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Hawks Host 8th-Ranked George Washington on Saturday on ESPN2
Courtesy: SJU Athletic Communications  
Release:  02/10/2006

Feb. 10, 2006

PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's will host 8th-ranked George Washington on Saturday, February 11 at 2 p.m. at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2.

The Hawks (10-10; 4-5) will be facing their second consecutive Top 10 opponent after falling to #4 Villanova on Tuesday. SJU is playing consecutive games against ranked teams in the regular season for the first time since 1995-96, when they faced UMass (#2) and GW (#24). SJU met two consecutive ranked teams more recently, but it was in the NCAA Tournament during the run to the 2004 Elite Eight - Wake Forest (#17) and Oklahoma State (#4).

The game will also mark the annual Coaches vs. Cancer National Awareness Day. Phil Martelli and his coaching staff will join other coaches around the country by wearing sneakers to bring attention to the cause. This joint effort by the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball strives to increase awareness and continue raising funds to fight the disease. Martelli will be one of 10 coaches in the country who will auction off those autographed sneakers for Coaches vs. Cancer. Information can be found at www.acsevents.org.

GW is 19-1 and 9-0 in the A-10 this year. The Colonials defeated the Hawks in the earlier meeting of the teams, 82-70.

The game can also be heard on the Saint Joseph's Sports Network on SportsTalk 950 (WPEN-AM) with Tom McCarthy and Joe Lunardi calling the action.

Looking ahead, the Hawks will play their third consecutive game on ESPN2 when they visit crosstown rival Temple on Tuesday, Feb. 14. Tickets are still available for the game at the Liacouras Center by contacting the SJU Ticket Office at 610-660-1712.

Click here for streaming audio and live stats.

SAINT JOSEPH'S NOTES SURE SHOTS: One thing consistent with this year's Hawks has been the free throw shooting, and at the beginning of this week, SJU led the nation with 78.9 percent, just ahead of Gonzaga (78.8). The team's performance is 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 80.8 percent, with four of five starters converting 75 percent or better, and two of them hitting better than 80 percent. The Hawks own two of the top five spots in the Atlantic 10 rankings for free throw percentage (Jalloh, Chet Stachitas). The Hawks used it to their advantage against La Salle, hitting a season-high 33 of 39 free throws.

ACADEMIC ALL-STAR: Chet Stachitas has been named to ESPN the Magazine's Academic All-District 2 Team, as selected by CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America). It marks the second year in a row that Stachitas has earned the honor and he is now a candidate for Academic All-America status. The senior is a marketing major with a 3.24 GPA, and this year was named to Alpha Sigma Nu, the national Jesuit honor society.

DAVE'S DIAGNOSIS: Dave Mallon is probable for today after missing two games with a grade-2 sprain of his left ankle that he injured at Dayton. The Hawks have missed the senior whom Phil Martelli calls, "the anchor of the defense" and "our best communicator on defense". Junior Artur Surov also sat out the past two games after having back spasms in warmups for the St. Bonaventure game.

HAWKS VS. THE TOP 25: This is the fourth game against a ranked opponent this season. The Hawks previously met GW (then #17) on Jan. 14, #4 Villanova four days ago and #8 Gonzaga on Dec. 31. SJU owns a six-game losing streak to Top 25 teams. 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.