Hawks Win Fourth Straight Defeating Temple, 80-67
Courtesy: SJU Athletic Communications  
Release:  01/10/2007

Jan. 10, 2007

Box Score |  Saint Joseph's @ Temple Game Photos  Ahmad Nivins scored a game-high 20 points to lead Saint Joseph's (10-5; 3-0 A-10) to an 80-67 win over Temple (6-8; 0-2) at the Liacouras Center in an Atlantic 10 and Big 5 game. The win is the Hawks' fourth in the row, for their longest winning streak of the season. It also marks SJU's ninth win over the Owls in the last 10 tries.

Nivins made 6-of-10 from the field and grabbed eight rebounds. Rob Ferguson added 17 points (6-for-11 from the field) and seven rebounds while Pat Calathes scored 14 points.

Temple jumped out to an early 15-6 lead, hitting six of its first nine shots. The Hawks rallied, going on a 19-4 run and taking their first lead at 20-19 on Garrett Williamson's layup with 8:25 remaining. Darrin Govens scored eight straight points and helped Saint Joseph's to its largest lead of the half, 38-29, and the Hawks went into the lockerroom with a 40-33 lead. Govens and fellow freshman D.J. Rivera combined for 15 points off the bench in the half as the Hawks shot 62.5 percent from the field.

SJU used a 10-2 run at the start of the second half to take its biggest lead, 50-35. Dustin Salisbery scored eight points in a 15-6 Temple run which pulled the Owls within 56-50 with 11:14 to play.

Williamson scored a three-point play and Rob Ferguson hit a layup to give Saint Joseph's a 61-50 edge at 9:51. Nivins added six points in a span of five minutes to push the Hawks' lead to 73-61 with over four minutes to play. "Our team has a confidence level and I don't know where it came from. And they carry themselves differently. They practice a little bit differently. The shooting has been a surprise to me all year. I never anticipated that this would be a good shooting team and we've become a very good shooting team, as long as we can negate our turnovers," said Hawk coach Phil Martelli.

SJU freshman guards Govens, Rivera, Williamson and Jawan Carter totaled 29 points on the evening.

"I thought Garrett Williamson in the second half probably played his best half of the year. I thought Darrin Govens and D.J. Rivera, their energy in the beginning of the game turned it around. And Jawan Carter is responding to playing fewer minutes because Darrin is playing a little bit longer," said Martelli.

The Hawks made 57.8 percent from the field and hit 21-of-23 free throws in the game.

The win gives SJU its best Atlantic 10 start since the 2004-05 squad won its first four league games. It is also the fastest Saint Joseph's has reached 10 victories since the 2003-04 undefeated team. In both 2004-05 and 2005-06, the Hawks did not total 10 wins until February.

Saint Joseph's hosts Rhode Island on Saturday at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse at 2 p.m.