday evening, taking on Boston College (2-0) at 6 p.m. EST (7 p.m. Atlantic) from the University of the Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center.
The broadcast can be heard on WNTP (990 AM) with Matt Martucci and Joe Lunardi calling the action. Video streaming of the game can also be found on FoxSports.com.
GAME NOTES: The Hawks have started the year with two straight wins for the first time since 2006-07. Saint Joseph's opened Hagan Arena with an 77-67 overtime win over Drexel on last Friday night, led by 23 points from Darrin Govens. Freshman Carl Jones came off the bench to score a team-high 18 points in the win over Holy Cross. Govens was named the Philadelphia Big 5 Player of the Week on Nov. 16 for his 23-point performance in the season-opening win over Drexel. 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. Saint Joseph's is marking the Centennial of SJU Basketball this year, as the inaugural season took place in 1909-10.
AST TIME OUT: Carl Jones scored 18 points and hit two free throws at 1:27 to break a tie and help lift Saint Joseph's to a 69-67 win over Holy Cross. Todd O'Brien registered his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Jones hit a jumper to give the Hawks a 65-63 lead at 1:57, but Holy Cross tied it at 65-65. On the Hawks' next possession, Jones was fouled and converted both free throws to give SJU the lead for good. O'Brien would grab a key rebound off a Holy Cross miss and Jones converted two more free throws at :15 to put the Hawks up 69-67. Devin Brown scored once more for Holy Cross on a putback with one second left to provide the final margin. SJU used a balanced attack and shot 46.4 percent in the first half to take a 37-31 halftime lead. O'Brien led the way, scoring eight points in 11 minutes. Jones shot 6-for-11 from the field and made 5-of-7 from the line for the Hawks, while O'Brien made 5-of-7 shots.
HAWKS' NEW HOME: SJU played the inaugural game at the Michael J. Hagan `85 Arena on Nov. 13, defeating Drexel, 77-67. The arena is the result of a 16-month expansion and renovation of the previous on-campus home, Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse, which served as the Hawks' homecourt for 59 years. Hagan Arena provides a number of fan-friendly renovations as well as an increase of 1,000 seats, bringing the capacity to 4,200. SJU men's and women's basketball programs also now have upgraded facilities with the Ramsay Basketball Center, that is adjacent to Hagan Arena. The Ramsay Center houses both the offices for both programs along with locker rooms, player lounges and a video study room. The $35 million upgrade (both Hagan and Ramsay) now provides the basketball programs with state-of-the-art facilities.
RETURN TO PARADISE: SJU's participation in this week's Paradise Jam is the second consecutive trip to a tropical location as last season, they participated SJU made its first-ever trip to the EA Sports Maui Invitational.
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION: The 2009-10 season marks the Centennial of Saint Joseph's University Basketball. The first varsity team took the court in 1909-10, coached by John Dever. Since then, the Hawks have amassed 1,482 victories, a number which currently ranks among the top 40 programs in NCAA history. The Saint Joseph's program is synonymous with the term "tradition of excellence. Among the numbers that Saint Joseph's basketball can boast are: 19 NCAA Tournament Appearances; 14 NIT Appearances; 7 Atlantic 10 Regular-Season Titles; 2 Atlantic 10 Tournament Championships; 19 Big 5 Titles; 12 All-Americans; 30 NBA Draft Picks; 18 NBA Players; and 7 NBA Coaches.
SILVER ANNIVERSARY: Phil Martelli enters his 15th season as head coach at Saint Joseph's but his 25th total at the University. He was an assistant coach for 10 years prior to taking the top job in 1995, serving on the staffs of Jim Boyle and John Griffin.
HERE COMES THE GOV: Darrin Govens got his senior season off to a solid start, scoring a game-high 23 points in the win over Drexel. Govens hit the 3-pointer that tied the game at 60-60 with :16 left in regulation before it went into overtime at 62-62. He then helped put the game away in the overtime as he grabbed a steal, converted a layup and then was fouled intentionally, scoring six points in a span of seven seconds. The senior shot 6-for-17 from the field, but made a career-best 8-for-11 from the foul line. Govens was named the Big Player of the Week for his efforts.
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: Newcomers Carl Jones and Todd O'Brien had an impact on the Hawks' win over Holy Cross. Jones came off the bench to score 18 points, including six in the final 1:57 to lift SJU to the win. O'Brien registered his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds on 5-for-7 shooting. Both players also played roles in the Drexel win. O'Brien made his SJU debut after sitting out last season upon his transfer from Bucknell. The 6-11 forward scored nine points and grabbed eight rebounds, but had his biggest shot at :47 in the extra period vs. Drexel. The sophomore put in a short jumper to give the Hawks a lead in overtime that they would not relinquish in the 77-67. Jones, a freshman guard, scored 13 points off the bench, going 9-for-12 from the foul line.
WHERE ELSE WOULD YOU RATHER BE?: After the Holy Cross win, Phil Martelli pointed out that the Hawks definitely have some shortcomings and he would be reviewing those Wednesday evening upon arrival in St. Thomas. He said, "Sounds a little strange to be talking about reviewing games in the Virgin Islands. Somebody's got to do it. You could go to Newark or the Virgin Islands. We chose the Virgin Islands."
NOT ON BOARD: Rebounding is one of the areas Phil Martelli wants to address as the Hawks were dominated on the boards by Holy Cross, 50-33. The opponents currently hold a +14.0 rebounding edge against the Hawks.
SENIOR MOMENTS: Phil Martelli relies greatly on his seniors every season and two stepped up against Drexel. Darrin Govens hit a 3-pointer to tie the score with :16 seconds to play and then after Drexel went up again, 62-60, Garrett Williamson connected on a foul-line jumper at :03 to send the game into overtime. The Hawks would have to play without Williamson in the extra period when he fouled out with 3:33 left.
CENTENNIAL MINUTE - THIS DATE IN HAWK HISTORY: November 20, 1996 - SJU was routed by #10 Duke, 89-60, in the Pre-Season NIT in Durham, N.C., but the year would get much better from there. The Hawks would go on to win seven of their next nine games and ultimately finish with a 26-7 record in Phil Martell's second season. It was a special year for SJU as it won its second Atlantic 10 title and would reach the NCAA Sweet 16. In NCAA Tournament action, the Hawks defeated Pacific and then #23 Boston College, 81-77, in overtime, before losing to #5 Kentucky in the Second Round.