Jan. 29, 2008
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's (12-5; 4-1) will look to extend its winning streak to four games when it visits George Washington (5-10; 1-4) on Wednesday evening, January 30 at the Smith Center. Tip-off is 7 p.m. for the game which will be televised on CN8, the Comcast Network.
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.
GAME NOTES: The Hawks have won three in a row and eight of their last nine games. This starts a stretch of four games in eight days for the Hawks, and five games in 11 days. Tasheed Carr is possible for tonight's game after sitting out the last four with a sprained right ankle that he suffered in practice on Jan. 14. He will be a game-day decision. Garrett Williamson has stepped in as the starting point guard and is averaging 9.3 points and 6.0 assists in the four games. Pat Calathes tops the Hawks in scoring (18.3 ppg) and rebounding (8.3) and is second in assists (2.9). He ranks seventh in the A-10 in scoring and second in rebounding. Tasheed Carr leads the Atlantic 10 in assists with 6.7 per game and is seventh in the NCAA statistics for Jan. 27. In conference games only, the Hawks lead the league in free throw percentage (.771) and rank second in field goal percentage (.469). SJU is third in scoring (78.8) and scoring margin (+5.0). The Hawks are 40th this week in the RPI (collegerpi.com). Saturday's game with Fordham marks the annual Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers National Awareness Weekend. Coaches around the nation, including Phil Martelli, will wear sneakers to call attention to the cause.
SENIOR LEADERSHIP: Pat Calathes and Rob Ferguson stepped it up in a big way at Temple, as the seniors from Florida combined for 43 of the Hawks' 68 points. The duo also combined to shoot 15-for-23 (65.2%) from the field and 9-for-14 (64.2%) from 3-point range, led by Ferguson's 5-for-5 effort. Ferguson also had the assist on Calathes' game-winning 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds to play.
INJURY REPORT: Tasheed Carr could possibly return to action tonight after missing the past four games with a sprained right ankle, suffered in practice on Jan. 14. He will be a game-day decision.
CITY CLASSIC: Although not counting in the Big 5 standings, the SJU-Temple game was a classic city battle. The Hawks trailed by 11 points in the first half, but eventually went ahead with 8:12 remaining in the game. From that point, the lead changed hands nine times and was tied four times. And in the last nine minutes, neither team led by more than two points. Temple broke a tie and went ahead, 67-65, with :42 seconds to go. Then on SJU's possession, Rob Ferguson found an open Pat Calathes behind the arc on the right side. Calathes hit the 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds to go. Temple rushed the ball back down the court and Mark Tyndale's layup was blocked by Ahmad Nivins.
PAT ON THE BACK: Pat Calathes was named the Atlantic 10 Co-Player of the Week and the Big 5 Player of the Week for Jan. 27. The senior hit the first game-winning shot of his SJU career, converting a 3-pointer at 3.9 seconds to lift the Hawks over Temple. Calathes finished the game with 24 points and nine rebounds. In two victories last week, he averaged 20 points and 9.5 rebounds. It is the second time this year that Calathes has earned top player honors from both leagues.
LONG TIME COMING: Saint Joseph's finally came out on the winning end of a last-second shot, when Pat Calathes' 3-pointer at 3.9 seconds gave the Hawks a 68-67 win over city and A-10 rival Temple. Ahmad Nivins preserved the win by blocking Mark Tyndale's layup attempt as time expired. The last time SJU won on a late-game shot was Dec. 20, 2003, when Jameer Nelson hit a jumper with :05 left to give the Hawks a 59-57 win over California at the Pete Newell Challenge. Since then, the Hawks had lost six games on shots in the final seconds, including one this year at Syracuse in the Pre-Season NIT.
FINDING FERG: Rob Ferguson has stepped up his scoring as hoped for, and is averaging 12.7 points in the last six games, with a high of 19 at Temple. The senior has notched double figures in seven of the last 10 games and is averaging 11.1 ppg on the year.
ROAD WARRIORS: The Hawks are 7-3 on the road this year, for the most road wins of any team in the Atlantic 10. Last year, SJU compiled an away record of 5-8.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Hawks return home to host Fordham on Saturday and then have a quick turnaround before the annual rivalry game with Villanova on Monday, Feb. 4 at the Palestra.