March 14, 2005
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's has earned a bid to the National Invitation Tournament and will host Hofstra in an opening round game tonight, Wednesday, March 16, at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse. Game time is 7 p.m. The game will not be televised but the Saint Joseph's Sports Network will broadcast the game on WPEN-Radio (950 AM).
The winner will advance to meet the winner of the Drexel at Buffalo game, with the contest scheduled for Saturday at the site to be determined.
The Hawks are 19-11 and reached the Atlantic 10 Championship game, before falling to George Washington, 76-67. Saint Joseph's was the top overall seed in the A-10 Tournament and had captured the A-10 East regular-season title for the fifth consecutive year.
Hofstra is 21-8 and went 12-6 in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Pride lost in the CAA semifinals to eventual champion Old Dominion.
Saint Joseph's will be making its fifth consecutive postseason appearance, and seventh in 10 years under Phil Martelli. SJU had been to the NCAA Tournament in the past two seasons, including last year's run to the Elite Eight.
Saint Joseph's has participated in the NIT 12 times, owning an overall record of 10-12. The Hawks' last appearance came in 2002, when SJU won at George Mason, but lost to Ball State, 76-54, in Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse.
In his first year as head coach, in 1996, Phil Martelli guided the Hawks to the NIT Final. Saint Joseph's won at Iona and Providence, and then defeated Rhode Island in Philadelphia to advance to New York City. The Hawks defeated Alabama, 74-69 in overtime, in a semifinal, but lost to Nebraska, 60-56, in the championship.
The NIT Semifinals and Finals are slated for March 29 and March 31 at Madison Square Garden.
For the complete bracket, go to www.nit.org.