Feb. 19, 2010
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's (9-17; 3-9 A-10) men's basketball will host #21 Temple (21-5; 9-2) in an Atlantic 10 and Big 5 matchup on Saturday, February 20 at The Palestra. Game time is noon.
The game will be televised locally on Comcast SportsNet with Noah Coslov and Steve Wolf calling the action. It will also be syndicated by CBS College Sports and will also be shown on the following outlets: Comcast SportsNet South; Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic; and Chart 8 in St. Louis. The game can be heard on WNTP Radio (990 AM) with Matt Martucci and Joe Lunardi calling the action. Audio streaming will be available free of charge on SJUHawks.com, via Stretch Internet.
Fans are encouraged to bring household items to the game as a donation to the AstraZenca Hope Lodge, run by the American Cancer Society. Click here for the list of needed items.
GAME NOTES The Hawks ended a two-game road trip on Wednesday with the loss to Xavier. Today's contest counts in the Big 5 standings. Garrett Williamson ranks second in the A-10 in assists in conference games (4.2). Saint Joseph's ranks second in the A-10 in steals in conference games with 8.1, while Darrin Govens ranks second and Garrett Williamson is third. Saint Joseph's is 1-1 at The Palestra this season. This is the final of three games here. The regular-season finale with La Salle on March 6 will be played at Hagan Arena. Phil Martelli is in his 15th season as head coach and his 25th at the University. Martelli served as an assistant coach for 10 years on the staffs of Jim Boyle and John Griffin. He is the A-10's active leader in conference wins with 144. Saint Joseph's is celebrating the Centennial of SJU Basketball this year, as the inaugural season took place in 1909-10.
LAST TIME OUT: Xavier placed four players in double figures as it rolled to an 88-52 win over Saint Joseph's at the Cintas Center. It was the Musketeers' 22nd consecutive win on their homecourt. Garrett Williamson was the only Hawk in double figures with 17 points on 6-for-10 shooting. Xavier jumped out to a 7-0 start and had a double-digit lead by the 16-minute mark. The Hawks forced Xavier into 11 first-half turnovers and did come within, 20-15, on five consecutive points from Chris Prescott. But then the Musketeers used a 9-2 run over the next three minutes to build the lead back up to 33-19 and then eventually, 40-28, at halftime. In the first half, Xavier shot 50 percent to 33 percent by Saint Joseph's and held a commanding 29-6 advantage in rebounding. The second half was more of the same as Xavier shot 60.6 percent from the field and led by 20-plus points for all but five minutes of the half. Saint Joseph's shot 34.5 percent from the floor but was 0-for-8 from 3-point range. The Musketeers finished the game with a dominating 53-17 rebounding edge over the Hawks.
INJURY REPORT: Justin Crosgile suffered a sprain to his left foot on Wednesday at Xavier. X-rays were negative but his status is day-to-day.
HAWKS VS. THE POLLS: Saint Joseph's last victories over a Top 25 team came in 2007-08 when it defeated Xavier twice in a span of two weeks. The Hawks topped #8 Xavier, 71-66, on March 6, 2008, in the final game at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse, and then beat the 12th-ranked Musketeers on March 14 in the A-10 Semifinals. Thus far this season, the Hawks have lost to #7 Purdue, #3 Villanova and #21 Temple.
CITY SERIES: The Hawks are still in the hunt for a share of the Big 5 title as they own a 1-1 record. Temple is currently in first place at 2-0 while Villanova is 3-1. Saint Joseph's has today's game and a meeting with La Salle on March 6.
KEY TO THE CITY: Saint Joseph's owns a 27-18 record against Philadelphia teams over the last seven seasons, counting this one. The Hawks struggled against their city foes last year, going 1-6. SJU is 2-2 this year defeating Drexel and Penn and losing to Villanova and Temple.
