March 8, 2010
KINGSTON, R.I. - Saint Joseph's (11-19; 5-11 A-10) takes to the road and will face Rhode Island (21-8; 9-7) in an Atlantic 10 Championship First Round game on Tuesday, March 9, at the Ryan Center. Game time is 7 p.m.
The Hawks are seeded 12th in the tournament while URI is fifth.
The audio broadcast of the game, with Matt Martucci and Joe Lunardi calling the action, will be available free of charge on SJUHawks.com via Stretch Internet. Video streaming will also be available on the website to Hawks' All-Access subscribers. The contest will be telecast on Cox Cable in Rhode Island.
With a win at Rhode Island, Saint Joseph's would advance to face Saint Louis in the A-10 Quarterfinals in Atlantic City on Friday at 2:30 p.m.
GAME NOTES: SJU has won two in a row - their longest winning streak of the season is three. The win over GW last week ended the Hawks' five-game losing streak and provided SJU with its first conference road win and first away-game win outside of Philadelphia. The Hawks have now been a participant in all 28 years of the conference tournament, although this is SJU's lowest seed ever. The previous low was ninth in both 1989 and 1990. Garrett Williamson has been named to the Atlantic 10 All-Defensive Team for the second year in a row. Carl Jones was named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week as he averaged 12.5 points off the bench in the Hawks' 2-0 week. Garrett Williamson surpassed 400 assists for his career and now has 409 while Darrin Govens surpassed the 1,300-point mark and now has 1,333. 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 146. Saint Joseph's is celebrating the Centennial of SJU Basketball this year, as the inaugural season took place in 1909-10.
LAST TIME OUT: Saint Joseph's clinched a berth in the Atlantic 10 Tournament by defeating city rival La Salle, 79-54, at Hagan Arena. On "Senior Day", Garrett Williamson scored 18 points and went a perfect 10-for-10 from the foul line. Classmate Darrin Govens scored 17 points while freshman Carl Jones had 15 points on 5-for-8 shooting. Idris Hilliard had his second double-double of the year with 13 points and 10 rebounds. The Hawks had control from the start and built up a 23-15 lead by the nine-minute mark, but La Salle went on a 7-0 run to pull within 23-22 with 4:45 to play. Govens answered with a 3-pointer and the Hawks would go on a 12-2 run, with two 3-pointers by the senior, to take a 35-24 edge at 1:47. SJU finished the half with a 38-27 lead as Govens tallied 14 points. Saint Joseph's maintained control the rest of the way. Although La Salle started the second half with a 10-4 run, SJU built the lead back to double digits, 57-47, on a layup by Williamson at 8:57. Rodney Green hit a jumper at 5:25 to pull La Salle within 61-55, but that was the closest the Explorers would get the rest of the way. SJU shot 5-for-6 from the foul line in the final four minutes to ice the win.
TOURNEY TALES: Saint Joseph's has posted a 30-25 record in the Atlantic 10 Tournament, advancing to the semifinals 12 times. The Hawks have reached the championship game five times (1986, 1997, 2005, 2006, 2008), including three times in the last five years.
FOR OPENERS: SJU owns a 10-2 record in Atlantic 10 First Round games.
THE IDES OF MARCH: SJU has traditionally put on some strong runs in the month of March. In the past four seasons, counting this one, the Hawks have compiled a 23-13 record. Last season, they were 4-4, but made the run to the Atlantic 10 title game. They are currently 2-0 in March this year.
IN THE ZONE: Saint Joseph's used a different tactic against La Salle, playing all 40 minutes in a zone defense to offset the Explorers' size advantage. According to Phil Martelli, it was the first time in his 15 years that his team played the entire game in zone. It worked as SJU outrebounded La Salle, 34-32 and held it to just nine offensive rebounds. La Salle shot just 35.7 percent in the first half, and only 23.5 percent from 3-point range as the Hawks took control from the start.
TAKING CARE OF THE BALL: One of the most impressive stats from the Hawks' win over La Salle was their number of turnovers - four - in the entire game. SJU did not commit a giveaway until the five-minute mark of the first half.
THE DEFENDER: Garrett Williamson was named to the 2010 Atlantic 10 All-Defensive Team for the second year in a row. Williamson has made his mark as one of the top defenders in Hawk history. The 6-5 guard leads Saint Joseph's with 1.8 steals per game and in blocks with 1.0 per contest. One of Williamson's signature plays came this season when he blocked the potential game-winning shot with four seconds remaining in the Hawks' 60-59 upset of Dayton. The team captain is one of the Hawks' all-time leaders in career blocked shots, ranking eighth with 103.
THE ROOKIE: Carl Jones was named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week in the final week of the regular season. It marks the second time this season that he has earned the honor. Jones averaged 12.5 points and three rebounds while committing just two turnovers in 41 minutes off the bench as Saint Joseph's earned wins over GW and La Salle The 5-11 guard made 8-of-15 shots from the field and added four assists on the week. He had 16 points in 23 minutes versus La Salle and scored nine in the Hawks' first A-10 road win of the year at GW.
BEYOND THE ARC: Darrin Govens is in sole possession of second place on the Hawks' all-time list for career 3-point field goals with 237. The record is 294 set by Pat Carroll (2001-05). Govens surpassed Carroll for 3-point attempts (661) and is now the all-time leader with 667.
MOVING UP THE LADDER: As Darrin Govens moves up the ladder among the Hawks' all-time leaders in 3-pointers and points (25th), Garrett Williamson has made his mark in a few categories. Williamson currently ranks seventh in career assists with 409 and eighth in blocked shots with 103. The senior has played in 128 games to date with 97 starts.
CENTENNIAL MOMEMT: March 9, 2006 - Saint Joseph's scored a 56-37 win over Saint Louis in the Atlantic 10 Quarterfinals at Boardwalk Hall. The Hawks would go on to advance to the A-10 title game, but fell one point short to Xavier, 62-61.
LOOKING AHEAD: A Saint Joseph's win will send them to Atlantic City and a quartefinal date with Saint Louis on Friday, March 12 at 2:30 p.m.