Feb. 27, 2008
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's (17-8; 8-4) will take on Saint Louis (15-12; 6-7) and first-year head coach Rick Majerus, on Thursday, February 28 at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2 beginning at 7 p.m.
The Saint Joseph's Sports Network team of Tom McCarthy 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. ESPN2 will carry the game with the broadcast crew of Jon Schiambi and Hubert Davis calling the action.
GAME NOTES: The Hawks have won two of three after ending a two-game losing streak. Pat Calathes tops the Hawks in scoring (18.5 ppg) and rebounding (8.0) and is second in assists (2.8). He ranks sixth in the A-10 in scoring and is fourth in rebounding, but is fourth in the league in scoring in conference games (19.4 ppg). Saint Joseph's ranks sixth in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage (40.9) and 13th in field goal percentage (48.5). The Hawks head into the final stretch of the regular season with three straight home games, including second meetings with Temple and Xavier. SJU is 44th in the RPI (kenpom.com) for Feb. 25.
LAST TIME OUT: D.J. Rivera added two free throws. SJU shot 65.2 percent from the field in that half, led by a 5-for-5 effort by Ferguson, and continued the pace in the second half, stretching the lead to a 57-38 with 15:21 remaining. The Hawks twice expanded their lead to 19 points in the second half, but Rhode Island fought to as close as five, at 88-83, with 21 seconds on the clock. Pat Calathes made eight straight free throws down the stretch to put the game away, to finish with 16 points while Ahmad Nivins added 12. The Hawks had 15 turnovers but finished the game shooting 62.2 percent.
HIGH-SCORING HAWKS: The Hawks are putting up some unexpected offensive numbers this year and are averaging 89.5 points in the past two games. SJU has scored over 80 points nine times this year and has reached the 90-point mark twice.
HIGH-SCORING HAWKS, PART II: Saint Joseph's offensive production has has come by way of some staggering shooting percentages. The Hawks have put together back-to-back games of over 60 percent, even in a loss (to La Salle). In the past three games, the Hawks have converted 61.0 percent from the field and 50.8 percent from beyond the arc. SJU leads the Atlantic 10 in field goal percentage in both overall (48.5) and conference (49.8) games, while topping the A-10 in overall 3-point field goal percentage (48.5).
HIGH-SCORING HAWKS, PART III: The Hawks are scoring at a higher rate in conference games, averaging 78.8 ppg, compared to 73.4 ppg in non-conference games. SJU is third in the A-10 in scoring in conference games.
CAMPAIGNING FOR PAT: Pat Calathes has put himself in the conversation for Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. The senior is doing it all for the Hawks this year, topping the team with career-best numbers in scoring (18.5) and rebounding (7.9), He ranks sixth in the conference in scoring and is fourth in rebounding, while ranking fourth in the A-10 in scoring in league games with his 19.7 average. He has led the Hawks in scoring in 15 games and in rebounding 17 times, while posting seven double-doubles and tallying 20 or more points 11 times this year. Calathes has been the Player of the Week in the A-10 three times this season and in the Big 5 four times.
DARRIN'S DUE: Darrin Govens has been a key offensive weapon as of late. In the past two games, he is averaging 22.0 ppg, including a career-high outburst of 26 points vs. La Salle, while shooting an impressive 72.7 percent both from the field (16-22) and from 3-point range (8-11). He scored 18 points to lead the Hawks' balanced effort at Rhode Island and has now made 58 3-pointers on the year.
FERG'S FINEST: Rob Ferguson has been "in the zone" lately with his shooting as the senior has converted 65.3 percent (32-49) from the field in the last five games. He's also hit 62.5 percent (15-24) of his 3-point attempts, while averaging 13.6 points during this stretch. At Rhode Island, he made six straight field goals before missing. The senior has posted double figures in eight of the last 11 games and can make a case of being one of the most improved players in the A-10 with a career-best 11.9 points per game this season.
BENCHMARKS: The Saint Joseph's bench was a factor in the win over Rhode Island as both D.J. Rivera and Idris Hilliard also contributed. Phil Martelli said, "The minutes off the bench were significant. Garrett gave us some purpose on offense. The performance of the bench players kept things stable while we had to play without Ahmad and Pat."
BALANCING ACT: The Hawks have used a balanced scoring attack all season, with five starters in double figures. SJU has had four players reach double digits in 11 games this year. There have been two games in which five players have scored double figures.
LOOKING AHEAD: SJU is in the midst of three straight home games. The Hawks will host Temple on Sunday at the Palestra before closing out the home slate against Xavier on Thursday evening in a nationally-televised (ESPN) game.