Nov. 21, 2009
ST. THOMAS, V.I. - The Saint Joseph's men's basketball team (3-0) will take on #7 Purdue (2-0) in the 2009 Paradise Jam semifinals on Sunday evening, Nov. 22, at 8:30 p.m. EST (9:30 p.m. Atlantic time) from the University of the Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center. The game will be televised on Fox College Sports.
The game will also be broadcast on WNTP (990 AM) with Matt Martucci and Joe Lunardi calling the action and can also be heard on www.sjuhawks.com
GAME STORIES The Hawks have started the year with three straight wins for the first time since 2006-07. They have not opened with four in a row since the 2003-04 season, where they went 27-0. Saint Joseph's scored an 84-80 win over Boston College in the Paradise Jam first round, behind 18 points from Garrett Williamson. It marked the fourth consecutive win over the Eagles, with the previous coming in 2003-04. Darrin Govens was named the Philadelphia Big 5 Player of the Week on Nov. 16 for his 23-point performance in the season-opening win over Drexel. Phil Martelli is in his 15th season as head coach and his 25th at the University. Martelli served as an assistant coach for 10 years on the staffs of Jim Boyle and John Griffin. Saint Joseph's is marking the Centennial of SJU Basketball this year, as the inaugural season took place in 1909-10.
LAST TIME OUT: Garrett Williamson scored 18 points, with 10 in the final two minutes, to lift Saint Joseph's to an 84-80 win over Boston College (2-1) in the first round of the 2009 Paradise Jam. With Boston College leading 76-74 with 2:59 to play, Williamson scored the tying basket on a layup at 1:57. He put the Hawks ahead, 79-76, with a fast break layup and a free throw at :38. BC pulled within, 79-78, at :30, but Williamson converted two more free throws to give SJU an 81-78 edge. BC made two foul shots with 12 seconds remaining to cut the margin to 81-80, but Williamson hit another to give the Hawks the 82-80 cushion. The Eagles missed a layup with one second to go and Williamson sank two free throws with eight-tenths to play to provide the final margin. Darrin Govens came out strong in the second half and hit three 3-pointers in the first six minutes. The teams would go back and forth exchanging leads as the hard-fought battle had 11 ties and eight lead changes. Williamson went 10-for-13 from the foul line while Govens and Jones each scored 16 points, combining to hit seven 3-pointers.
DAZZLING DEBUT: Freshman Carl Jones has come off the bench to score double figures in all three games, with a high of 18 vs. Holy Cross. Jones hit three 3-pointers against Boston College, while tallying 16 points. Physically, Jones may be slight, but Phil Martelli praised the freshman after the Holy Cross win, saying, "He's got a big ticker. At the end of games, guys need to be willing to miss a shot, not just take a shot. And he's willing to do that. And that bodes well."
STEADY AS THEY COME: Senior Garrett Williamson showed true leadership down the stretch against Boston College as he tallied 10 in the final two minutes, including 7-of-8 free throws.
HOT HAND: Darrin Govens definitely had it in the second half of the BC win, as he hit three of his game-high four 3-pointers in a span of six minutes. Govens tops the team with 15 3-pointers made this year.
FAST STARTERS: SJU jumped out to a 9-0 lead against Boston College on Friday night.
BALANCED ATTACK: For the second straight game (BC and Holy Cross), the Hawks had nine players reach the scoring column. The Hawks are somewhat deeper than last season when Phil Martelli had a seven-man rotation. SJU is going nine deep thus far this year. That balanced attack is allowing the Hawks to score even more than Martelli expected this year, with a 77-point game and an 84-point game.
HAWKS VS. THE TOP 25: Saint Joseph's went 0-2 against ranked teams last season with losses to #15 Villanova and #19 Xavier. The last Top 10 team beaten by the Hawks was #8 Xavier on March 6, 2008, in the last game at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse.
CLOSE CALLS: The Hawks' combined margin of victory in the three games is seven points.
HAWKS' NEW HOME: SJU played the inaugural game at the Michael J. Hagan `85 Arena on Nov. 13, defeating Drexel, 77-67. The arena is the result of a 16-month expansion and renovation of the previous on-campus home, Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse, which served as the Hawks' homecourt for 59 years. Hagan Arena provides a number of fan-friendly renovations as well as an increase of 1,000 seats, bringing the capacity to 4,200. SJU men's and women's basketball programs also now have upgraded facilities with the Ramsay Basketball Center, that is adjacent to Hagan Arena. The Ramsay Center houses both the offices for both programs along with locker rooms, player lounges and a video study room. The $35 million upgrade (both Hagan and Ramsay) now provides the basketball programs with state-of-the-art facilities.
RETURN TO PARADISE: SJU's participation in this week's Paradise Jam is the second consecutive trip to a tropical location. Last season, SJU made its first-ever trip to the EA Sports Maui Invitational.