March 21, 2005
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's will look to keep its season going tonight when it hosts Holy Cross in the second round of the NIT at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse. Game time is 7 p.m. for the contest which will be televised nationally on ESPN2.
ABOUT THE HAWKS: Saint Joseph's continued its NIT run with its second win, 55-50, over Buffalo on Saturday night. The 21-11 Hawks are making their fifth consecutive postseason appearance.
ABOUT THE CRUSADERS: Holy Cross is 25-6 and advanced to this game by defeating Notre Dame, 78-73, on March 15 in the NIT First Round. The Explorers, runner-up in the Patriot League, have not played since last Tuesday's win.
TV/RADIO: The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2 with Dave Strader and Doug Gottlieb calling the action. The Saint Joseph's Sports Network will broadcast the game on WPEN Radio (950 AM) with the team of Tom McCarthy and Joe Lunardi. McCarthy is in his second year as play-by-play announcer and Lunardi is in his 15th as the Hawks' color analyst. The contest can also be heard via streaming audio on the Saint Joseph's website at www.sjuhawks.com.
NEXT POSSIBLE GAME: If SJU advances to the NIT quarterfinals, the Hawks will meet Texas A&M (21-9) on Wednesday, March 23, with the site and time to be determined.
NO REST FOR THE WEARY: This is the Hawks' third game in six days, and sixth in the last 12. SJU played for three straight days in the A-10 Tournament (March 10, 11, 12) and came back with NIT games on March 16 and 19. Because the Hawks were put in the opening round bracket of the NIT, they have to win four games to advance to the semifinals.
IN DEFENSE: SJU's defense has allowed just 47.0 points in the two NIT games. Buffalo came into the matchup averaging 75 points per game, but managed to score only 50.
COMMON FOES: SJU and Holy Cross have three common foes from this season - Fordham, Rhode Island and Bucknell. The Hawks defeated Fordham twice, went 1-1 with URI and lost to Bucknell. Holy Cross beat Fordham and Rhode Island once each, but went 1-2 with Bucknell, including a loss in the Patriot League championship game.
LENGTHENING THE SEASON: SJU is playing its 33rd game of the year tonight, which ties the school record for most games played in a season, previously achieved by the teams of 2000-01, 1996-97 and 1980-81. The 2001 team reached the NCAA 2nd Round, the 1997 squad went to the NCAA Sweet 16 and the 1981 team advanced to the NCAA Regional Final.
POSTSEASON MARKS: The following are SJU postseason records which have been broken during this run: Phil Martelli: coaching victories - 13 Dwayne Jones: career blocks - 18 (7 games) Jones can eclipse Tom Wynne's record for career rebounds (64) with four more and Pat Carroll can break Jameer Nelson's mark for 3-point field goals (19) in the postseason if he connects on four more long-range shots.
STITCH IN TIME: In the second half of the Buffalo game, Dwayne Lee took an elbow to his lip and needed four stitches. Abdulai Jalloh filled in for the point guard while he was out. Lee returned and came up with a big steal and layup to give the Hawks a 39-38 lead at 4:53. Jalloh received stitches in his lip during the A-10 Championship against GW.