Feb. 8, 2008
CINCINNATI, OH - Saint Joseph's (15-6; 6-2) travels to Cincinnati to take on 13th-ranked Xavier (19-4; 7-1) on Sunday afternoon at the Cintas Center at noon. The Hawks are looking to regain a piece of first place in the Atlantic 10 with a victory.
The game will be televised live on Fox Sports Ohio and Comcast/Charter Sports, while seen on a tape delay on Comcast SportsNet in Philadelphia (at 4 p.m.) and on Cox New England. Tom McCarthy and Steve Wolf will call the action. Hawks' All-Access annual subscribers can watch the game on www.sjuhawks.com free of charge while others can access it thru pay-per-view at a charge of $9.95.
The Saint Joseph's Sports Network team of Ken Krsolovic 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.
The Hawks saw their six-game winning streak come to an end at Duquesne, but have still won 11 of their last 13 games. Ahmad Nivins is questionable for today's game due to a sprained right ankle suffered in the win over Villanova and will be a game-day decision. He did not play in Wednesday night's loss at Duquesne and was replaced in the starting lineup by Arvydas Lidzius. Pat Calathes tops the Hawks in scoring (18.5 ppg) and rebounding (8.2) and is third in assists (2.6). He ranks sixth in the A-10 in scoring and is tied for second in rebounding, but leads the league in scoring in conference games (20.0 ppg). The Hawks are 46th in the RPI (collegerpi.com) as of Feb. 3. Saint Joseph's received seven votes in this week's Associated Press Top 25. It is the first time this season that the Hawks have received votes. Because of a programming conflict, today's game will be shown in Philadelphia on a tape-delayed basis. Comcast SportsNet will air the game in Philadelphia at 4 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT: Saint Joseph's suffered a letdown at Duquesne, coming off the big win over rival Villanova just two nights before. The Hawks were outgunned by Duquesne, 102-88, in Pittsburgh, to end a six-game winning streak. SJU had one of its worst efforts of the year in the first half against the Dukes, and fell behind, 49-27, at the half. SJU made just 9-of-28 field goals in the first half and committed 14 turnovers. The second half saw wild scoring as the Hawks tallied 61 points to Duquesne's 53, but they could never get any closer than 13 points. SJU also forced 11 DU turnovers in the half, but allowed the home team to shoot 69.6 percent from the field. Pat Calathes had 19 of his 23 points in the second half, and also finished with 10 rebounds. Darrin Govens had 17 points, Rob Ferguson had 15, Garrett Williamson scored 14 and Tasheed Carr had 11. The Hawks were without second leading scorer Ahmad Nivins, who had sprained his ankle in the win over Villanova.
INJURY REPORT: Ahmad Nivins is questionable for today's game due to a sprained right ankle suffered in the win over Villanova and will be a game-day decision. He did not play in Wednesday night's loss at Duquesne and was replaced in the starting lineup by Arvydas Lidzius.
CAMPAIGNING FOR PAT: Pat Calathes has put himself in the conversation for Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. The senior is doing it all for the Hawks this year, topping the team with career-best numbers in scoring (18.5) and rebounding (8.2), He ranks sixth in the conference in scoring and is tied for second in rebounding, while leading the A-10 in scoring in league games with his 20.0 average. Calathes also ranks third on the Hawks in assists and blocks and is among the league's top 10 in a total of 10 statistical categories. He has led the Hawks in scoring 14 games and in rebounding 14 times, while posting eight double-doubles and tallying 20 or more points 10 times this year. Calathes has been the Player of the Week in the A-10 twice this season and in the Big 5 four times.
SHORTHANDED: D.J. Rivera sat out the first semester (13 games) and returned to action at Charlotte on Jan. 16. But although Rivera was back for that game, the Hawks were without starting point guard Tasheed Carr, who would miss the next four games with a sprained ankle. Carr came back for the GW game on Jan. 30, but the Hawks were then without reserve Rockwell Moody, who has requested time away from the team to concentrate on personal issues. Then on Feb. 6, Ahmad Nivins missed the Duquesne game with a sprained ankle, leaving the Hawks with 11 players.
