Dec. 30, 2005
SPOKANE, WA - Saint Joseph's will face one of its biggest challenges of the season when it takes on 8th-ranked Gonzaga on New Year's Eve in a nationally-televised tilt (ESPN2) from the sold-out McCarthey Athletic Center. Game time is 3 p.m. on the West Coast and 6 p.m. in the East.
The Hawks arrived in Spokane on Thursday, coming off a 70-66 win at Saint Mary's the previous night. SJU began its preparations for the 9-3 Zags and their National Player of the Year candidate Adam Morrison, who is averaging 28 points per game.
"Adam Morrison may be the best player this program has faced in my time as head coach and the best since Lionel Simmons. And that includes all the great players from Villanova and Temple, as well as players like David West and Dan Dickau. He," said Hawk coach Phil Martelli.
SJU holds a 2-1 lead in the series with Gonzaga, in a rivalry that has produced a few classic games already. The Hawks have won the last two, scoring a 73-66 decision in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at the start of the perfect regular season in 2003-04. Saint Joseph's also won the last time in Spokane, with a dramatic 79-78 overtime win on New Year's Eve 2002. Gonzaga won the first meeting of the two Jesuit schools on New Year's Eve 2001, 83-80 at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse.
Aside from the ESPN2 telecast, the game can be heard on the Saint Joseph's Sports Network on WPEN Radio (SportsTalk 950 AM) with Tom McCarthy and Joe Lunardi calling the action.
As they did in the Saint Mary's game, the Hawks will be wearing black bands on their uniforms in memory of beloved former player and coach Jim Boyle, who passed away on December 23.
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