Nov. 25, 2010
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's (2-2) will take on Rutgers (3-1) in the final game of the Philly Hoop Group Classic on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at The Palestra. Fairfield and Norfolk State will meet in the evening's first game at 5:00 p.m.
Tickets are available by calling 888-SJU-HAWK or at The Palestra box office, 215-898-6151.
The Saint Joseph's Sports Network broadcast of the game will also be available on SJUHawks.com, with Matt Martucci and Joe Lunardi calling the action. The audio stream is available free of charge. Click here to listen.
Saint Joseph's has won two in a row after starting the year 0-2. The Hawks came from behind to defeat Fairfield, 60-51, on Tuesday night. Phil Martelli is in his 16th year as Saint Joseph's head coach, and his 26th year on Hawk Hill. The coach needs nine 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 six straight games dating back to last season. 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 have a busy stretch next week with three games in five days - at Drexel, at Villanova and at Princeton.
LAST TIME OUT: Langston Galloway had 15 points and C.J. Aiken added 13 points, eight rebounds and six blocks as Saint Joseph's fought off a six-point halftime deficit on the way to a 60-51 victory in the Philly Hoop Group Classic at Fairfield. Idris Hilliard (12) and Carl Jones (13) rounded out a quartet of double-figure scorers for SJU. Fairfield took the lead in the first half and stretched the advantage to as many as 11 points at 25-14. The Hawks scored the final five points of the period on a pair of free throws by Aiken and a three-pointer from Galloway, slashing the deficit to 25-19 at the break. The Hawks burst out of the gates in the second as Hilliard started with a jumper 39 seconds in to cut the margin to four before Galloway and Jones each turned steals into breakaways for a 25-25 tie just 83 seconds into the second period. Jones' layup capped off an 11-0 Saint Joseph's run over 4:25 of game action spanning both halves. In a back-and-forth contest with no team leading by more than a field goal for much of the second half, the Stags nosed ahead, 45-44, with 6:11 remaining. Saint Joseph's took the lead for good on a layup by Aiken with 5:35 to go that put the Hawks on top, 46-45. SJU then held the Stags without a point until a free throw with just 58 seconds left on the clock. The Hawks answered with free throws from Aiken and Hilliard for their largest lead of the night at 55-46 with 42 seconds to go. From there, SJU was able to salt away the victory with free throws and a layup by Jones with 17 seconds to go. Jones had four steals on the night while Galloway added three blocks.
BLOCK PARTY: Freshman C.J. Aiken had six blocks in the second half in the win at Fairfield, which was the highest total for a Hawk since Ahmad Nivins had the same number at UMass on Jan. 9, 2008. Langston Galloway added three in the game as the Hawks totalled 11 blocks, which was the most since they had 10 vs. Syracuse on Nov. 13, 2007.
TALE OF TWO HALVES: After falling behind to Fairfield by as much as 11 points in the first half, Saint Joseph's certainly had a different look in the second. The Hawks came out quickly, scoring six straight points, including steals and breakaways by Langston Galloway and Carl Jones, to tie the game. SJU shot 68.2 percent in the second half, after hitting just 30 percent in the first. Idris Hilliard, C.J. Aiken and Jones each scored 10 points in the half, but the Hawks did it with defense as well, posting seven steals and nine blocks in the second period.
FAB FROSH: Two of SJU's freshmen put up big numbers at Fairfield - Ronald Roberts also chipped in with five rebounds in 11 minutes.
FAMILIAR FACES: Things had to be interesting in the Martelli household on Thanksgiving as Phil Martelli prepared for a game against his son Jimmy, who is an assistant coach at Rutgers. The elder Martelli has never faced one of his sons' teams in a regular-season game. Oldest son Phil, Jr., is currently an assistant coach at Niagara. Adding to the intrigue of this game is that Martelli is facing his former assistant coach Mike Rice, which is another rarity. Martelli makes it a point not to schedule games against teams coached by his former assistants. Monte Ross (Delaware) and Matt Brady (James Madison) are the other former Martelli assistants currently serving as head coaches.
HOME AWAY FROM HOME: 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. The facility served as SJU's homecourt in 2008-09 with 13 games due to the expansion and renovation project at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse, which is now Hagan Arena. Saint Joseph's has compiled a 330-158 record (.676) at The Palestra which surpasses the program's victory total at on campus at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse and Hagan Arena combined (326).
LOOKING AHEAD: The Hawks face a tough stretch next week with three road games in five days, at Drexel, at Villanova and at Princeton. SJU returns home on Dec. 8 to host Minnesota.