Jan. 24, 2010
PHILADELPHIA - Coming off a thrilling 60-59 win over Dayton, the Saint Joseph's men's basketball team (7-11; 0-1 Big 5) will look for its third straight win when the Hawks take on Penn at The Palestra on Monday, January 25. Game time is 7 p.m. and tickets are still available.
The game will be televised locally by The Comcast Network with Scott Graham and Rob Kennedy calling the action. The Saint Joseph's Sports Network team of Matt Martucci and Joe Lunardi will broadast the game on WNTP (990 AM). Audio streaming is available on SJUHawks.com free of charge.
GAME NOTES: This is Saint Joseph's final non-conference game of the season. It is only their second Big 5 game as they still have to play Temple and La Salle. A Hawks' win tonight would give them a three-game winning streak which would tie the season's longest. SJU started the year by winning its first three contests. In the decade that just ended, the Hawks amassed a 201-103 record (counting this season to date) and made seven post-season appearances. 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 142. Saint Joseph's is celebrating the Centennial of SJU Basketball this year, as the inaugural season took place in 1909-10.
LAST TIME OUT: Garrett Williamson had the game-saving block in the final seconds and scored a team-high 15 points to lead Saint Joseph's to a 60-59 victory over Dayton. With the Hawks clinging to the one-point lead, Williamson blocked a driving layup by the Flyers' Rob Lowery with :04 to play to preserve the win. Williamson also had two free throws at :43 to give the Hawks a 60-55 lead. Saint Joseph's led 54-45 with 5:25 to play, but Dayton stayed in the game as Lowery hit a 3-point at 4:28. A layup by Chris Wright cut the Hawk lead to 54-50, but then Williamson broke free for a fastbreak dunk, off a pass from fellow senior Darrin Govens, to give the Hawks the 56-50 edge at 3:34. Wright, who scored a game-high 28 points, hit two free throws to pull Dayton within 56-52, but Govens scored on a tip-in at 1:28 to increase the Hawks' lead to 58-52. Mickey Perry hit a long-range 3-pointer at 1:14 to pull Dayton within 58-55, but Williamson's free throws gave the Hawks a 60-55 cushio. Wright had a tip-in at :35 and then a layup at :15 to cut SJU's lead to 60-59. After a missed Hawks' free throw at :14, Dayton had its last chance but Williamson came up with the block to preserve the win. Idris Hilliard had 13 points and six rebounds for the Hawks, while Govens added 11 points and Justin Crosgile scored 10.
BIG WIN: The Hawks notched their biggest win of the season with the victory over a previously 14-4 Dayton team at Hagan Arena on Saturday night to improve to 2-3 in the conference. SJU still has a tough road ahead in the A-10 with games remaining against the top five teams.
MR. EVERYTHING: The Hawks have needed Garrett Williamson to be more of a scorer this year and he's done that, while also bringing all of the intangibles every game. The senior has quietly tallied double figures in all but four games this season, averaging 11.7 ppg. He's scored 210 points, which is the highest single-season total for his career. Williamson has also continued to do all the little things on the court - against Towson he had four assists and three blocks while playing 40 minutes for the first time this year. He had the game-saving block on a driving layup attempt with :04 to play to preserve the Hawks' win over Dayton.
MORE ON GARRETT: Phil Martelli had high praise for Garrett Williamson after the Dayton win, saying, "Garrett is a winner. Unfortunately it doesn't bear out this year with our record but Garrett Williamson plays winning basketball. It's the reason he has the most minutes, it's the reason his teammates voted him captain. I actually compared him the other day to Dmitri Domani on the A-10 championship team in 1997. Dimitri just did everything that was necessary and that's what Garrett does," said Martelli.
THE NUMBERS GAME: The numbers were in the Hawks' favor against Dayton. Although SJU shot just 39.6% in the game, Dayton converted only 36.1%. The Hawks shot 29.4% from 3-point range, but the Flyers made only 3-of-22 shots (13.6%). Dayton, however, did hold a decisive 42-29 edge in rebounding.
MAGIC NUMBER: The Hawks haven't held many teams to under 70 points this year, but in the past two wins, they've limited them to under 60. Towson scored just 57 points while Dayton had 59.
JUST-IN TIME: Justin Crosgile made the first start of his career at Temple, and has now started the last six games. Crosgile got a late start to the season, missing the first six games after recovering from surgery (Oct. 9) on a torn ligament in his left thumb. He made his debut at Rider on Nov. 30 and scored 12 points on 4-for-9 shooting. Crosgile has reached double figures four times, with a high of 13 in the win over Towson. Phil Martelli has expressed confidence in the freshman's scoring ability and has given him the green light to take the shot when he has it. Crosgile has made eight 3-pointers in the past three contests. KEY TO THE CITY: Saint Joseph's owns a 26-18 record against Philadelphia teams over the last seven seasons, counting this one. The Hawks struggled against their city foes last year, going 1-6. SJU is 1-2 this year defeating Drexel in the season opener and inaugural game in Hagan Arena and losing to Villanova and Temple.
BRAGGING RIGHTS: This is the second Big 5 game of the season for the Hawks, who lost to Villanova on Dec. 9. The first Temple game did not count in the standings, but the Feb. 20 game will. SJU has won a total of 19 Big 5 titles (9 outright/10 shared), which is third all-time to Temple's 23 titles (5 outright/18 shared).
HOME AWAY FROM HOME: With the formation of the Philadelphia Big 5 in 1955, SJU began utilizing The Palestra as a home venue. Since that year, the Hawks have played at least one home game in the historic arena every season. The facility served as SJU's homecourt in 2008-09 with 13 games due to the expansion and renovation project at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse, which is now Hagan Arena. Saint Joseph's went 7-6 here last season, but has compiled a 329-157 record (.676) at The Palestra, with more wins than the program's victory total at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse (319). This season, SJU is playing three games here.
BRYANT'S BACK: Bryant Irwin was back against Dayton after missing two games with a concussion and went 2-for-2 from the field.
LOOKING AHEAD: SJU have another quick turnaround with a home game vs. UMass on Wednesday and then a trip to Duquesne for a Sunday afternoon contest.