Dec. 17, 2010
PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's men's basketball team will return to action on Tuesday, December 21 when the Hawks travel to Boston University. Game time at the Agganis Arena is 7 p.m.
The Saint Joseph's Sports Network broadcast of the game will be available on SJUHawks.com, with Matt Martucci and Joe Lunardi calling the action. The audio stream is available free of charge. Click here to listen. The contest will also be televised in the Boston area by NESN (New England Sports Network).
GAME NOTES: The Hawks have lost five in a row after putting together a three-game winning streak earlier this season. The streak is the longest since a seven-game skid in 2008-09. Phil Martelli is in his 16th year as Saint Joseph's head coach, and his 26th year on Hawk Hill. The coach needs eight wins to reach 300 for his career, and the 24th game he coaches this year will be his 400th. Leading scorer Carl Jones has scored double figures in 12 straight games dating back to last season. He has notched 20-plus points in four of the last six. Freshman C.J. Aiken ranks sixth in the nation in blocked shots at the start of this week and is now second in the Atlantic 10 with 3.2 per game. SJU is fielding its youngest team ever under Phil Martelli with two seniors, one junior, four sophomores and five freshmen. The opening day starting lineup included three freshmen, which is the most ever under Martelli. SJU will be without senior Charoy Bentley who is sidelined for at least 10 days after undergoing an appendectomy. The Hawks will return to action after Christmas on Dec. 28 making another trip to Massachusetts, to visit Holy Cross.
LAST TIME OUT: Creighton came back from a first-half deficit to score an 82-75 victory over Saint Joseph's. Ronald Roberts scored on a putback to cut it to 78-72. After a Creighton turnover, Jones was fouled on a 3-point attempt, and converted all three at 38.7 seconds to pull SJU within 78-75. But CU hit two free throws at 31.5 and the Hawks missed on their next possession. Saint Joseph's led with over six to play in the first half, 30-18, but Creighton closed out the half with a 20-6 run, to take a 38-36 halftime lead. Crosgile's 15 points were a season-best for the sophomore, while Langston Galloway scored 13 points to go with a team-high six rebounds.
JONES-IN': Carl Jones has recorded double-figures in all 10 games and owns a streak of 12 games dating back to last year. He has scored 20-plus points in four of the last six games, including a career-best 29 points vs. Minnesota. Jones leads the Hawks with his 18.6 scoring average, while ranking fifth in the A-10, and is the team's top free throw shooter, converting 83.1 percent.
CHARTING CARL: As the days are getting colder, Carl Jones continues to heat up. In the five games of December, he has converted 49 percent (39-for-80) from the field and 48 percent (14-for-29) from 3-point range, while averaging 21.8 points per game. It's a drastic improvement from November when Jones shot just 37 percent from the field and 25 percent from beyond the arc. His November scoring average was 15.4 points per game. Jones has bettered his career-high in points (18 at the start of the year) three times with the highest being the 29-point performance against #22 Minnesota.
WHAT WAS HE THINKING?: Over the past few weeks, Phil Martelli has been asked questions about his scheduling and the Hawk coach has answered in the way that only he can. For example, he said that one of his coaching friends called him "nuts". Ending with the Creighton game, the Hawks played five games in 11 days, with all but one at home. Included in that stretch was two games against ranked teams - #12 Villanova and #22 Minnesota. SJU did get some rest after taking the traditional break for final exams, with this being the first game for the Hawks since Dec. 11.
BACKCOURT BOOST: The backcourt of Carl Jones and Langston Galloway combined to score 50 of the Hawks' 73 points vs. Minnesota, while also totalling nine of the team's 13 assists and seven of the 10 steals. The duo made all nine of the team's 3-pointers and 14 of the 25 field goals.
LEAGUE LEADERS: Two of the Hawks' freshmen are among the Atlantic 10's leaders in three categories (as of Dec. 16). Langston Galloway tops the league in free throw percentage (95.2) and assist/turnover ratio (2.7), while C.J. Aiken leads the A-10 in blocks (3.1).
JUST-IN TIME: Sophomore Justin Crosgile had his best game of the season at Creighton, hitting for 15 points. The guard went 5-for-8 from the field, while hitting 3-of-5 3-pointers. He combined with Carl Jones to go 11-of-22 from the field and 5-of-6 from the foul line for a combined 32 points. It marked Crosgile's first double-figure game of the year. Last season, Crosgile started the final 19 games of the year and averaged 6.7 points. He has come off the bench in all 10 contests thi season.
OUT OF ACTION: Senior Charoy Bentley had an emergency appendectomy on Dec. 15 and will be sidelined for at least 10 days. His absence leaves the Hawks with 10 scholarship players.
FORGETTING ABOUT FINALS: This will be the first game for SJU after completing final exams. The Hawks are 8-3 in the first game after the break for final exams in the last 11 years under Phil Martelli.
THE WEATHER OUTSIDE IS FRIGHTFUL: Saint Joseph's is seeking its first win in the month of December, having lost all five games. SJU was 3-2 in November.
THE SPIRIT OF THE SEASON: For the 16th consecutive year, the Hawks have undertaken their annual Christmas charity project, "Hawks Helping Others", to aid needy families in West Philadelphia. SJU's Campus Ministry assists in the project, identifying the families in need. The players shopped at the nearby Target on Sunday, December 12, with the team divided into groups and receiving a list of items needed by their particular family. The Hawks wrapped the gifts and will deliver to the families on December 19.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Hawks return to action after Christmas traveling to Holy Cross on Dec. 28. SJU will be back in Hagan Arena for a New Year's Eve date with Siena, which will begin a three-game homestand.
BLOCK PARTY: Freshman C.J. Aiken had six blocks in the second half in the win at Fairfield, which was the highest total for a Hawk since Ahmad Nivins had the same number at UMass on Jan. 9, 2008. Langston Galloway added three in the game as the Hawks totalled 11 blocks, which was the most since they had 10 vs. Syracuse on Nov. 13, 2007. Aiken upped his season best with seven blocks at Villanova. He is averaging 3.1 per game ranks second in the Atlantic 10, and at the start of this week, was sixth in the nation.