Jan. 11, 2005
PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's men's basketball team will look to keep its winning streak alive when it hosts Massachusetts in an Atlantic 10 clash on Wednesday, January 12, at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse. Game time is 8 p.m. for the contest which will be televised locally on CN8. The Hawks are 5-6 and 2-0 in the conference.
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 SJSN broadcast can also be heard on Sirius Satellite Radio.
ABOUT THE MINUTEMEN:UMass is 7-4 and 1-1 in the Atlantic 10, while coming off a 90-86 triple overtime victory over Xavier on Saturday afternoon.
LAST TIME OUT: SJU won its second in a row, defeating Rhode Island, 60-52 as Pat Carroll scored a game-high 20 points shooting 4-for-7 from three-point range.The Hawks broke open the game in the second half with a few spurts. Owning a 40-36 lead with 9:20 to play, SJU outscored the Rams, 12-5, led by two 3-pointers from Carroll to take a 52-41 lead with 4:23 remaining. SJU took its biggest lead, 56-43, with 2:33 to go, but the Rams went on a 9-2 run to close to within 58-52 on a 3-pointer with :23 remaining. Carroll sealed the win with 22 seconds to go with a pair of free throws. Both teams struggled through a turnover-plagued first half, with 10 for each side, and the Hawks didn't score a two-point field goal until less than three minutes to play in the half. SJU survived an eight-minute stretch without a field goal in the first half and being outrebounded, 42-27. Dwayne Jones had 11 points, six rebounds and five blocked shots while Dwayne Lee had 10 points and eight assists.
FROM THE OUTSIDE: In the Rhode Island game, SJU did not convert a two-point field until Dwayne Jones scored a layup at the 2:45 mark of the first half. The Hawks had scored 19 points up to that point on 3-pointers and free throws only. After hitting five 3-pointers in the first half, SJU converted only two more the rest of the way, finishing the game shooting 7-for-21 from beyond the arc.
AT THE STRIPE: Despite struggling from the foul line this year, the Hawks took advantage of 27 trips to the line against Rhode Island, converting 17 of them, with Dwayne Jones going 5-for-7. Overall, URI was 7-for-12 in free throws.
THREE'S A CROWD: The Hawks are hitting less 3-point field goals this year, averaging just 6.7 per game as a team. But Chet Stachitas and Pat Carroll have combined to hit the majority of the team's long-range field goals, with the duo converting 50 of the team's 74 3-pointers. Stachitas has made 27-of-73, while Carroll has converted 23-of-52 from beyond the arc.
NEW KID IN TOWN: Jordan Fowler, a 6-4 swing player, has joined the team. He began practicing with the team on January 11, and is expected to redshirt the current season. Fowler is enrolled at the University and will begin classes when the new semester commences next Tuesday, January 18. From Montclair High School in Montclair, NJ, Fowler was the 2004 Essex County Player of the Year by the Star-Ledger. Last year, he averaged 23.6 points per game and helped Montclair to the North Jersey Group 4 Quarterfinals. He will practice with the Hawks for the rest of the season and will be permitted to travel with the team.
PLAYING THRU PAIN: Chet Stachitas is still not 100 percent after suffering a high ankle sprain at San Francisco (Dec. 11), but he has not missed any action. In fact, Stachitas scored 19 points and hit five 3-pointers at Old Dominion, shooting 7-for-15 from the field and handing out a career-high five assists. He followed that with 14 points in the loss to Bucknell and 16 against Ohio State. Prior to the injury, Stachitas had been averaging a team-high 16.7 ppg, coming off a career-high 27-point effort vs. UC-Davis. He now ranks second on the team in scoring with 13.5 ppg.
ALWAYS FIRST: SJU's upperclassmen have a strong claim, that they have never been out of first place in the Atlantic 10. It's basically true, as there has been only one day in the past three seasons - January 12, 2002 - that Saint Joseph's was not in first place in the Atlantic 10 East. The Hawks have won four straight Atlantic 10 division crowns and are hoping to become the only team other than UMass to win five consecutive, as the Minutemen did it from 1991 to 1996.
A-10 SUCCESS: The Hawks own a 56-10 Atlantic 10 record over the course of the past four seasons, including the current year. In their 23 seasons of A-10 play, SJU is 203-161 and has had .500 or better campaigns in 14 of them.
TAKING CARE OF THE BALL: Dwayne Lee had one of his best games of the season at point guard against Rhode Island. He scored 10 points and tied his career-high with eight assists. But more impressively, the junior had only three turnovers. Lee's now averaging 5.4 assists per game and 3.5 turnovers.