Jan. 10, 2006
AMHERST, MA - Saint Joseph's goes on the road again, visiting Massachusetts on Wednesday, January 11. Game time is 8 p.m. at the Mullin Center. The contest will be televised locally by CN8, the Comcast Network.
The Hawks are coming off a 59-57 win over city rival Temple, which improved their record to 6-5 and 1-1 in the Atlantic 10. UMass is 6-5 and 1-0 in the league after a win over Duquesne. SJU has won eight straight versus the Minutemen.
The game will also be broadcast on the Saint Joseph's Sports Network on WPEN Radio (SportsTalk 950 AM) with Tom McCarthy and Joe Lunardi calling the action.
On Saturday, Jan. 14, the Hawks will travel to defending A-10 champion and 20th ranked George Washington for a 2 p.m. game. There are a limited number of tickets and spots available on a bus trip for that game. Contact the ticket office at 610-660-1712 for reservations.
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SAINT JOSEPH'S NOTES: LAST TIME OUT: Rob Ferguson's put back of an air ball with 2.2 seconds to play lifted the Hawks to a 59-57 win Temple at the packed Palestra. It was only Ferguson's third field goal of the game. The Hawks had inbounded the ball with 19.3 seconds remaining and Abdulai Jalloh's attempt was an air ball, but went into the hands of Ferguson, who put in in from the baseline. Temple's last-second attempt was off the mark and SJU had its seventh consecutive win over the city rival. The Hawks scored all but one field goal in the first half from beyond the arc, going 11-for-17 in 3-point attempts over Temple's zone. Jalloh had a game-high 18 points in the first hal, making 6-of-7 3-pointers. SJU held a 35-29 lead at halftime, despite committing eight turnovers. SJU cooled off in the second half and managed just 3-of-9 from behind the arc, and saw Temple take its first lead of the game, 40-39, at 15:43. SJU trailed by six, 47-41 at 10:05, but Dave Mallon scored all of the points in a 7-0 run that returned the lead to SJU. After another tie, SJU held a 57-53 lead with two minutes to play, but saw the Owls knot the score. Jalloh was the Hawks' only double-figure scorer with 22 points, while Dwayne Lee had eight points and six assists.
JEKYLL-HYDE: The Hawks have come out strong in the first half in both A-10 games, but have then struggled some in the second half. It's led Phil Martelli to say, "the only thing consistent with this team is that they're inconsistent". Against Xavier, SJU made eight of its first 12 shots, but cooled off and allowed Xavier to eventually go on a 12-0 run to take the lead. The teams traded leads a few more times, but the Hawks could never regain it for good. Against Temple, the Hawks made 11 of 17 3-pointers in the first half (and just one two-point basket) en route to a 35-29 halftime lead. The second half was a different story as Temple hit more shots and the Hawks went just 3-of-9 from 3-point range (and 6-of-19 from the field). SJU trailed by six but was able to regain the lead and eventually pull it out in the final seconds. Abdulai Jalloh was among the individuals who has had two totally different halves in a game. Versus Temple, he started the game going 6-for-11 from 3-point range, but then went 0-for-7 from the field in the second half.
UNSUNG HERO: Rob Ferguson had the game-winning shot vs. Temple. The sophomore grabbed an air ball by Abdulai Jalloh andput it in from the baseline with 2.2 seconds remaining to give the Hawks the win. It was only his third field goal of the game.
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 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.
ODD SPOT: With three teams at 2-0 in the A-10, the Hawks find themselves in an unusual position - second place. Prior to the loss to Xavier on Jan. 4, the Hawks had been out of first place for just a total of eight days since February 2001. Now leading up to the game with UMass, that total will increase to 14 days.
SURE SHOTS: Free throw shooting has been one of the team's strengths, and the Hawks started last week (1/2) as the nation's leader at 80.8 percent. Following the 9-for-10 effort vs. Temple, they still lead the A-10 at 80.3 percent. 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 90 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 line at all in the first half vs. Temple, the Hawks made 9-of-10 in the second half.