March 19, 2006
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's men's basketball will look to continue its post-season run when it hosts Hofstra in the NIT Second Round on Monday, March 20. The game will be televised on ESPNU at 7 p.m. from Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse.
The Hawks (19-13) rebounded from their heartbreaking loss in the Atlantic 10 Final to defeat Rutgers, 71-62, in an NIT First Round game last Thursday. SJU has now won nine of its last 10 games.
Hofstra (25-6) was a 73-62 winner over Nebraska in its NIT opener, scoring the program's first Division I postseason win in its history.
The game will also be broadcast on the Saint Joseph's Sports Network via SportsTalk 950 (WPEN-Radio) with Tom McCarthy and Joe Lunardi calling the action.
The winner of Monday's game will advance to play the Manhattan-Old Dominion winner on Wednesday, March 22 in the NIT Quarterfinals. Saint Joseph's, seeded second in its bracket, is the highest remaining seed and would thus host a quarterfinal matchup.
SAINT JOSEPH'S NOTES:
The Hawks continue to lead the nation in free throw percentage (79.5). If the Hawks score a victory tonight, it will be the sixth 20-win season in Phil Martelli's 11 years, and the fourth consecutive. Phil Martelli owns the SJU record for postseason coaching victories with a 17-7 mark. He also has the highest postseason winning percentage of Hawk coaches (70.8%). A win tonight would give the senior class (Dwayne Lee, Dave Mallon, Chet Stachitas) the second most wins (97) by a class in school history, surpassing the mark of 96 by John Bryant and Pat Carroll (2001-05), and just one behind the record of 98 by Jameer Nelson and Tyrone Barley.
BOUNCING BACK: Abdulai Jalloh bounced back from a subpar peformance in the A-10 title game (season-low 4 points) to score 23 points in the NIT win over Rutgers. That's been the norm for Jalloh, as the sophomore always seems to come back after a low-scoring game to notch double digits. Only once this season has he been limited single digits in consecutive games (GW#1, Charlotte). In the A-10 Quarterfinal vs. Saint Louis, Jalloh had six points on 4-for-11 shooting. He followed that with 18 points in the semifinal win over Temple. Jalloh has scored double figures in all but nine games this season.
STEPPING UP: Chet Stachitas did what a senior is expected to do, carrying the Hawks in the four games of the A-10 Tournament. He averaged 17.5 points and 4.0 rebounds, but more impressively, shot 52.2 percent from 3-point range and 46.5 percent from the field. Stachitas earned a spot on the All-Championship Team.
SENIOR MOMENTS: Phil Martelli has credited the seniors for the Hawks' late-season push and they've certainly carried the team. Chet Stachitas had a game-high 17 points and career-high nine rebounds in the win over Saint Louis, keyed the 3-point attack vs. Temple (5-for-8 from the arc for 18 points), and scored 23 points in the final vs. Xavier. Dwayne Lee had 14 points and seven assists against Temple, while going a career-best 11-for-12 from the foul line. Dave Mallon continued to be the defensive anchor down low and grabbed eight rebounds vs. Temple.
STANDING PAT: The emergence of Pat Calathes in the past few weeks has been a huge plus for the Hawks. Calathes has become a key player, giving SJU valuable contributions off the bench. Since the Duquesne game, when he scored a career-high 17 points, the sophomore is averaging 9.7 points and 5.2 rebounds. He's hitting 46.8% (22-47) from the field, 45.5% (5-11) from 3-point range and 90% (9-10) from the foul line. Calathes had 14 points in the A-10 Final and 12 points in the Rutgers win for the first back-to-back double figure games of his career. In the A-10 Tournament, he averaged 7.3 points and 4.5 rebounds, well above his season averages of 4.4 points and 3.4 boards.
MARTELLI THE MAGNIFICENT: Phil Martelli says that the players in the SJU program now "expect to win" and the Hawks have done just that. A victory tonight would give Saint Joseph's its sixth 20-plus win season in the coach's 11 years, and the fourth consecutive. In the past six seasons, Martelli's squads have compiled an impressive 141-53 record. Martelli's Last 6 Seasons
2005-06 19-13 NIT
2004-05 24-12 NIT Runner-up
2003-04 30-2 NCAA Elite Eight
2002-03 23-7 NCAA 1st Round
2001-02 19-12 NIT 2nd Round
2000-01 26-7 NCAA 2nd Round
6-yr totals 141-53