Nov. 28, 2007
Saint Joseph's (3-1) will host 19th-ranked Gonzaga (5-1) at the sold-out Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse on Thursday, November 29. Game time is 8 p.m. and the contest will be televised nationally on ESPNU.
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. There will be no video streaming because of the telecast on ESPNU.
This is the second of four games in eight days for the Hawks, which are all in Philadelphia. Pat Calathes still tops the Hawks in scoring with 17.0 ppg, followed by Darrin Govens at 15.0 ppg. Other Hawks in double figures are Ahmad Nivins with 13.8 ppg and Tasheed Carr with an 11.5 scoring average. SJU will be looking for its first win over a ranked team since the win over #17 Wake Forest in the 2004 NCAA East Regional Semifinals (March 25, 2004). This will be the fifth time in seven years that Saint Joseph's and Gonzaga have played. The series is deadlocked at 2-2. Saint Joseph's enters the game converting 50 percent from the field (100-of-200). The Hawks have another quick turnaround, hosting Penn State on Saturday at the Palestra.
QUITE A RIVALRY: The Saint Joseph's-Gonzaga series has provided exciting games in its short history (four games). The teams are deadlocked 2-2 in the all-time series, with the Zags winning the last game, 102-94, on New Year's Eve 2005. Here's a snapshot of the games in this rivalry between the two Jesuit schools: 12/31/05 (Spokane)- #8 Gonzaga 102- SJU 94: Hawks hit a McCarthey-record 15 3-point field goals, but Bulldogs went 11-for-12 from the foul line in the final minute to avoid the upset. 11/14/03 (New York) - #17 SJU 73- #10 GU 66: In the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Madison Square Garden, the Hawks started their run of 27 consecutive victories. Jameer Nelson had 20 points and 10 assists in the win. 12/31/02 (Spokane) - SJU 79- GU 78 (ot): Jameer Nelson's jumper at :08 gave the Hawks the overtime road victory. 12/31/01 (Philadelphia) GU 83- SJU 80: Dan Dickau hit a 3-pointer from the corner at the buzzer to lift Gonzaga.
NON-STOP SCHEDULE: Even though the Hawks had a 10-day hiatus in between games (from Nov. 17 to 27), they're in the midst of a non-stop schedule. The home opener with Ball State on Tuesday was the first of four games in eight days for Saint Joseph's. The games are all in Philadelphia, and following tonight's contest, SJU will host Penn State at the Palestra on Saturday and Holy Cross next Tuesday, Dec. 4 at the Fieldhouse. Things slow down again after the Holy Cross game with only four games the rest of December.
TALKIN' ABOUT PRACTICE: The Hawks didn't even get to practice on their own court in preparation for tonight's game, due to the SJU women's team hosting fifth-ranked Rutgers on Wednesday evening in the Fieldhouse. Instead, the Hawks practiced at nearby PCOM (Phila. College of Osteopathic Medicine), which is the Philadelphia 76ers' practice facility.
HAWKS VS. THE TOP 25: Gonzaga is the second ranked team faced by the Hawks this season, as Syracuse was 25th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll on Nov. 13. The last ranked team beaten by SJU was #17 Wake Forest in the NCAA East Regional Semifinals during the Hawks' run to the 2004 Elite Eight. Temple is the highest ranked team defeated by SJU under Phil Martelli, when the Hawks scored a 62-59 win over the #5 Owls on Feb. 29, 2000. Gonzaga is the highest ranked team to visit the Fieldhouse since #8 George Washington played here on Feb. 11, 2006. The Hawks lost that game to the Colonials, 64-62.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Saint Joseph's owns an all-time record of 314-79 thru 58 seasons in the friendly confines of Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse, a winning percentage of 80 percent. In this decade, the Hawks have won 85 percent of their games here, posting a 61-11 mark on their home court. Last season, SJU was 8-3 in the Fieldhouse.
BALANCING ACT: Phil Martelli likes the way that the Hawks are sharing the ball, with 68 assists on 100 field goals already this year. Against Ball State, SJU had 17 assists on 23 baskets. The Hawks have also seen four players score double figures in three of the four games thus far.