Jan. 22, 2010
PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's men's basketball (6-11; 1-3 A-10) will host Dayton (14-4; 3-1) on Saturday, January 23 at the sold-out Hagan Arena. Tip-off is 6 p.m. for the game which will be televised nationally on ESPNU.
Scott Graham and Tim McCormick will call the game for ESPNU, while the game can be heard on WNTP Radio (990 AM) with Matt Martucci and Joe Lunardi calling the action. Audio streaming will be available free of charge on SJUHawks.com, via Stretch Internet.
GAME NOTES: The Hawks snapped a two-game losing streak with the 64-57 win over Towson on Monday night. This marks the first time SJU has hosted Dayton since February of 2007. Saint Joseph's will play its final non-conference game on Monday when it takes on Penn in a Big 5 contest at the Palestra. In the decade that just ended, the Hawks amassed a 201-103 record (counting this season to date) and made seven post-season appearances. Phil Martelli is in his 15th season as head coach and his 25th at the University. Martelli served as an assistant coach for 10 years on the staffs of Jim Boyle and John Griffin. He is the A-10's active leader in conference wins with 142. Saint Joseph's is celebrating the Centennial of SJU Basketball this year, as the inaugural season took place in 1909-10.
AST TIME OUT: Idris Hilliard 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds to help Saint Joseph's to a 64-57 win over Towson. Todd O'Brien tied his career-high with 11 rebounds while freshman Justin Crosgile scored a personal best 13 points. Garrett Williamson added 12 points while Darrin Govens had nine second-half points. After a sluggish first half, Saint Joseph's erased a seven-point Towson lead early in the second half by making four of their first five 3-point attempts, with two by Govens and one each from Crosgile and Carl Jones. Govens' three at 15:35 gave the Hawks their first lead, 34-33, since the 11-minute mark of the first half. The teams would continue to trade leads and see four more ties, but a dunk by Hilliard at 4:25 gave the Hawks the lead for good. Another Hilliard dunk and a 3-pointer by Williamson gave Saint Joseph's a 58-52 lead with 2:08 to play. Josh Thornton made 2-of-3 free throws at 1:40 to pull Towson within, 58-54, but Hilliard would convert both of his free throw attempts at :49 to give SJU a 60-54 lead. Williamson and Crosgile each went 2-for-2 from the line in the final 26 seconds to ice the win for the Hawks. The shooting of Thornton was the story for Towson in the first half as he scored 16 points, while hitting 4-of-5 3-pointers as the Tigers held a 29-23 lead at intermission. Saint Joseph's shot just 29 percent in the first half, and made only 2-for-15 from 3- point range. The Hawks reversed that in the second, going 5-for-10 from beyond the arc and converting 43.5 percent from the field.
THE SCORER: The Hawks have needed Garrett Williamson to be more of a scorer this year and he's done that so far. The senior has quietly tallied double figures in all but four games this season, averaging 11.5 ppg. He's scored 195 points, which is the highest single-season total for his career. Williamson has also continued to do all the little things on the court - against Towson he had four assists and three blocks while playing 40 minutes for the first time this year.
JUST-IN TIME: Justin Crosgile made the first start of his career at Temple, and has now started the last five games. Crosgile got a late start to the season, missing the first six games after recovering from surgery (Oct. 9) on a torn ligament in his left thumb. He made his debut at Rider on Nov. 30 and scored 12 points on 4-for-9 shooting. Crosgile has reached double figures three times, with a high of 13 in the win over Towson. Phil Martelli has expressed confidence in the freshman's scoring ability and has given him the green light to take the shot when he has it. Crosgile has made six 3-pointers in the past two games.
BRYANT'S BACK: Bryant Irwin suffered a concussion at Rhode Island and as a precaution, sat out the past two games. He has been cleared to play tonight.
ROAD BLOCKS: The Hawks are still winless on the road (0-7), but own a 5-1 record on their homecourt.
DARRIN'S DUE: Darrin Govens gave the Hawks the game they've been looking for with 21 points against Fordham. Govens was on fire from the start, making 5-of-8 shots in the first half, which included 4-of-5 3-pointers for a total of 14 points. In the three games prior to Fordham, Govens had made only 9-for-28 from the field and averaged 8.0 ppg during that stretch. On the season, Govens is averaging a team-high 12.8 ppg.
NOT FOR THREE: The Hawks have struggled from beyond the arc this year and are converting 31.6 percent on the season. In the past four games, SJU is converting just 28 percent (35-for-125), which included efforts of 3-for-18 against Princeton, 4-for-19 vs. Rhode Island; 6-for-20 at St. Bonaventure; and 7-for-25 vs. Towson.
LIGHTING A FIRE: Todd O'Brien was pulled out of the starting lineup at Siena, but responded with a career-high 11 rebounds in 21 minutes of action. O'Brien didn't start against Princeton but returned to the lineup at Temple and had a team-high seven rebounds. He followed that with a career-best 20 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks in the win over Fordham.
NO REST FOR THE WEARY: The upcoming week is the kind that tests a team. Beginning with tonight's game, the Hawks will play four games in eight days. SJU visits Penn at The Palestra on Monday, hosts UMass on Wednesday, and travels to Duquesne next Sunday, January 31.
FROM THE LINE: The Hawks are converting 72.9 percent from the foul line, which ranks third best in the Atlantic 10 and 50th in the nation. This season's high was a 92.3 percent effort at Rider. Justin Crosgile is shooting 85.7 percent while Darrin Govens is hitting 76.7 percent and Garrett Williamson is at 76.9 percent. Saint Joseph's used that shooting to seal the Fordham win as the Hawks went 8-for-8 from the line in the final two minutes.
CENTENNIAL MOMENT: January 23, 1980 - It took three overtimes but the Hawks edged Big 5 rival Penn, 60-56, en route to the City Series title. That squad, under Jim Lynam, would win all three of its overtime contests that season en route to a 21-9 record.
LOOKING AHEAD: SJU has a quick turnaround with a non-conference game against Penn on Monday evening at The Palestra. The Hawks then have a busy week with a home game vs. UMass on Wednesday and then a trip to Duquesne for a Sunday afternoon contest.