Hawks Take On Penn in Big 5 Opener on Saturday Evening
Courtesy: SJU Athletic Communications  
Release:  01/18/2008

Jan. 18, 2008

PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's will take on Penn in its Big 5 opener on Saturday evening, January 19 at The Palestra. The game, which begins at 7:30 pm, will be televised on CN8, The Comcast Network.

The game will be a part of Big 5 Hall of Fame weekend, with this year's inductees being honored at halftime. Former Hawk star Rap Curry '94 was inducted on January 18 along with Donnie Carr of La Salle, James "Booney" Salters of Penn, and

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 free of charge as provided by Stretch Internet.

Click here for game notes.

GAME NOTES:Tasheed Carr is questionable for tonight with a sprained right ankle, that he suffered in practice this past Monday. He did not make the trip to Charlotte on Wednesday. • SJU's next victory will be Phil Martelli's 250th in his 13-year career. • This is the first Big 5 game of the year for the Hawks. SJU has finished in second place the last two years with a 3-1 record each year, with the lone loss coming to Villanova. • Former Hawk star Rap Curry is Saint Joseph's inductee into the Big 5 Hall of Fame class of 2007. • Senior Rob Ferguson recorded his 1,000th career point at Charlotte and now has 1,001. • Ahmad Nivins was named the Big 5 Player of the Week for Jan. 14 after averaging 21.5 points and 12.5 rebounds in two victories. • Pat Calathes tops the Hawks in scoring (18.1 ppg) and rebounding (8.3) and is second in assists (2.6). • Tasheed Carr leads the Atlantic 10 in assists with 6.6 per game and ranks ninth in the latest NCAA statistics. Ahmad Nivins was eighth in field goal percentage (63.8) at the start of this week.

LAST TIME OUT: Charlotte overcame a second-half rally by Saint Joseph's to beat the Hawks, 70-66, in Halton Arena, ending a five-game winning streak for SJU. D.J. Rivera return to action after sitting out the first semester to concentrate on academics.

INJURY REPORT: Tasheed Carr is questionable for the game after spraining his right ankle in practice last Monday. He did not make the trip to Charlotte with the Hawks because of the injury.

DOUBLE DUTY: Pat Calathes has recorded double-doubles in four of his last five games, with the most recent being the 22 point-10 rebound effort vs. Richmond. He now has nine double-doubles in his career.

AHMAD'S WEEK: Ahmad Nivins was named the Big 5 Player of the Week (Jan. 14) for helping the Hawks to two victories last week. Nivins averaged 21.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 3.0 blocks in the two games. His effort included a career-best 31 points and six blocks at UMass. It is his first honor of the season and marks the third week in a row that a Hawk has earned the Big 5 award, as Pat Calathes won it two consecutive weeks.

AN ELITE CLUB: Rob Ferguson became the latest member of SJU's 1,000-point club, reaching the plateau with his eighth point at Charlotte, with over six minutes to go in the game. He is the 45th Hawk to reach the plateau and now has 1,001 points. Ahmad Nivins and Pat Calathes each surpassed the 900-point marks in the same game.

HONORING A HAWK: Rap Curry is Saint Joseph's inductee into the Big 5 Hall of Fame this weekend. A three-time All-Big 5 selection who starred at SJU from 1990-94, he still ranks second on the Hawks' all-time assist list with 580. The guard led the Hawks in steals during three seasons and currently ranks seventh on SJU's list with 195. The native of Landsowne, PA, and graduate of Penn Wood High School scored 1,372 points in his career, the 19th best all-time. Curry was inducted into the Saint Joseph's Men's Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999.

D.J.'S BACK: Sophomore D.J. Rivera has fulfilled his academic obligations and made his season debut at Charlotte on Jan. 16, playing 20 minutes and scoring six points. Rivera did not play in any games during the first semester in order to concentrate on academics. He was able to practice with the Hawks from the start of the season, although his practice schedule was determined by Phil Martelli and the academic tutors. "D.J. has demonstrated a strong desire to be a student-athlete at Saint Joseph's. The requirements were stringent and tested D.J.'s resolve. He is better for having gone through the process," said Martelli. Last season, Rivera averaged 5.9 points and 2.6 rebounds in 32 games as the Hawks' sixth man.

SIXTH MAN: Garrett Williamson is making his mark as a solid sixth man for the Hawks, establishing his reputation on the defensive end and doing the things that don't show up in the boxscore. He did put together a career-best offensive game, however, against Richmond with 16 points. WIlliamson went 10-for-11 from the foul line in the game.

MORE ON GARRETT: Garrett Williamson was in the starting lineup at Charlotte, replacing the injured Tasheed Carr. Although WIlliamson's been a key player off the bench this year, he made starts in all but one game last season. At Charlotte, the sophomore had his second consecutive double-figure scoring game with 12 points, while keying the Hawk rally with three steals in a one-and-a-half minute span.

BROTHERS IN ARMS: Pat Calathes and his younger brother, Nick, share the distinction of being the only brothers in college basketball to be their teams' leading scorers. Pat is averaging a team-high 18.1 points for the Hawks, while Nick, a freshman at Florida, is scoring 15.3 per game.

PALESTRA PLAY: 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. SJU has compiled a 319-149 record (.681) at The Palestra, with more wins than the program's victory total at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse (315). This is not the Hawks' "home" game, but they will play three more in the building this year.

CITY RIVALRY: This is the first Big 5 game of the year for Saint Joseph's. For the past two seasons, the Hawks have gone 3-1 in the Big 5, with the lone loss each year coming to Villanova. SJU has won a total of 19 Big 5 titles (9 outright/10 shared), which is second all-time to Temple's 22 titles (5 outright/17 shared). A loss to Penn on Jan. 25, 2005 snapped a 10-game Big 5 winning streak for the Hawks.

KEY TO THE CITY: SJU owns a 27-7 record against city teams over the last six seasons (counting this year). This mark counts all games against Philadelphia teams (Drexel included). The Hawks have already defeated Drexel this season.

LOOKING AHEAD: Saint Joseph's plays UMass for the second time in two weeks, hosting the Minutemen at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse on Wednesday, Jan. 23.