Feb. 25, 2005
PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's men's basketball team will travel out of town for the first time in almost three weeks to face Rhode Island on Saturday, February 26. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN beginning at 2:30 p.m. It can also be heard on the Saint Joseph's Sports Network on WPEN-Radio (950 AM) and on the Sirius Satellite Network.
ABOUT THE HAWKS: Saint Joseph's has won eight straight Atlantic 10 games and eight of their last 10 contests. The Hawks clinched at least a tie for their fifth straight A-10 East regular-season title, matching UMass' record of five consecutive from 1992 to 1996. SJU is 15-9 and 12-1 in the league. The Hawks can clinch the A-10 Tournament's number-one overall seed with a win today.
ABOUT THE RAMS: Rhode Island is coming off a 70-64 loss to UMass. The Rams are 4-20 and 2-11 in the Atlantic 10.
Televison/Radio: The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2 with Bob Carpenter and Bob Wenzel calling the action. The Saint Joseph's Sports Network will broadcast the game on WPEN Radio (950 AM) with the team of Tom McCarthy and Joe Lunardi. McCarthy is in his second year as play-by-play announcer and Lunardi is in his 15th as the Hawks' color analyst. The contest can also be heard via streaming audio on the Saint Joseph's website at www.sjuhawks.com and on Sirius Satellite Radio.
NEXT GAME: Tue., March 1 at George Washington, 7 p.m., ESPN2
INJURY REPORT: John Bryant will be sidelined for at least 3 to 4 weeks with a fracture in his right arm suffered in the second half of Tuesday's win at Temple. Diagnostic testing on Thursday disclosed that the senior has a non-displaced fracture of the radial head in his right arm. The radial head is part of the radius bone and is located at the top of the forearm, near the elbow, on the thumb side. Bryant was fouled by Nehemiah Ingram as he went up for a layin with 11:22 remaining, and landed on his right hip and elbow. The senior co-captain had played just nine minutes. He saw seven minutes of action in the first half despite still recovering from bronchitis, which had sidelined him on Feb. 19. He will begin aggressive rehabilitation immediately.
BOUNCING BACK: Chet Stachitas had what Phil Martelli called a "monster game" against Temple. The junior scored a game-high 19 points on 5-for-9 shooting, including a 7-for-10 effort from the foul line. Heading into the game, the Hawks wanted to get Stachitas back on track as he had struggled in the two games of last week (Richmond, St. Bonaventure), making just 3-of-19 from the field and going 0-for-8 in 3-point attempts. The junior, who is still not 100 percent from a high ankle sprain in December, is the squad's second leading scorer with 12.4 ppg. He is converting 84.8 percent from the foul line in conference games.
DRIVE FOR FIVE: Heading into the season, the Hawks set out to become only the second team in conference history to win five straight regular-season titles (UMass, 1991 to 1996). Saint Joseph's achieved that feat with the win over Temple on Tuesday evening, clinching at least a tie for the A-10 East crown. With a 12-1 record, the Hawks have earned the number-one seed in the East Division and could clinch the A-10 Tournament's overall seed with a victory today.
THE FLOOR GENERAL: Dwayne Lee has put up remarkable numbers lately with his assist to turnover ratio. Two performances that stand out are the games with Temple in which he's totalled just two turnovers. In the first game, Lee had 11 assists and one turnover in 40 minutes and in the recent win, the junior had nine assists while turning the ball over only once in 40 minutes. He currently leads the Atlantic 10 in assists (5.5) and in assist/turnover ratio (2.16).
RARE FEAT: Dwayne Jones accomplished a rare feat against St. Bonaventure (Feb. 19), posting the first triple-double of his career and the first for a Saint Joseph's player in almost 20 years. Jones had 11 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high 11 blocks to match the feat achieved by Rodney Blake on Feb. 27, 1986 (14 pts, 13 rebs, 10 blks) vs. Penn State. It was also the first for an Atlantic 10 player since Xavier's David West recorded one on Dec. 8, 2001. Jones clinched it when he drove from the wing and dunked it with 8:22 to play in the game.
DEE-FENSE: The Hawks take pride in their defense and their play on that end of the floor has been the key to the turnaround in the season's second half. In the current eight-game Atlantic 10 winning streak, SJU has limited its foes to just 53.8 points per game. More impressively last week (Feb. 14) the Hawks' opponents scored an average of just 41.5 points in the two games. The last time SJU gave up more than 60 points was a non-conference game with nationally-ranked Villanova (67) on Feb. 7.
MORE ON THE DEFENSE: Saint Joseph's defense is now ranked ninth in the nation, holding its opponents to 59.1 points per game. The Hawks made a huge jump from last week's rankings, moving up to ninth from 21st.