Men's Basketball Opens New Year with Conference Opener at Fordham
Courtesy: SJU Athletic Communications  
Release:  01/04/2005

Jan. 4, 2005

BRONX, NY - The Saint Joseph's men's basketball team will look to get back on the winning track when it begins the new year with the Atlantic 10 opener at Fordham on Wednesday, January 5 at 7:00 p.m. The contest at Rose Hill Gymnasium will not be televised, but all of the action can be heard via the Saint Joseph's Sports Network on WPEN-Radio (950 AM).

The Hawks will be looking to snap a four-game losing streak while beginning the quest for their fifth consecutive Atlantic 10 divisional title.

ABOUT THE HAWKS: The 3-6 Hawks are in the midst of their longest losing streak (4) since December of 2001. This will be the third road game in the last four contests.

ABOUT THE RAMS: Fordham returns home after a three-game road swing which resulted in consecutive losses. The Rams are 4-7 with wins over St. Francis-NY, Iona, Fairfield and Siena.

LAST TIME OUT: SJU lost its fourth straight, falling to Ohio State, 72-61, on New Year's Eve in a game pitting Hawks' coach Phil Martelli against former Xavier coach Thad Matta for the first time in Matta's new position. The Hawks, who had trailed by as many as 13 in the first half, scored on its first eight possessions of the second half to draw as close as seven points. Chet Stachitas, who scored only three points in the opening half, had nine in the first 5:43 of the second stanza. Pat Carroll's jumper from the left wing cut Ohio State's lead to 54-51 with 8:04 left, but OSU's Matt Sylvester scored the Buckeyes' next seven points as part of a 9-2 run as the home team took a 63-53 lead with under five minutes to play. Stachitas' reverse layup in traffic cut the lead to 63-57 with 3:20 left, but the Hawks went dry down the stretch and didn't score for almost three minutes as OSU pulled away for the win. Stachitas finished with 16 points and Carroll had 14 as the Hawks shot 40.4 percent, but were outrebounded, 39-30.

PLAYING THRU PAIN: Chet Stachitas is still not 100 percent after suffering a high ankle sprain at San Francisco (Dec. 11), but he has not missed any action. In fact, Stachitas scored 19 points and hit five 3-pointers at Old Dominion, shooting 7-for-15 from the field and handing out a career-high five assists. He followed that with 14 points in the loss to Bucknell and 16 against Ohio State. Prior to the injury, Stachitas had been averaging a team-high 16.7 ppg, coming off a career-high 27-point effort vs. UC-Davis. He still leads the team in scoring with 14.6 ppg.

ALWAYS FIRST: SJU's upperclassmen have a strong claim, that they have never been out of first place in the Atlantic 10. It's basically true, as there has been only one day in the past three seasons - January 12, 2002 - that Saint Joseph's was not in first place in the Atlantic 10 East. The Hawks have won four straight Atlantic 10 division crowns and are hoping to become the only team other than UMass to win five consecutive, as the Minutemen did it from 1991 to 1996.

NEW BEGINNING: Saint Joseph's is looking to make a new start with the beginning of conference play. The Hawks own a 54-10 Atlantic 10 record over the course of the past four seasons. In their 22 seasons of A-10 play, SJU is 201-161 and has had .500 or better campaigns in 14 of them.

FOR OPENERS: The Hawks are 7-2 in conference openers under Phil Martelli.

FOLLOW THE LEADER: Chet Stachitas has led the team in scoring in five games this year, while Dwayne Jones has been the top scorer twice. Jones has topped the squad in rebounding in all nine contests.

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