Dec. 18, 2007
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's men's basketball (4-4) returns to action from an 11-day hiatus, when it travels to Fairfield (2-7) on Friday, December 21. Game time at the Arena at Harbor Yards in Bridgeport, CT, is 7:30 p.m.
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 streaming will also be available on the web via B2 Network, for a charge of $6. Click here for the link.
The Hawks have lost two in a row, including a 90-84 overtime loss at Creighton on Dec. 9.
GAME NOTES: Complete Game Notes
LENGTHY BREAK: Saint Joseph's has not played since the Dec. 9 loss at Creighton, going 11 days without a game. The break was due to final exams which ended on Dec. 18. After tonight, the Hawks will have another week in between games, returning to action on Dec. 28 at Siena. SJU had a long hiatus earlier this year because of the Preseason NIT. After defeating Boston University on Nov. 17, the Hawks played their next game on Nov. 27 and defeated Ball State.
OVERTIME BLUES: Two of the Hawks' four losses this year have come in overtime (Gonzaga, Creighton). SJU has now dropped seven consecutive overtime contests. Their last OT win came on Dec. 31, 2002 when Jameer Nelson hit a last-second shot to defeat Gonzaga.
SJU AND THE THREE: Saint Joseph's has definitely used the 3-pointer to its advantage this year, as it ranks second in the A-10 in 3-point field goals made per game (8.63). But on the flip side, the Hawks have allowed their opponents to excel from behind the arc as they rank last in the conference in 3-point field goal defense (41.0%).
GET HIM THE BALL: Ahmad Nivins is averaging just 6.1 shots per game and was without a shot against Creighton, scoring just two points from the foul line. It was his lowest point total since he had three at Syracuse earlier this year. Previously the A-10's leader in field goal percentage, Nivins does not appear in the league's stats because he has not met the minimum of five field goals made per game, although he's shooting 63.3 percent. Nivins has played the most minutes of any Hawk (298), but has taken the fewest shots (49).
THE OUTSIDERS: The Hawks have still been relying on their perimeter game despite having one of the A-10's top inside players in Ahmad Nivins. Nivins has taken fewer field goal attempts (49) than Darrin Govens has taken from 3-point range (63).
PRAISING THE HAWKS: SI.com remarked that the Hawks "have to be the best 4-4 team in the America". The Hawks' four losses are by a combined total of 19 points. That includes a last-second loss at Syracuse, an overtime loss to #19 Gonzaga, a five-point loss to Holy Cross and another overtime loss at Creighton.
THE WEEK THAT WAS: SJU put up some solid numbers for the week of Nov. 26 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. Last season, Calathes set the school record with 38 consecutive free throws made. He's currently shooting 80.4 percent from the line.
GOING ON THE ROAD: The Hawks are in the midst of a stretch of five consecutive games played away from Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse. After tonight's game, the Hawks take a break for Christmas and return to action at Siena on Dec. 28. SJU closes out 2007 at its "home away from home", The Palestra, against Drexel on New Year's Eve. Saint Joseph's opens conference play at Massachusetts on Jan. 9 and then returns to Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse on Jan. 12 against Richmond.