HAWKS VS. THE TOP 25: Xavier is the second ranked team the Hawks are meeting thus far, as Syracuse was ranked 25th in the coaches' poll when they met on Nov. 13. Saint Joseph's has lost six in a row against teams in the AP Top 25. The last ranked team beaten by Saint Joseph's was #17 Wake Forest in the NCAA East Regional Semifinals (March 25) during the Hawks' run to the 2004 Elite Eight. Temple is the highest ranked team defeated by SJU under Phil Martelli, when the Hawks scored a 62-59 win over the #5 Owls on Feb. 29, 2000.
SENIOR LEADERSHIP: Pat Calathes and Rob Ferguson have upped their levels of play this season. At Temple, the seniors from Florida combined for 43 of the Hawks' 68 points. The duo also combined to shoot 15-for-23 (65.2%) from the field and 9-for-14 (64.2%) from 3-point range, led by Ferguson's 5-for-5 effort. Ferguson also had the assist on Calathes' game-winning 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds to play. The pair also had a big hand in the win over GW, combining for 36 points and 16 rebounds and then each scored 20 points in the win over rival Villanova. They have earned praise from Phil Martelli. "What we're seeing from our team is that our oldest guys- Pat and Rob - are performing at probably the highest levels of their careers," said the coach.
SIX STARTERS: The Hawks may not have a deep bench, but as Phil Martelli says, they "have six starters". Martelli's referring to Garrett Williamson as that sixth starter. The sophomore was a starter in all but one game in 2006-07 and he made four starts this year when Tasheed Carr was sidelined with the ankle injury.
PAT'S WEEK: Pat Calathes was named the Philadelphia Big 5 Player of the Week (Feb. 4) for the fourth time this year and second straight week. Calathes averaged 17.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in two wins, while shooting 12-for-20 from the field (60%) and 5-for-10 from 3-point range.The senior recorded his 1,000th career point in win over Fordham, becoming 46th player in Hawk history to do so. He scored 14 points in the contest. At GW, he scored a game-high 21 points and had 10 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season.
THE GAME-CHANGER: Garrett Williamson had a unique boxscore line in the Villanova game. It again showed the impact he has, despite not being one of the team's top scorers. The sophomore came off the bench to record four rebounds, five assists, a career-high four blocks, and two steals in 29 minutes, and did not take a shot in the game. Williamson, who is establishing himself as one of the top defensive players and sixth men in the Atlantic 10, held Villanova's Scottie Reynolds to just 12 points.
UNFORGETTABLE: Although a game he'd likely want to forget, the Duquesne contest was the 400th coached by Phil Martelli and was his 200th Atlantic 10 game.
FERG'S FINEST: Rob Ferguson is giving the Hawks scoring on a consistent basis and is averaging 12.8 points in the last nine games, with a high of 20 vs. Villanova. The senior has notched double figures in 10 of the last 13 games and is averaging a career-best 11.7 ppg on the year. During the seven-game stretch he's shooting 50 percent from the field. He went 5-for-5 from 3-point range in the win over Temple and was 6-for-11 from the field at GW.
AN ELITE CLUB: Pat Calathes became the latest member of SJU's 1,000-point club, when he scored his 11th point vs. Fordham. He was the 46th Hawk to reach the plateau. On January 16, Rob Ferguson hit the mark, and a third member should be joining the club soon as Ahmad Nivins needs only 16 points to reach 1,000.
CHAIRMEN OF THE BOARDS: Pat Calathes and Ahmad Nivins have both surpassed the 500 rebound totals for their careers. Calathes is 32nd on the Hawks' all-time list with 547 and Nivins is 38th with 511. Calathes is the 24th player in SJU history to record over 1,000 points and grab over 500 rebounds, while Nivins is only 16 points away from reaching that status.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Hawks return home on Wednesday, Feb. 13 to host St. Bonaventure at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse. Then after a rare weekend without a game, SJU hosts La Salle on Monday, Feb. 18 at the Palestra for a Big 5 and Atlantic 10 contest.