Feb. 3, 2008
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's (14-5; 1-0 Big 5) will put its five-game winning streak on the line when it hosts rival Villanova (13-7; 3-0 Big 5) in a highly-anticipated matchup on Monday evening at the sold-out Palestra. Game time is 8 p.m. for the contest which will be televised nationally on CSTV.
The telecast of the game will be provided on Hawks' All-Access on www.sjuhawks.com. Annual subscribers will be able to see the game free of charge and for all others it will available on Pay-Per-View with a charge of $9.95. Calling the broadcast will be Tom McCarthy and Steve Lappas.
The Saint Joseph's Sports Network team of Ken Krsolovic and Joe Lunardi will broadcast the game on WNTP (990 AM). Streaming audio will also be available on www.sjuhawks.com free of charge as provided by Stretch Internet.
The Hawks are looking to snap a three-game losing streak against the Wildcats. Villanova leads the all-time series 41-23. Click here for game notes.
GAME NOTES: The Hawks have won five in a row and 10 of their last 12 games. The winning streak is tied as the longest of the season. The last time SJU won six in a row was during an eight-game winning streak from mid-February to early March of 2006. SJU is in the midst of a stretch of four games in eight days, and five games in 11 days. The Hawks have lost three in a row to Villanova. Fifth-year senior Arvydas Lidzius is the only player remaining from the Hawks' last win over the Wildcats in 2004. Pat Calathes tops the Hawks in scoring (18.2 ppg) and rebounding (8.1) and is second in assists (2.6). He ranks sixth in the A-10 in scoring and second in rebounding. The Hawks are 43rd in the RPI (collegerpi.com) as of Jan. 27. This is a Big 5 game, and the Hawks' second of the year. With a win, SJU could prevent Villanova from winning the outright title. Saint Joseph's last Big 5 title came in 2004. SJU is 3-0 at the Palestra this season. The Hawks have two more games here, Big 5 and A-10 contests with La Salle and Temple.
LAST TIME OUT: Saint Joseph's came out strong and never trailed en route to a 70-55 win over Fordham. The Hawks shot 63.6 percent in the first half, led by 11 points from Darrin Govens, to take a 39-25 halftime lead. SJU cooled off in the second half (shooting 39.1 percent), but maintained a double-digit lead almost the entire way. Ahmad Nivins led the Hawks with 15 points and Pat Calathes scored 14, including his 1,000th career point. Govens and Tasheed Carr finished with 11 each.
LAST YEAR VS. VILLANOVA: In a game that was not one of the more memorable in series history, Villanova defeated the Hawks, 56-39, at The Pavilion. Saint Joseph's managed just five field goals in the first half, but only trailed by nine at halftime as Villanova shot just 32.4 percent from the field. In the second half, SJU scored a season-low 19 points on 25 percent shooting and committed 21 turnovers. The Hawks did not have any players reach double figures as it was their lowest point total in 14 years.
SENIOR LEADERSHIP: Pat Calathes and Rob Ferguson have upped their levels of play this season. At Temple, the seniors from Florida combined for 43 of the Hawks' 68 points. The duo also combined to shoot 15-for-23 (65.2%) from the field and 9-for-14 (64.2%) from 3-point range, led by Ferguson's 5-for-5 effort. Ferguson also had the assist on Calathes' game-winning 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds to play. The pair also had a big hand in the win over GW, combining for 36 points and 16 rebounds and have earned praise from Phil Martelli. "What we're seeing from our team is that our oldest guys- Pat and Rob - are performing at probably the highest levels of their careers," said the coach.
SIX STARTERS: The Hawks may not have a deep bench, but as Phil Martelli says, they "have six starters". Martelli's referring to Garrett Williamson as that sixth starter. The sophomore was a starter in all but one game in 2006-07 and he made four starts this year when Tasheed Carr was sidelined with the ankle injury.
MONTHLY REPORT: The Hawks went 6-1 in the month of January, with the only loss coming to Charlotte on Jan. 16. Saint Joseph's has only lost twice since December 9. It's actually the Hawks' best record for that month since the undefeated season in 2003-04. Last year, SJU was 4-4 in January.
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 320-149 record (.682) at The Palestra, with more wins than the program's victory total at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse (317).
CITY RIVALRY: Saint Joseph's is 1-0 in the Big 5 thus far this year. 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 28-7 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 and Penn this season.
AN ELITE CLUB: Pat Calathes became the latest member of SJU's 1,000-point club, when he scored his 11th point vs. Fordham. He becomes the 46th Hawk to reach the plateau and now has 1,003 points. On January 16, Rob Ferguson hit the mark, and a third member should be joining the club soon as Ahmad Nivins needs only 23 points to reach 1,000.
BACK IN THE GROOVE: Darrin Govens snapped out of a shooting slump against Fordham by hitting 3-of-5 3-point attempts and scoring 11 points. In the five games prior to that game, the sophomore was shooting 5-for-21 from 3-point range. Govens has made 39 3-pointers on the year, the second highest total on the team.
PROGRAMMING CHANGE: Because of a programming conflict, the Saint Joseph's at Xavier game on February 10 which begins at noon will be shown locally on a tape-delayed basis. Comcast SportsNet will air the game in Philadelphia at 4 p.m.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Hawks have another quick turnaround, flying to Pittsburgh on Tuesday evening for a meeting with Duquesne on Wednesday. Next Sunday is the first-place showdown with Xavier in Cincinnati.