Feb. 21, 2007
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's (16-10; 8-4 A-10) will be looking to match its longest winning streak of the season as it seeks its fourth straight victory against Temple (11-14; 5-7) on Thursday, Feb. 22. Tip-off is at 8 p.m. at The Palestra and the game will be televised nationally on CSTV.
A limited number of tickets still remain for the game and can be purchased by contacting the SJU Ticket Office at 610-660-1712.
The game can be heard on WNTP (990 AM) with Ken Krsolovic and Joe Lunardi calling the action. It will also be available via audio streaming on www.sjuhawks.com. CSTV is offering the game on a Pay-per-View basis on www.sjuhawks.com at a cost of $9.95.
The Hawks have won three in a row and defeated Temple earlier this year, 80-67.
GAME NOTES: The Hawks' three-game winning streak is the longest this year since a four-game streak at the beginning of January. Saint Joseph's has won nine of the last 10 against Temple, and two in a row. A win tonight would give the Hawks nine A-10 victories, matching last year's total (9-7). Darrin Govens has made three consecutive starts, notching double figures in each of them for an average of 14.3 points. Ahmad Nivins ranks second in the Atlantic 10 in field goal percentage, and 15th in the nation, with his percentage of 61.5. Pat Calathes leads the A-10 in defensive rebounds (6.67) in conference games only. Saint Joseph's leads the Atlantic 10 in scoring defense (63.2).
DOWN THE HOMESTRETCH: This is the time of year when Phil Martelli's teams are generally at their best, exemplified by some strong runs into the postseason. In fact, counting the last six games of the regular season in the past four years, Martelli's teams are a combined 20-4 (22-4 counting this season). In both 2005-06 and 2004-05, the squads won five of the last six regular-season contests. In 2003-04, they were unbeaten, and in 2002-03, the Hawks went 4-2. Last year, Saint Joseph's was 10-11 in 2005-06 and despite losing at Temple on Feb. 14, won five in a row to enter the A-10 Tournament with a 15-12 record. SJU increased its winning streak to eight consecutive to reach the conference championship game. The Hawks are currently 2-0 in this year's "final six".
MAKING HIS START: Darrin Govens has made three consecutive starts, replacing Jawan Carter, and has responded with three straight double-figure games. Govens had 15 points on 5-for-10 shooting against La Salle, scored 16 with a career-best 4-of-7 3-pointers vs. GW, and scored 12 at St. Bonaventure. As a starter, Govens is averaging 14.3 points and is shooting 48.3 percent (14-for-29) from the field, and 50 percent (9-for-18) from the foul line.
BOOST FROM THE BENCH: The Hawks have not had much scoring from their bench this season (28 percent of total points) but Jawan Carter provided some at St. Bonaventure with a career-high 21 points in 20 minutes. Carter scored 12 in the second half, helping the Hawks hold off a Bonnies rally. With SJU holding a 60-56 lead, he hit consecutive jumpers to boost the Hawks' edge back to 64-57. Carter then made 8-of-8 free throws in the final 41 seconds to seal the win.
PAT ON THE BACK: Pat Calathes had a strong week with the wins over GW and St. Bonaventure. He averaged 17.5 points and 9.0 rebounds, while shooting 55 percent from the field and 71 percent from the foul line. Included in that was his fifth double-double of the season (18 pts-12 rebs at St. Bonaventure).
LACK OF SHOTS: Ahmad Nivins took only five shots against St. Bonaventure, while being saddled with foul trouble. But in the past four games combined, the sophomore has just 21, an average of five per game. He's scored a total of 35 points in the last four, an average of 8.75.
KEY TO THE CITY: SJU owns a 22-6 record against city teams over the last five seasons (counting this year). This mark counts all games against Philadelphia teams (Drexel included).
PALESTRA PLAY: With the formation of the Philadelphia Big 5 in 1955, SJU began utilizing The Palestra as a home venue. Since that year, the Hawks have played at least one home game in the historic arena every season. SJU has compiled a 316-149 record (.679) at The Palestra, with more wins than the program's victory total at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse (313). This is the final of four games this year at the famed building.