Jan. 14, 2005
PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's men's basketball team will look to keep its winning streak intact when the Hawks visit La Salle on Saturday, January 15, at The Palestra in a Big 5 and Atlantic 10 matchup. Game time is 2 p.m. for the contest which will be televised locally on Comcast SportsNet via the Atlantic 10 TV Network.
Tickets are still available by calling the La Salle ticket office at 215-951-1999, or can be purchased at the door on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m.
ABOUT THE HAWKS: The Hawks have won three in a row en route to a 3-0 start in Atlantic 10 play. SJU evened its record to 6-6 with a 59-52 victory over Massachusetts on Wednesday evening.
ABOUT THE EXPLORERS: La Salle had a rare non-conference game on Tuesday night and defeated Florida International, 74-72, in overtime to improve to 5-8 overall.
TELEVISION/RADIO: The game will an Atlantic 10 TV Network telecast and seen locally on Comcast SportsNet with Scott Graham and John Griffin calling the action. Other outlets carrying the game are ESPN Fullcourt; Fox SportsNet-OH; NESN; Empire Sports Network; WETM; WGSR TIME (Syracuse); and WRWB-TV. The Saint Joseph's Sports Network will broadcast the game on WPEN Radio (950 AM) with the team of Tom McCarthy and Joe Lunardi. McCarthy is in his second year as play-by-play announcer and Lunardi is in his 15th as the Hawks' color analyst. The game can also be heard via streaming audio on the Saint Joseph's website at www.sjuhawks.com.
LAST TIME OUT: Dwayne Jones had 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead SJU to a 59-52 win over Massachusetts to extend the Hawks' winning streak to three. Jones hit a career-high 10 of 14 free throws while Dwayne Lee scored 12 points and Chet Stachitas had 11 to help the Hawks move back to .500 for the first time since December 11. SJU held a 29-20 lead at halftime, as UMass missed all of its six 3-point attempts. The Hawks led by as many as 11 in the second half, as John Bryant scored on consecutive dunks to give SJU a 38-28 lead. UMass then used the 3-pointer, hitting five in the second half, to cut the deficit to three points on two occasions. With SJU leading 46-43, Jones sank a free throw, blocked a shot and then hit two more from the line to give the Hawks a 49-43 edge with 4:38 remaining. The Hawks would build their lead up to seven points two more times, but UMass wouldn't fold. A layup by Lee with :33 to play gave the Hawks a 56-49 cushion, but Anthony Anderson hit his fourth long-range shot to cut the margin to 56-52 with 25 seconds remaining. Stachitas and Lee made free throws in the final seconds to seal the Hawk victory.
FLYING START: After suffering six early-season losses, the Hawks have turned things around and won three straight Atlantic 10 games. It's among the best starts in conference history for SJU, which set a league record last season with a 16-0 mark. The following is the list of SJU's best A-10 starts, in which there have been at least three consecutive wins: Year A-10 Start A-10 Finish 2003-04 16-0 East division title 2001-02 6-0 East division title share 2000-01 5-0 Regular season title 2002-03 4-0 East division title 2004-05 3-0 TBA
KEY TO THE CITY: The Hawks open defense of their Big 5 City Series title, having won the last two outright crowns. SJU has won a total of 19 Big 5 titles (9 outright/10 shared), which is second all-time to Temple's 22 titles (5 outright/17 shared), although SJU has won the most outright titles of any school. The Hawks also own a nine-game Big 5 winning streak and have not lost a Big 5 game since an 82-72 loss to Temple on Feb. 2, 2002. SJU was defeated by Drexel earlier this year (Dec. 4), but the game does not count in the City Series standings.
TO THE POINT: Dwayne Lee has made great strides in the past few games in running the Hawk offense from the point and has cut down on the number of turnovers. After giving away a season-high seven at Fordham, Lee has just five turnovers in the past two games. He's also handed out a total of 12 assists in those two contests, while hitting for double figures in both (10 pts vs. URI; 12 vs. UMass). Lee currentlly leads the Atlantic 10 with his assist average of 5.25.
AT THE STRIPE: Despite struggling from the foul line this year, the Hawks have made the best of foul-line advantages in the past two games. SJU made 17 of 27 free throws against Rhode Island, and 19 of 29 vs. UMass. Dwayne Jones, a 59 percent foul shooter, went 5-for-7 vs. URI and a career-high 10-for-14 vs. UMass.
SENIOR SPARK: John Bryant has given the team a spark off the bench in the past two games. The senior had seven points and four rebounds in each of the two contests. In the UMass win, Bryant had consecutive dunks which gave the Hawks an 11-point lead five minutes into the second half.
DWAYNE'S DOUBLES: Dwayne Jones recorded his sixth double-double of the season this week with 18 points and 12 rebounds against UMass. It was the eighth of his career. Currently averaging 11.3 points and 10.6 rebounds, Jones could be the first Hawk to average a double-double since Will Johnson in 1995-96 (10.5 ppg; 10.2 rpg).