Nov. 16, 2009
PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's men's basketball team (1-0) will host Holy Cross (0-1) on Tuesday, November 17 at the Michael J. Hagan '85 Arena. Game time is 7 p.m.
The game will be carried on WNTP (990 AM) with Matt Martucci and Joe Lunardi calling the action. Video streaming for the game will be available via Hawks All-Access on www.sjuhawks.com. Audio streaming is available free of charge on SJUHawks.com thru Stretch Internet.
GAME STORIES Saint Joseph's opened Hagan Arena with an 77-67 overtime win over Drexel on Friday night, led by 23 points from Darrin Govens. The Hawks will head to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, to participate in the 2009 Paradise Jam. SJU opens play on Nov. 20 against Boston College and then will play on either Saturday or Sunday and then close out the tournament on Monday, Nov. 23. It marks the Hawks' first-ever participation in the Paradise Jam. Phil Martelli enters 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. Saint Joseph's is marking the Centennial of SJU Basketball this year, as the inaugural season took place in 1909-10.
LAST TIME OUT: Todd O'Brien's short jumper with 46 seconds to play in overtime helped lift Saint Joseph's to a 77-67 win over city rival Drexel in the inaugural game in the Michael J. Hagan '85 Arena. A sellout crowd of 4,200 saw the Hawks win in their return to campus after the 16-month renovation of Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse. After O'Brien's shot, senior Darrin Govens stole the ball on Drexel's next possession and went the length of the court for a layup and was intentionally fouled. He would score six points in the seven seconds to break the game open. Govens scored a game-high 23 points, and helped send the game into the extra period on a 3-pointer with 14.6 seconds to go in regulation to tie it at 60-60. After Drexel went ahead, 62-60, on two free throws at :09, Garrett Williamson took the ball the length of the court and hit a foul line jumper to tie the game, 62-62, at :03 and send it into overtime. Govens' game-tying shot finished a comeback for the Hawks, who trailed by 51-41 midway through the second half. Saint Joseph's used a 12-4 run, highlighted by 3-pointers from Govens and Bryant Irwin to close to 55-53 with 6:20 to play. Hilliard scored 16 points, Williamson finished with 11 and Carl Jones scored 13.
HAWKS' NEW HOME: SJU played the inaugural game at the Michael J. Hagan `85 Arena on Nov. 13, defeating Drexel, 77-67. The arena is the result of a 16-month expansion and renovation of the previous on-campus home, Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse, which served as the Hawks' homecourt for 59 years. Hagan Arena provides a number of fan-friendly renovations as well as an increase of 1,000 seats, bringing the capacity to 4,200. SJU men's and women's basketball programs also now have upgraded facilities with the Ramsay Basketball Center, that is adjacent to Hagan Arena. The Ramsay Center houses both the offices for both programs along with locker rooms, player lounges and a video study room. The $35 million upgrade (both Hagan and Ramsay) now provides the basketball programs with state-of-the-art facilities.
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION: The 2009-10 season marks the Centennial of Saint Joseph's University Basketball. The first varsity team took the court in 1909-10, coached by John Dever. Since then, the Hawks have amassed 1,482 victories, a number which currently ranks among the top 40 programs in NCAA history. The Saint Joseph's program is synonymous with the term "tradition of excellence. Among the numbers that Saint Joseph's basketball can boast are: 19 NCAA Tournament Appearances; 14 NIT Appearances; 7 Atlantic 10 Regular-Season Titles; 2 Atlantic 10 Tournament Championships; 19 Big 5 Titles; 12 All-Americans; 30 NBA Draft Picks; 18 NBA Players; and 7 NBA Coaches.
SILVER ANNIVERSARY: Phil Martelli enters his 15th season as head coach at Saint Joseph's but his 25th total at the University. He was an assistant coach for 10 years prior to taking the top job in 1995, serving on the staffs of Jim Boyle and John Griffin.
HERE COMES THE GOV: Darrin Govens got his senior season off to a solid start, scoring a game-high 23 points in the win over Drexel. Govens hit the 3-pointer that tied the game at 60-60 with :16 left in regulation before it went into overtime at 62-62. He then helped put the game away in the overtime as he grabbed a steal, converted a layup and then was fouled intentionally, scoring six points in a span of seven seconds. The senior shot 6-for-17 from the field, but made a career-best 8-for-11 from the foul line.
SENIOR MOMENTS: Phil Martelli relies greatly on his seniors every season and two stepped up against Drexel. Darrin Govens hit a 3-pointer to tie the score with :16 seconds to play and then after Drexel went up again, 62-60, Garrett Williamson connected on a foul-line jumper at :03 to send the game into overtime. The Hawks would have to play without Williamson in the extra period when he fouled out with 3:33 left.
IDRIS INSIDE: Idris Hilliard has some big shoes to fill as the Hawks' leading returning post player, after the graduation of A-10 Player of the Year Ahmad Nivins. Hilliard had a solid first game, netting 16 points with a career-best 10-for-11 from the free throw line.
FILLING IN: Carl Jones was tabbed to start his first collegiate game, but was pulled from the lineup after missing academic assignments. Sophomore Chris Prescott made his first career start in Jones' place. Jones ended up playing 31 minutes and scored 13 points, with nine from the foul line.
HAWK DEBUT: Todd O'Brien made his SJU debut after sitting out last season upon his transfer from Bucknell. The 6-11 forward scored nine points and grabbed eight rebounds, but had his biggest shot at :47 in the extra period vs. Drexel. The sophomore put in a short jumper to give the Hawks a lead in overtime that they would not relinquish in the 77-67.
THE DEFENDER: Garrett Williamson is known as the team's top defender and Phil Martelli has put the senior in the class with SJU defensive standouts Dmitri Domani and Tyrone Barley. Williamson was named to the 2009-10 Preseason Atlantic 10 All-Defensive Team after earning A-10 All-Defensive honors last season.
TURNING IT OVER: One thing that Phil Martelli was not pleased with after the Drexel win was the amount of turnovers. The Hawks had 19 in the game, with high numbers by backcourt players Garrett Williamson (8) and Darrin Govens (5).
WELCOME BACK: SJU makes its return to Hawk Hill this year after playing all of its 2008-09 home games at The Palestra, due to the renovation and expansion project, which has resulted in Hagan Arena. The Hawks went 7-6 in The Palestra last season. In the 59 seasons of Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse, SJU compiled a 319-82 record, a winning percentage of 79.5 percent.
RETURN TO PARADISE: The Hawks will make their second consecutive trip to the tropics when they participate in the Paradise Jam at St. Thomas, Virgin Islands (Nov. 20-23). Last season, SJU made its first-ever trip to the EA Sports Maui Invitational. The Hawks open play in the Paradise Jam against Boston College on Nov. 20 with the rest of the tournament field being comprised of DePaul, East Carolina, Northern Iowa, Purdue, South Dakota State and Tennessee. SJU will play either Purdue or South Dakota State in the second round (either Nov. 21 or 22).