Jan. 22, 2008
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's (10-5; 2-1) and Massachusetts (13-4; 2-1) will square off for the second time in two weeks on Wednesday evening, January 23 at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse. Game time is 6 p.m. with the telecast on CN8, The Comcast Network.
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. Fans can also go to www.cn8.tv and click the "watch live" link.
GAME NOTES: Tasheed Carr is questionable for tonight with a sprained right ankle that he suffered in practice on Jan. 14. He has missed the last two games. Garrett Williamson has stepped in as the starting point guard and is averaging 10.5 points and 7.0 assists. The Hawks have won six of their last seven games. This is the second meeting between the teams in the last two weeks. Saint Joseph's scored a 98-92 win on Jan. 9 in Amherst as Ahmad Nivins scored a career-high 31 points. Pat Calathes tops the Hawks in scoring (18.1 ppg) and rebounding (8.1) and is second in assists (2.8). Tasheed Carr leads the Atlantic 10 in assists with 6.7 per game and ranks eighth in the NCAA statistics for Jan. 17. The Hawks are 54th this week in the RPI (realtimerpi.com) and are one of six Atlantic 10 teams in the top 60. LAST TIME OUT: Pat Calathes scored a game-high 18 points and all 12 Hawks got into the scoring column as Saint Joseph's rolled to an 82-42 win over Penn in a Big 5 game at the sold-out Palestra. The victory was the 250th for SJU coach Phil Martelli in 13 seasons on Hawk Hill. Ahmad Nivins added 15 points, all in the second half, while Rob Ferguson had 12 points. Garrett Williamson handed out a career-high nine assists with no turnovers. The Hawks hit eight of their first 12 shots, including five 3-pointers, while Penn only connected on 1-for-11 as SJU jumped out to a 21-3 lead. SJU's lead reached 32-7 with 5:26 left in the half, and a 3-pointer by Calathes with 15 seconds left made it 38-14 at the break. A 15-5 run at the start of the second half gave Saint Joseph's a 53-19 advantage with 14:44 remaining. SJU finished the second half with 18 assists on 19 field goals and forced 19 Penn turnovers in the game.
INJURY REPORT: Tasheed Carr is questionable for the game after spraining his right ankle in practice on Jan. 14. He has missed the past two games (Charlotte, Penn) with the injury. He will be a game-day decision.
MILESTONE WIN: The win over Penn was Phil Martelli's 250th in his 13 seasons. With his record now at 250-144, Martelli ranks second in career victories and fourth in winning percentage.
FAMILIAR FOE: These teams met just two weeks ago with Saint Joseph's outscoring the Minutemen, 98-92, to win the conference opener in Amherst. The Hawks were hot from the start, hitting 22-of-33 from the field in earning a 52-44 halftime lead, despite the fact that UMass made eight 3-pointers. SJU went on a remarkable run, scoring 44 points over a 14-minute span covering the end of the first half and beginning of the second. The Hawks built their lead to 71-54 and UMass eventually whittled it to to 83-77 with just over five minutes to play, but the Hawks built it back to a 12-point lead on two occasions, the last with 36 seconds remaining. Ahmad Nivins scored at will, tallying 20 points in the first half and finishing with a career-high 31 while adding 12 rebounds and a personal-best six blocked shots. Pat Calathes had his third consecutive double-double with 21 points and 15 rebounds while Darrin Govens had 15 points and a career-high eight assists. Tasheed Carr also added 14 points for the Hawks, who shot 58.5% in the game and outrebounded UMass, 45-30.
TRUE TEAM EFFORT: In the 82-42 win over Penn, the Hawks registered a season-high 27 assists on 32 field goals. More impressively, SJU had assists on 18 of 19 baskets in the second half. The only one without an assist came when walk-on C.J. Brown stripped a Penn player of the ball and went in for an uncontested layup. Garrett Willamson led the way with a career-high nine assists and no turnovers. All 12 players active in the game scored for the Hawks.
FINDING FERG: Senior Rob Ferguson has stepped up his scoring as hoped for, and is averaging 12.7 points in the last eight games, with six games in double figures. He hit for a season-high 18 points in the win over Richmond and has now upped his scoring average to 10.7 points per game.
AN ELITE CLUB: Rob Ferguson became the latest member of SJU's 1,000-point club, reaching the plateau with his eighth point at Charlotte, with over six minutes to go in the game. He is the 45th Hawk to reach the plateau and now has 1,013 points. Ahmad Nivins and Pat Calathes each surpassed the 900-point marks in the same game and could give the Hawks three 1,000-point scorers this year. Calathes now has 928 points and Nivins has 919.
SIXTH MAN: Garrett Williamson is making his mark as a solid sixth man for the Hawks, establishing his reputation on the defensive end and doing the things that don't show up in the boxscore. Phil Martelli said, "Garrett has been our most consistent player this season, no matter what role we give him". Williamson put together a career-best offensive game against Richmond with 16 points, while going 10-for-11 from the foul line.
MORE ON GARRETT: Garrett Williamson has been the starting point guard for the past two games, replacing the injured Tasheed Carr. Although WIlliamson's been a key player off the bench this year, he was a starter in all but one game last season. At Charlotte, the sophomore had his second consecutive double-figure scoring game with 12 points, while keying the Hawk rally with three steals in a one-and-a-half minute span. Against Penn, Williamson played another steady game, handing out a career-high nine assists without a turnover.
FIVE A SIDE: The Hawks have five players averaging double figures and if they finish the season that way, it will be the first time that has happened since 1986-87. During that year, Rodney Blake, Bruiser Flint, Greg Mullee, Tarone Thornton and Boo Williams each averaged double digits.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Hawks travel crosstown to meet A-10 rival Temple on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. and then head south on I-95 to visit George Washington on Jan. 30.