Feb. 23, 2007
RICHMOND, VA - Saint Joseph's (17-10; 9-4 A-10) will look to make it five in a row, and six straight conference wins, when the Hawks visit Richmond (6-20; 2-11) on Saturday, Feb. 24, at the Robins Center. Game time is 7 p.m.
The broadcast, with Tom McCarthy and Joe Lunardi calling the action, can be heard on WNTP (990 AM). It is also available via audio streaming on www.sjuhawks.com.
GAME NOTES: The Hawks have won four in a row, matching the longest winning streak of the season (from early 2007). If they extend it to five, it will be the longest since the 8-game winning streak at the end of 2005-06. SJU's current conference winning streak is five. Saint Joseph's has already matched last year's A-10 victory total (9). This is the ninth time in Phil Martelli's 12 seasons that SJU has won at least 17 games. Darrin Govens sprained his left ankle late in the Temple game and is questionable for tonight. Pat Calathes had a career-high performance against Temple, with 27 points and seven assists on 10-for-15 shooting. He also had seven assists and just one turnover. Ahmad Nivins ranks third in the Atlantic 10 in field goal percentage, and 15th in the nation, with his percentage of 61.4. Pat Calathes had a career-high performance against Temple, with 27 points and seven assists on 10-for-15 shooting. Saint Joseph's leads the Atlantic 10 in scoring defense (63.7). As of today, the Hawks are in sole possession of fourth place in the Atlantic 10.
LAST TIME OUT: SJU turned in one of its best offensive performances of the season in a surprising rout of Temple, 92-76, at The Palestra. Pat Calathes had a career-high 27 points and Ahmad Nivins had 18 points and 10 rebounds. The Hawks broke it open using a 16-0 run from the first half into the second half, while making 12 of their first 13 shots in the second. SJU eventually held a 30-point margin, but allowed Temple to score 33 points in the final 10 minutes. The Hawks made 71.4% in the second half with a shooting percentage of 60.3% in the game. Darrin Govens had 11 points and Garrett Williamson chipped in 10 as SJU won its fourth game in a row. Calathes made a personal best 10-of-15 field goals and tied his career-high with seven assists.
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 (23-4 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 3-0 in this year's "final six".
DARRIN'S STATUS: Darrin Govens is questionable for tonight's game after spraining his left ankle with 1:56 to play in the Temple win. Govens missed three games earlier this season with a fractured right hand (fourth metacarpal). He had surgery on Nov. 17 and was cleared by the doctor just hours before the BU game on Nov. 27. If he cannot play against Richmond, Jawan Carter will move back into the starting five.
PAT ON THE BACK: Pat Calathes continued his strong play with a career-best effort against Temple. Calathes' line was: 27 points; 7 assists; 7 rebounds; and 10-for-15 field goals. He reached new career-highs in points, field goals made and tied his assist mark. His performance prompted Temple head coach Fran Dunphy to say, "Calathes was unbelievable. His line is fantastic. He's getting to be as good a player as there is in the area... He's been great. He buried us in the first part of the second half."
MAKING HIS START: Darrin Govens has made four consecutive starts, replacing Jawan Carter, and has responded with four 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 13.5 points and is shooting 50 percent (19-for-38) from the field, and 47.6 percent (10-for-21) from 3-point range. Govens' fifth straight start is in jeopardy due to the sprained ankle he suffered in the Temple game.
PLAYED ALMOST PERFECTLY: The Hawks had one of their best stretches of the season for the first 10 minutes of the second half against Temple. SJU made 12 of its first 13 shots and started the half with a 9-0 run. Eventually the Hawks pushed their lead to a season-best 30-point margin. They made a season-high 71.4 percent (20-for-28) of their shots in the second half and finished the game converting 60.3% from the field to score 92 points, the highest total scored against the Owls in 40 years (105 points in 1966).
HANDOUTS: One of Phil Martelli's favorite stats from the win over Temple was the 23 assists on 35 field goals. It's the most assists in a game for the Hawks since January 3 (28). Pat Calathes led the way tying his career-high with seven, while D.J. Rivera handed out a personal best five.