Dec. 2, 2010
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's (3-3) and #12 Villanova (5-1) will meet in the 68th edition of one of the nation's top college basketball rivalries on Friday, December 3, at The Pavilion. The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU beginning at 8:45 p.m.
The ESPNU broadcast can also be viewed online by clicking here.
The contest can also be heard on WNTP Radio (990 AM) with the Saint Joseph's Sports Network team of Matt Martucci and Joe Lunardi calling the action. The audio stream is available free of charge on SJUHawks.com. Click here to listen.
GAME NOTES: This is the Big 5 opener for the Hawks, who went 2-2 in the City Series last season. Tonight marks the 68th meeting of Saint Joseph's and Villanova. Saint Joseph's had its three-game winning streak come to an end with Wednesday night's loss at Drexel. Freshman Langston Galloway was named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week and the Big 5 Player of the Week after averaging 17.5 points in both Hawk wins. Phil Martelli is in his 16th year as Saint Joseph's head coach, and his 26th year on Hawk Hill. The coach needs eight wins to reach 300 for his career, and the 24th game he coaches this year will be his 400th. Leading scorer Carl Jones has scored double figures in eight straight games dating back to last season. He has notched 20-plus points in back-to-back games. SJU is fielding its youngest team ever under Phil Martelli with two seniors, one junior, four sophomores and five freshmen. The opening day starting lineup included three freshmen, which is the most ever under Martelli. The Hawks are in the midst of a busy stretch this week with three games in five days - they next go to Princeton on Sunday.
LAST TIME OUT: Drexel dominated the boards and defeated Saint Joseph's, 62-50, to end the Hawks' three-game winning streak. It was the first game between the city rivals played at Drexel's Daskalakis Center since the 1992-93 season. The Dragons held a commanding 46-23 edge in rebounding, and limited SJU to just 22 second-half points. Ronald Roberts connnected on a jumper. Drexel led by as much as 49-36 in the second half, and Jones singlehandedly tried to get the Hawks back in the game. The sophomore scored nine of the Hawks' next 12 points to pull SJU within, 55-48, with 3:52 remaining. But a Drexel layup built the Dragons' lead back to 58-48 and they closed out the double-digit win.
LAST TIME VS. VILLANOVA: In front of a sold-out Palestra crowd, #3 Villanova held off Saint Joseph's, 97-89, in the 67th edition of the rivalry. Saint Joseph's Idris Hilliard had a near-perfect shooting night, hitting all five field goals and making 12-of-13 free throws for a career-high 22 points, while Villanova was led by Scottie Reynolds' 22 points and 20 from Taylor King."It was like a bout. They took a swing and we took a swing and they took a swing. We never got deflated. But we came here to win and we played for 40 minutes," said Hawk coach Phil Martelli. SJU never allowed Villanova to make a huge run, and every time the Wildcats went up by double digits, the Hawks would answer back. Carl Jones made three 3-pointers in the game, including one at 6:05 with Villanova leading 73-64. Villanova came back with free throws to go up 75-67, but Justin Crosgile hit a 3-pointer to close the Hawks to within 75-70. With the Wildcats leading 77-71, Jones connected on another 3-pointer at 3:20 to pull the Hawks within 79-74. Villanova's King answered with a 3-point field goal at 3:03 to build a 82-74 cushion. Jones and Crosgile combined to score the next six points and the Hawks trailed by just 84-80. King then hit the back-breaker for the Hawks, connecting on his fourth 3-pointer of the game at 1:30 to push the Wildcats' lead to 87-80. VU made made 28 consecutive free throws in the second half over a span of the final 16 minutes.
JUST AROUND THE CORNER: The Hawks are in the midst of a three-game "road" swing, but the total round-trip distance is just 125.2 miles. SJU drove 5.6 miles to Drexel on Wednesday night and traveled 6.7 miles here to Villanova. The Hawks will ride 50.3 miles to Princeton on Sunday afternoon.
BRAGGING RIGHTS: This marks the Big 5 opener for the Hawks, who went 2-2 in the City Series last season. SJU has won a total of 19 Big 5 titles (9 outright/10 shared), which is third all-time to Temple's 25 titles (6 outright/19 shared).
HAWKS VS. THE POLLS: Saint Joseph's last victories over Top 25 teams 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. Villanova is the first ranked team the Hawks are meeting this season.
KEY TO THE CITY: SJU went 2-3 last year against city teams defeating Drexel, Penn and La Salle and losing to Villanova and Temple (twice). The Hawks are 0-1 this year after the loss to Drexel.
BRIGHT LIGHTS: This is the first nationally-televised game for Saint Joseph's this season. They went 1-2 on national tv last year, but defeated Dayton on ESPNU on Jan. 23, 2010.
NO REST FOR THE WEARY: This is the second game in three days for Saint Joseph's, which is in the midst of a string of three games in five days, as they travel to Princeton on Sunday.
REBOUNDING WOES: One of SJU's glaring weaknesses last season was its rebounding and that problem resurfaced in the loss to Drexel. The Hawks were outrebounded by an overwhelming 46-23 margin. On the season, SJU has a -4.0 margin; last year the Hawks were at -8.0.
TAKING CARE OF THE BALL: Langston Galloway ranks second in the Atlantic 10 with his assist/turnover ratio of 2.8. The freshman has a team-high 18 assists on the year to just eight turnovers.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Hawks are in the midst of a tough stretch of three road games in five days. After tonight, SJU visits Princeton on Sunday. SJU returns home on Dec. 8 to host #15 Minnesota.