March 7, 2008
DAYTON, OH - Saint Joseph's (18-10; 9-6) will close out the regular season on Saturday against Dayton (19-9; 7-8). Game time is 2 p.m. from the UD Arena.
The game will be televised in Philadelphia on Comcast SportsNet. It can also be heard on the Saint Joseph's Radio Network with Ken Krsolovic and Joe Lunardi calling the action.
GAME NOTES: This is the eighth straight year that SJU has achieved at least 18 wins. Last year, the Hawks finished at 18-14. The Hawks snapped their two-game losing streak with the 71-66 win over #8 Xavier on Thursday night. Rob Ferguson will tie the school record for games played today by playing in his 130th of his career. Pat Calathes has been named to the NABC All-District 3 First Team while Ahmad Nivins has been named to the Second Team. Both players are now eligible for the State Farm Division I All-America teams. Pat Calathes tops the Hawks in scoring (17.8 ppg) and rebounding (7.8) and is third in assists (2.7). He ranks seventh in the A-10 in scoring, sixth in rebounding, and is fifth in the league in scoring in conference games (18.0 ppg). SJU is 56th in the RPI (kenpom.com) for March 7.
LONG TIME COMING: The win over #8 Xavier was SJU's first over a ranked team since March 25, 2004, when the Hawks defeated #17 Wake Forest in the NCAA East Regional Semifinals. It is the Hawks' first win over a Top 10 team since the 2003-04 season opening victory over #10 Gonzaga. The victory snapped a seven-game losing streak against ranked teams and Xavier was the highest ranked team ever beaten in Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse.
SPECIAL NIGHT: Saint Joseph's treated its faithful fans to a special evening surrounding the Xavier game. It was the final regular-season game before the 59-year old venue undergoes a major expansion and renovation. Saint Joseph's celebrated the past with a ceremony and parade of former players and coaches, including Jack Ramsay and Jameer Nelson, who served as honorary coach and honorary captain, respectively, for the game. Players, coaches and mascots from the six decades were in attendance, including Hawk greats such as Clifford Anderson, Tony Costner, Bernard Blunt, Jim Lynam, and Jack McKinney. Following this season, the Fieldhouse will undergo a $30 million expansion and renovation, which will include the building of a new basketball center which will house offices, lockerrooms and conference rooms for both the men's and women's basketball programs. During the construction, the Hawks will play their home games next year at the Palestra.
BALANCED AGAIN: The Hawks used their balanced scoring effort once again to defeat Xavier, as five players hit double figures.
FINAL NUMBERS: SJU is 8-4 in the final game of the regular season under Phil Martelli. The Hawks lost last year's finale at Richmond, but have won four of the last five.
QUICK TURNAROUND: The Hawks played Xavier on Thursday night at 9 p.m. in Philadelphia and then were on an 11:30 a.m. flight on Friday morning for the trip to Dayton. SJU avoided any problems with the snowstorm and landed in Ohio at 1:30 p.m.
NOTING NIVINS: Ahmad Nivins set the SJU single-season record for field goal percentage in 2006-07 (63.1), but has surpassed that this year, hitting 65 percent of his shots. The junior is also the Hawks' career leader in field goal percentage with a mark of 63.4.
GAMESMANSHIP: Rob Ferguson will tie the school record for games played in a career today, matching the mark of 130 set by Chet Stachitas (2002-06). Ferguson is a fifth-year senior who redshirted 2003-04.
LL-DISTRICT HAWKS: Pat Calathes and Ahmad Nivins have both earned NABC All-District 3 honors. Calathes was named to the first team while Nivins was named to the second team. It's the first such honor for Calathes while Nivins also earned selection to the second team in 2006-07. Both players are now eligible for the State Farm Division I All-America teams.
SNAP OUT OF IT: Pat Calathes snapped out of his shooting slump against Xavier, as he netted a team-high 17 points on a 5-for-11 effort from the field. In the previous two games, he had made just 6-of-30 from the field and 0-for-9 from 3-point range. The senior's struggles from 3-point range continue, however, as he went 0-for-1 against Xavier, running his streak without a 3-pointer to 0-for-10.
OFFENSIVE SHUTDOWN: The Hawks' offense, which had put up some big numbers this year, was stonewalled by Saint Louis in the 64-55 loss. Entering the game, SJU was averaging 89.5 points and shooting over 60 percent from the field in its previous two games. Saint Louis, which was holding its foes to a conference-low 60.6 points per game, did just that, limiting the Hawks to a season-low total in points and just 38.6 percent shooting. They followed that by scoring just 56 points in the loss to Temple, converting just 38.5 percent from the field.
NOT FOR THREE: Normally a good 3-point shooting team, the Hawks have fallen short in that category as of late. In the past three games, SJU has made just 11-for-44 from behind the arc, which included a 2-for-16 effort against Temple. Prior to the Saint Louis game, the team was hitting 40.9 percent and ranked sixth in the nation.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Hawks head to the Atlantic 10 Tournament in Atlantic City, with their seeding and opponent still to be determined.