Jan. 12, 2010
KINGSTON, R.I. - Saint Joseph's (5-9; 1-1) men's basketball will visit Rhode Island (12-1; 0-1) in the first of a two straight games on the road, on Wednesday, January 13. Game time at the Ryan Center is 7 p.m.
The game can be heard on WNTP Radio (990 AM) with Matt Martucci and Joe Lunardi calling the action. Audio streaming will be available free of charge on SJUHawks.com, via Stretch Internet. It will be televised in Rhode Island on Cox.
GAME NOTES: Darrin Govens had 21 points and Todd O'Brien had 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead SJU to an 82-69 win over Fordham to snap a three-game losing streak in the first A-10 game in Hagan Arena. The win over Fordham gave Phil Martelli an 11-4 record during his career in the first A-10 home game of the year. It's the second consecutive game pitting the Hawks against the "Rams". SJU defeated Fordham last Saturday. 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: Darrin Govens scored 21 points and Todd O'Brien had a career-high 20 points and 12 rebounds as Saint Joseph's pulled away from Fordham, 82-69, in the first Atlantic 10 game at the Hawks' Hagan Arena. Govens shot 7-for-12 from the field and made 5-of-7 3-pointers for his second 20-plus point game of the year. O'Brien shot 7-for-9 and also had four blocked shots. Trailing 43-37 at the half, Saint Joseph's opened the second half with a 3-pointer from Govens. The Hawks took a 49-48 lead on a tip-in by O'Brien. The game would see three more ties and one more lead by Fordahm, 66-65, at 5:58. A dunk by O'Brien started the game-changing 9-0 run for the Hawks. Garrett Williamson hit a 3-pointer off an assist from Govens at 3:38 and Chris Prescott drained a three to give SJU a 74-66 edge with 2:06 to play. The Rams pulled within, 74-69, but the Hawks closed out the game making 8-of-8 free throws in the final two minutes to seal the win. Carl Jones added 15 points for the Hawks while Williamson had 10 and five assists. In a battle of the conference's two worst rebounding teams, Fordham held a decisive 46-30 edge on the boards, with 23 offensive rebounds.
DARRIN'S DUE: Darrin Govens gave the Hawks the game they've been looking for with 21 points against Fordham. Govens was on fire from the start, making 5-of-8 shots in the first half, which included 4-of-5 3-pointers for a total of 14 points. In the three games prior to Fordham, Govens had made only 9-for-28 from the field and averaged 8.0 ppg during that stretch. On the season, Govens is averaging a team-high 12.8 ppg.
LIGHTING A FIRE: Todd O'Brien was pulled out of the starting lineup at Siena, but responded with a career-high 11 rebounds in 21 minutes of action. O'Brien didn't start against Princeton but returned to the lineup at Temple and had a team-high seven rebounds. He followed that with a career-best 20 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks in the win over Fordham.
SHAKING IT UP: Phil Martelli has changed the starting lineup twice in an effort to change the Hawks' results. He started Carl Baptiste in place of Todd O'Brien against both Siena and Princeton. At Siena, Baptiste had a short-lived appearance as he was quickly whistled for two fouls and played just four minutes. Against Princeton, the freshman saw only five minutes of action. At Temple, Justin Crosgile got his chance, starting in place of Chris Prescott for his first career start. He had seven points in the game with one assist and one turnover.
INSPIRATIONAL TALK: Phil Martelli's halftime talk at the Fordham game must have been a good one. Trailing 43-37 at halftime, SJU would go on to shoot 47.8 percent in the second half and hit 5-of-9 from 3-point range. The Hawks' defense limited Fordham to shooting just 28.9 percent (after a 52.5% effort in the first half). SJU also forced the Rams into 11 turnovers.
FROM THE LINE: The Hawks are converting 72.5 percent from the foul line, which is third best in the Atlantic 10. This season's high was a 92.3 percent effort at Rider. Justin Crosgile is shooting 83.3 percent while Darrin Govens is hitting 78.9 percent and Garrett Williamson is at 75.3 percent. Saint Joseph's used that shooting to seal the Fordham win as the Hawks went 8-for-8 from the line in the final two minutes.
THE STOPPER: Garrett Williamson played the role of the stopper against Temple as he held the Owls' second leading scorer, Juan Fernandez, to a scoreless night and an 0-for-10 shooting effort. Heading into the game, Fernandez was scoring 14.1 ppg.
HOLD ONTO YOUR HATS: If the past two SJU-Rhode Island games are any indication, this could be a wild ride. Last season, the Hawks pulled out a thrilling 92-86 win in triple overtime at The Palestra. In 2008, SJU scored 90 points against the Rams, earning a 90-83 win at the Ryan Center.
JUST-IN TIME: Justin Crosgile made the first start of his career at Temple, and responded with seven points, and has now started two 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 a season-high 12 points on 4-for-9 shooting. He matched his season-high with 12 points against Villanova, going 4-for-5 from the foul line.
JUST ONE CHANCE: The Hawks have been outscored this season in second chance points, 228-106.
LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL: Although the 4-9 record through the first 13 games was the worst under Phil Martelli, the Hawks were actually 5-8 at the same point last season. That 2008-09 squad won seven in a row in the early part of January and finished with a 17-15 record.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Hawks have their second straight game on the road and travel to St. Bonaventure on Saturday (Jan. 16). SJU then has a quick turnaround with a non-conference game against Towson on Jan. 18 at Hagan Arena.