March 22, 2005
COLLEGE STATION, TX - Saint Joseph's needs one more win to earn a trip to New York City for the NIT Semifinals, as the Hawks play Texas A&M on Wednesday, March 23 in the NIT Quarterfinals. Game time at Reed Arena is 8 p.m. EST (7 p.m. CST).
The contest will be televised on ESPNU. To access this new outlet of the network, you must have the DirecTV Sports Package (channel 609).
ABOUT THE HAWKS: Saint Joseph's continued its NIT run with its third win, 68-60 over Holy Cross on Monday night. The 22-11 Hawks are making their fifth consecutive postseason appearance.
ABOUT THE AGGIES: Texas A&M is 21-9 and defeated Clemson amd DePaul to reach this round of the NIT. The Aggies were 17-2 in the Big 12, losing to Kansas State in the first round of the conference tournament.
TV/RADIO: The game will be televised on ESPNU with Dave Armstrong and Bob Wenzel calling the action. The Saint Joseph's Sports Network will broadcast the game on WPEN Radio (950 AM) with the team of Tom McCarthy and Joe Lunardi. McCarthy is in his second year as play-by-play announcer and Lunardi is in his 15th as the Hawks' color analyst. The contest can also be heard via streaming audio on the Saint Joseph's website at www.sjuhawks.com.
NEXT POSSIBLE GAME: March 29, NIT Semifinals vs. Memphis or Vanderbilt, Madison Square Garden, 7 or 9 pm
NO REST FOR THE WEARY: This is the Hawks' fourth game in eight days, and seventh in the last 14. SJU played for three straight days in the A-10 Tournament (March 10, 11, 12) and came back with NIT games on March 16, 19 and 21. After playing at home on Monday night, they traveled to Texas on Tuesday. Since the Hawks were put in the opening round bracket of the NIT, they have to win four games to advance to the semifinals.
FOR THE DEFENSE: SJU's defense has allowed just 51.3 points in the three NIT games. Buffalo came into the matchup averaging 75 points per game, but managed to score only 50. Holy Cross was the highest scoring team with 60 points.
GOING OUT WITH A BANG: Pat Carroll is closing out his career in style, putting the Hawks on his back and carrying them through the postseason. The senior is averaging 22.4 points in the last five games and has accounted for 35 percent of the Hawks' total scoring in those games (112 pts of team's 316).
LENGTHENING THE SEASON: SJU is playing its 34th game of the year tonight, which is a new school record for most games played in a season. It beats the old mark of 33 achieved by the teams of 2000-01, 1996-97 and 1980-81. The 2001 team reached the NCAA
2nd Round, the 1997 squad went to the NCAA Sweet 16 and the 1981 team advanced to the NCAA Regional Final. Last season's team which went to the NCAA Elite Eight played 32 games.
POSTSEASON RUN: The Hawks now have as many wins in the postseason (3) as they did last year when they advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight. That run came to an end in the regional final with the loss to Oklahoma State.
MR. CLUTCH: Although his shooting percentages in the NIT may be lower than usual (.437 FG; .333 3-pt FG) Pat Carroll has hit his shots when SJU has needed it most. Against Buffalo, with the Hawks trailing, 42-40 at 3:35, Carroll made a 3-pointer and then two more jumpers to boost SJU's lead to 49-44 with 1:12 to play. In the Hofstra win, Carroll had missed 10 of his first 12 shots, and was 0-for-6 in 3-pointers. He connected for his first 3-pointer at 11:00 of the second half and then hit another in a 20-9 SJU run. In the victory over Holy Cross, Carroll hit a big 3-pointer at 3:17, with the visitors leading by 43-42.
AT THE LINE: SJU had one of its best games of the year at the foul line vs. Holy Cross. Entering the contest converting 64.5 percent as a team, the Hawks made 23-of-28 free throws, which included a 19-for-22 effort in the second half. Saint Joseph's needed it too, as the Hawks made only five field goals in the second half. Dwayne Lee led the way hitting a career-best 13-of-14. Entering the game, Lee's percentage was just 66.3. Abdulai Jalloh also chipped in, going 5-for-6 from the line.
STACHITAS' SHOOTING: Heading into the Holy Cross game, Chet Stachitas had converted just 9-of-37 (24.3%) from the field and 3-for-14 (21.4%) from 3-point range, while going without a field goal in two of those five. The junior came out of his slump with the best start of any Hawk vs. Holy Cross. Stachitas hit his first three field goals and went 4-for-6 in the game, scoring 10 of his 13 points in the first half as SJU built a first-half lead.