Dec. 3, 2007
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's (4-2) will close out a busy stretch when it hosts Holy Cross (6-1) at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse on Tuesday, December 4 at 7 p.m.
Fans are reminded to bring a new, unwrapped toy for the "Toys for Tots" Drive, conducted by the U.S. Marines and the University.
The Saint Joseph's Sports Network team of Tom McCarthy and Joe Lunardi will broadcast the game on WNTP (990 AM). Streaming audio will also be available on www.sjuhawks.com free of charge as provided by Stretch Internet. Video will also be available thru a subscription on Hawks' All-Access.
This closes out the stretch of four games in eight days for the Hawks. SJU goes on the road Sunday for the first meeting with Creighton since 1981. This is also the last home game at the Fieldhouse until January 12 when the Hawks host Richmond. The Hawks have a few A-10 statistical leaders - Ahmad Nivins in minutes played; Darrin Govens in 3-point field goals made; and Tasheed Carr in assists. Pat Calathes still tops the Hawks in scoring with 17.6 ppg, followed by Ahmad Nivins at 15.7 ppg.
LAST TIME OUT: Ahmad Nivins had 25 points and 10 rebounds to lead Saint Joseph's to a 79-67 win over Penn State at the Palestra. The win ended a nine-game losing streak for SJU against the Nittany Lions, which was the longest streak against a team on this year's schedule. The Hawks came out flat, possibly showing the side effects of their third game in five days and a tough overtime loss to #19 Gonzaga in the previous game. Despite holding a lead for much of the first half, Penn State outscored the Hawks, 7-2, in the final minutes of the half to force a 28-28 tie at intermission. SJU went on an 18-6 run to open the second half, taking a 45-36 lead at 14:45. The Hawks would shoot 51.5 percent in the second half and led by as many as 24 points. Penn State closed the gap in the final two minutes against the Hawk reserves. Nivins shot 8-for-12 from the field and 9-for-12 from the foul line, while blocking three shots. Rob Ferguson and Darrin Govens each added 15 points while Pat Calathes scored 14.
LAST TIME VS. HOLY CROSS: On March 31, 2005, SJU survived a second-half surge by Holy Cross to win, 68-60, in front of an enthusiastic Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse crowd to advance to the NIT Quarterfinals. The Hawks jumped out to an 8-0 start, had a quick 27-14 lead early on, and a 33-25 edge at halftime. SJU cooled off in the second half and Holy Cross cut it to 38-37, but could never overtake the Hawks, thanks to key foul shooting by Dwayne Lee (career-best 13-for-14) and a 3-pointer by Pat Carroll at 8:34 which gave SJU a 4-point lead. Despite hitting just five field goals in the second half, the Hawks went 19-for-22 from the foul line to earn the win. Carroll and Lee led four Hawks in double figures with 15 points, while Chet Stachitas had 13 and Abdulai Jalloh scored 10.
NON-STOP SCHEDULE: Even though the Hawks had a 10-day hiatus in between games (from Nov. 17 to 27), they're closing out a non-stop stretch of the schedule. The home opener with Ball State on Nov. 27 was the first of four games in eight days for Saint Joseph's. It was followed by last Thursday's matchup with Gonzaga and then Saturday's game with Penn State. After this game, things will slow down again as the Hawks will play only four games for the remainder of December.
WORKING OVERTIME: With three games in five days last week, including an overtime contest, the Hawks' starters logged quite a few minutes. Ahmad Nivins played 44 against Gonzaga, and notched 36 versus Ball State. Pat Calathes saw 41 minutes of action vs. Gonzaga and 34 in the previous game. For the week, Nivins averaged 39.3 and Calathes averaged 36.7 minutes per game. Nivins tops the A-10 with his average of 37.8.
THE WEEK THAT WAS: SJU put up some solid numbers last week in which there was a game every other day. Four players averaged double figures - Pat Calathes (19.0 ppg), Ahmad Nivins (18.0), Darrin Govens (12.7), and Rob Ferguson (11.3). Ferguson averaged a team-best 8.3 rebounds per game. Nivins shot 66.7 percent from the field and Calathes hit 95.8 percent from the foul line.
CAN'T MISS: Pat Calathes converted a career-best 13-of-13 free throws against Gonzaga and saw his streak end at 24 consecutive when he missed one against Penn State. For the week, the senior shot 95.8 percent from the line. Last season, Calathes set the school record with 38 consecutive free throws made. He's currently shooting 87.5 percent from the line.
GOING ON THE ROAD: This will be the last game in Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse for the calendar year of 2007, as the Hawks close out December on the road. After Sunday's date at Creighton, SJU will visit Fairfield on Dec. 21 and Siena on Dec. 28. They'll close out the year against Drexel at the Palestra on New Year's Eve, which is designated as the Dragons' home game. Saint Joseph's will not play in Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse again until Jan. 12 when it hosts Richmond.
MAN IN THE MIDDLE: Against Penn State, Ahmad Nivins scored a season-best 25 points (on 8-for-12 shooting) and grabbed 10 rebounds. It was his second double-double of the year and eighth of his career.
FINDING FERG: Rob Ferguson seems to have broken out of the early-season slump and has put together back-to-back double-figure games. The senior had 10 points and nine rebounds against Gonzaga, and then hit for a season-high 15 points against Penn State. Ferguson shot 6-for-12 while grabbing nine rebounds. In the three games last week, the senior averaged 11.3 points and a team-best 8.3 rebounds.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Saint Joseph's owns an all-time record of 314-80 thru 58 seasons in the friendly confines of Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse, winning at an 80 percent clip. In this decade, the Hawks have won 83 percent of their games here, posting a 62-12 mark on their home court. Last season, SJU was 8-3 in the Fieldhouse. The Hawks are 1-1 this year.