Hawks Meet 17th-Ranked George Washington on Saturday
Courtesy: SJU Athletic Communications  
Release:  01/13/2006

Jan. 13, 2006

WASHINGTON, DC - The Saint Joseph's men's basketball team will travel to the nation's capital to meet 17th-ranked George Washington on Saturday, January 14, at the Smith Center. Game time is 2 p.m.

The game will not be televised but all of the action can be heard on the Saint Joseph's Sports Network on WPEN Radio (SportsTalk 950 AM) with Tom McCarthy and Joe Lunardi calling the action.

The teams are meeting for the first time since the 2005 Atlantic 10 championship game, won by GW, 76-67. In the lone regular-season contest last year, SJU scored a decisive 71-56 win at the Smith Center.

SJU is 6-6 and 1-2 in the Atlantic 10 after Wednesday's 68-58 loss at UMass. George Washington, ranked 17th by AP and 19th in the coaches poll, is 11-1 and 2-0 in the league.

Click here for streaming audio and live stats.

The Hawks return home on Tuesday, January 17 to host new A-10 member Charlotte at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse in a nationally-televised game (ESPN2). Game time is 7 p.m.

SAINT JOSEPH'S NOTES JEKYLL-HYDE: The Hawks have suffered from inconsistency which has prompted Phil Martelli to say, "the only thing consistent with this team is that they're inconsistent". Here's a look at the last four games, which outlines the Hawks' ups and downs:

• at #8 Gonzaga - 53.6 FG%; 46.9 3-pt FG%; 94 points scored

• vs. Xavier - made 8-of-first 12 shots, but allowed XU to go on a 12-0 run to take the lead; 58 points scored

• vs. Temple - made 11-of-17 3-pt FGs in the first half, but shot 6-of-19 from the field in the second half; needed a last-second shot to win

• at UMass- 35.7 FG% and season-low 16.0 3-pt FG% (4-of-25); 58 points

NOT ON BOARD: The Hawks have struggled on the boards, especially the offensive end. They're averaging just 10.2 offensive rebounds per game, which ranks 12th in the conference. In the past three games, they've only gotten 8.7 per game. UMass outscored them 10-2 in second-chance points.

GIVE HIM THE BALL: Rob Ferguson is one of the few Hawks who has shown consistency in his shooting, as evidenced by his 50.6 FG pct., but the sophomore only averages 7.2 shots per game. He went 6-for-8 from the field at UMass, but had taken only five shots the previous game vs. Temple. At Bucknell, Ferguson was 2-for-2, but at Saint Mary's he took 14 shots en route to a career-high 20 points.

IRON MEN: Three Hawks - Abdulai Jalloh, Dwayne Lee and Chet Stachitas - played all 40 minutes against Temple. SJU only used eight players in the game, with Dave Mallon getting the most minutes of the reserves, playing a season-high 25 minutes. Mallon was pressed into more duty because of his experience and because Ahmad Nivins had picked up three quick fouls.

SHOOTING FOR SIX: Among the Hawks' goals this season is to become the first team in Atlantic 10 history to win six consecutive regular-season titles. With five titles, SJU is currently tied with the Massachusetts' teams from 1991 to 1996.

HAWKS VS. THE TOP 25: GW is the second ranked team faced by the Hawks this season, after falling to #8 Gonzaga on Dec. 31. Last year, SJU went 0-2 vs. the Top 25 with losses to Kansas and Villanova. The last ranked team beaten by Saint Joseph's 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.

ODD SPOT: At the start of the conference season, the Hawks had been out of first place in the Atlantic 10 for a total of just eight days since February 2001. After the loss to Xavier in the conference opener, SJU has not been able to regain the top spot, now putting their total at 11 days (counting Jan. 14).

SURE SHOTS: Free throw shooting has been one of the team's strengths, and the Hawks started the week of Jan. 2 as the nation's leader at 80.8 percent, but in the most recent rankings (Jan. 9), dropped to second (leader is Gonzaga). The Hawks still lead the A-10 at 79.4% despite a 14-for-20 effort vs. UMass. It's a definite improvement from last year when SJU hovered around the 50 to 60 percent mark at the line. Abdulai Jalloh is the team's leader at 87.1 percent, with all five starters converting 77 percent or better. The Hawks own three of the top five spots in the Atlantic 10 rankings for free throw percentage (Jalloh, Chet Stachitas, Dwayne Lee). After not going to the foul line at all in the first half vs. Temple, the Hawks made 9-of-10 in the second half.