Nov. 19, 2006
PHILADELPHIA -Ahmad Nivins scored 15 points and Pat Calathes had 14 as Saint Joseph's defeated Bucknell, 63-53, at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse.
Rob Ferguson added 11 points for the Hawks (3-0) who made 19 of 36 shots in the game. Chris McNaughton had 14 points and Darren Mastropaolo had 13 for Bucknell (0-3).
The Hawks trailed in the early going, 18-12, nine minutes into the game, but then turned up the intensity on defense, forcing three straight Bison turnovers and tying the game, 21-21, with 5:49 to play. Calathes then hit a 3-pointer to give the Hawks a lead they would never relinquish.
Calathes' 3-pointer started a 13-1 Hawk run, which included seven points from Nivins, that gave SJU a 34-22 lead with under two minutes left in the half. After Patrick Behan scored for the Bison, Jawan Carter hit a 3-pointer from the deep left corner to give the Hawks a 37-24 advantage at the half.
Bucknell trailed 53-42 with 7:14 left in the game, but went on a 9-1 spurt and closed to 55-51 on a hook shot by McNaughton. The Bison then turned the ball over three straight times while Saint Joseph's was making 5 of 6 free throws and Bucknell never threatened again.
"I wanted our team to accept the dare, because I thought this was a toughness dare. We were lousy in practice last night, human nature kicked in - we got back from Lafayette at 1:30 a.m. and then practiced at 5 p.m. and I was not at all pleased with the attention to detail you need to play a really good system team like Bucknell. So I dared them this morning and then I dared them before the game to take a toughness test. And that's what that took. We have a long way to go in terms of basketball, but at least for the toughness part of it, I'll take it and we can build on it," said Hawk coach Phil Martelli, who coached his 350th game and notched his 225th victory.
"The win was predicated on the defense. Our shooting was predicated on good ball movement. Defensively we wanted to take away their three's from John (Griffin) and Justin (Castleberry)," said Martelli.
The Hawks return to action after Thanksgiving, traveling to Penn State on Saturday, Nov. 25, for the first meeting with the Nittany Lions since 1991.