DOWN TO THE WIRE: The SJU-Temple series has produced some close games in the last few years. On Feb. 12, 2009, the Owls captured a 61-59 win at The Palestra despite leading by 10 points with :54 to play. SJU was successful in sending TU to the foul line as the Owls missed eight free throws in that final stretch. In 2007-08, the Hawks and Owls split the regular-season series with two thrillers. SJU won the first one at Temple (1/26/08), 68-67, on Pat Calathes' 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds to play. Temple came out ahead in the second game at The Palestra (3/2/08), 57-56, on Mark Tyndale's layup with :21 to play. Temple then won the third meeting, defeating the Hawks, 69-64, in the 2008 Atlantic 10 Championship game.
BRAGGING RIGHTS: This is the third Big 5 game of the season for the Hawks, who lost to Villanova and defeated Penn. The first Temple game was an Atlantic 10 contest only. SJU has won a total of 19 Big 5 titles (9 outright/10 shared), which is third all-time to Temple's 23 titles (5 outright/18 shared).
IF IT'S NOT ONE THING...: Phil Martelli was pleased with the Hawks' defense against Saint Louis and UMass, but it was the offense that faltered. "The cause for concern is at the offensive end. I thought we did a reasonable job in both games defensively - we accomplished what we wanted to. We competed on the backboard and did a reasonable job on the glass. And then we go and have 20 points in a half against Saint Louis and 19 against UMass. It's not something that I saw coming, but obviously it's a huge concern going into these last five games. We just hope that when we fix this, we don't have another hole in the dike."
LOW POINTS: The numbers from the Hawks' drought in the final 11 minutes of the first half at UMass were 20 possessions, six turnovers and 14 missed shots, as SJU scored a season-low 19 points.
LOW POINTS, PART II: At Xavier, SJU shot just 5.3% (1-for-19) from 3-point range, and were outrebounded, 53-17. Although no records exist for that category, the rebounding disparity is possibly one of the biggest in school history.
BRIGHT SPOTS: There were two bright spots in the loss to Saint Louis. First, the Hawks outrebounded SLU, 41-30, marking only the second time this year that they have won the battle of the boards. Also, SJU outscored Saint Louis, 28-16, in the paint, which was one of the best inside efforts of the year. On the season, Saint Joseph's has been outscored in the paint by an average of 34.2 points to 26.5 points.
NOT FOR THREE: Three-point shooting has not been one of the Hawks' strengths this year, but the struggle has really come to light in the past few weeks. In the last four games, SJU has converted just 13-of-73 from 3-point range (17.8%), with a low of 1-for-19 (5.3%) in the loss at Xavier. The Hawks' season percentage has dipped to 29.9 percent.
GOVENS' GOALS: Darrin Govens has upped his shooting percentage during the conference portion of the season. The senior is hitting 40.4 percent from the field, which is higher than his overall shooting percentage of 38.0. Against Richmond and St. Bonaventure, Govens made 12-for-25 from the field and 7-for-15 from 3-point range. On the season, Govens is averaging a team-best 12.8 ppg overall, and 13.0 ppg in conference play.
HOME AWAY FROM HOME: With the formation of the Philadelphia Big 5 in 1955, SJU began utilizing The Palestra as a home venue. Since that year, the Hawks have played at least one home game in the historic arena every season. The facility served as SJU's homecourt in 2008-09 with 13 games due to the expansion and renovation project at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse, which is now Hagan Arena. Saint Joseph's went 7-6 here last season, but has compiled a 330-157 record (.676) at The Palestra, with more wins than the program's victory total at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse (319). This is the final of three games at The Palestra this season.
CENTENNIAL MOMENT: February 20, 1943 - George Senesky scored 38 points against Gettysburg, for the second best scoring effort of his career and the ninth best in Hawk history.
February 20, 1965 - In one of the top individual performances in the history of The Palestra, Cliff Anderson scored 36 points and grabbed 24 rebounds in a 69-61 victory over rival Villanova. The game is also known for the bomb threat that was called into The Palestra that night. All 8,375 fans were forced to evacuate the building for 40 minutes between the doubleheader games (the first game was La Salle vs. Western Kentucky).
LOOKING AHEAD: SJU goes back on the road to visit Charlotte on February 24 and then gets the weekend "off". The Hawks' final two games are March 2 at George Washington and March 6 vs. La Salle at Hagan Arena.