March 17, 2005
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's will host Buffalo in the next round of the NIT on Saturday, March 19, at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse. Game time is 7 p.m. and the contest will not be televised. Tickets go on sale Thursday morning at 9 a.m. at the SJU ticket office, with a cost of $20, and $5 for students.
To purchase tickets, please print out the ticket form and fax to either 610-660-2905 or 610-660-3307.
The Hawks advanced to the first round by defeating Hofstra, 53-44, on Wednesday evening in the NIT opening round, while Buffalo (23-9) defeated Drexel, 81-76, in overtime. The winner of the SJU-Buffalo game will meet Holy Cross next week in the second round.
With the win, Saint Joseph's improved to 20-11 on the year, marking the fifth time under head coach Phil Martelli that the Hawks have won 20 or more games. The win also improved Martelli's postseason record to 12-6, and ties him with Jack Ramsay for most postseason victories in Hawk history.
Saint Joseph's is making its fifth consecutive postseason appearance, and seventh in 10 years under Martelli. SJU had been to the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons, including last year's run to the Elite Eight.
SJU has now participated in the NIT 13 times, owning an overall record of 11-12. The Hawks' last previous 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, 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 2005 NIT Semifinals and Finals are slated for March 29 and March 31 at Madison Square Garden.