Feb. 4, 2005
PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's men's basketball team begins a six-game stretch of games in Philadelphia by hosting Duquesne on Saturday, February 5, at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse. Tip off is 4 p.m. for the game which will be broadcast on the Atlantic 10 Television Network and seen locally on Comcast SportsNet.
ABOUT THE HAWKS: The Hawks won their third straight conference game with a convincing 95-62 win at St. Bonaventure on Wednesday. SJU moved to two games over .500 for the first time this season, at 10-8, while owning a 7-1 conference record.
ABOUT THE DUKES: Duquesne is 6-15 and 3-5 in the league after a 72-71 loss to Richmond earlier this week.
SPECIAL EVENT: The head coaches will be wearing sneakers today as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Sneaker Event, designed to increase awareness of the combined efforts of the National Basketball Coaches Association and the American Cancer Society.
TV/RADIO: The game will be an Atlantic 10 Television Network broadcast and seen locally on Comcast SportsNet. Other outlets carrying the game are Metro Channel; FSN-Ohio; NESN; FSN-Pittsburgh; WETM; WGSR; 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 contest can also be heard via streaming audio on the Saint Joseph's website at www.sjuhawks.com.
NEXT GAME: Mon. Feb. 7 vs. Villanova, The Palestra, 8 p.m. ESPN2
LAST TIME OUT: Saint Joseph's took a commanding early lead and never looked back in the 95-62 rout of St. Bonaventure. The Hawks had a 21-3 lead by the 13-minute mark and held the Bonnies to just 10 points through 17 minutes of play. SJU made 7-of-8 3-pointers in the first half en route to a 47-21 halftime lead as Pat Carroll poured in 15 of his 21 points. The Hawks led by as many as 38 in the game and shot a season-best 68 percent from the field in the second half. Dwayne Jones had 12 points and 12 rebounds, Chet Stachitas scored 11 and Abdulai Jalloh had a career-high 11 points, making 8-of-9 from the foul line.
GOING ON THE OFFENSIVE: The Hawk offense was clicking on all cylinders against St. Bonaventure, with the most efficient output of the season. Among the numbers put up by the Hawks were: season-best FG% in a half - 68.0% season-best 3-pt FG% in a half - 87.5% most points scored in a game (95) and half (48 in 2nd)
TALE OF TWO HALVES: Coach Phil Martelli was very pleased with the Hawks' defense in the first half at St. Bonaventure, but felt quite the opposite about the team's defensive performance in the second half. SJU limited St. Bonaventure to just 10 points through the first 17 minutes of the game, and then saw the Bonnies score 11 in the final 3:18. The defense was lacking in the second half, however, as St. Bonaventure scored 41 points, shooting 57.1 percent from the field. That gave the Bonnies the distinction of being the first Atlantic 10 team to score more than 59 points against the Hawks this year.
SHUTTING THEM DOWN: SJU's defense has been a key to its resurgence in conference play. In their Atlantic 10 games (7-1 record), the Hawks have limited their opponents to an average of 53.9 ppg. St. Bonaventure was the only team to score more than 59 points, with a total of 62 in the rout. The Hawks have also shut down the opponents' leading scorers, limiting all of them to single digits in scoring. Here's a rundown of the points scored by those players, with their scoring averages prior to that game in ( ). Bryant Dunston, Fordham: 9 points (14.5) Scott Hazelton, URI: 0 points (17.4) - only 9 minutes w/ foul trouble Rashaun Freeman, UMass: 6 points (14.8) Steven Smith, La Salle: 9 points (22.7) Monty Scott, Dayton: 9 points (11.9) Rashaun Freeman, UMass: 4 points (15.7) Brian Thornton, Xavier: 2 points (12.4) - played just 10 minutes Ahmad Smith, St. Bonaventure: 6 points (12.8)
ABOVE THE MARK: The win at St. Bonaventure moved the Hawks to two games above .500 for the first time this season.
IT'S HOT OUTSIDE: After a slow start, Pat Carroll is heating up from the perimeter, just as he did last year. Last season, through the first five games of January, he was hitting just 33.8 percent of his 3-point attempts. But the Xavier game on Jan. 17, 2004 started a remarkable streak in which Carroll would go on to convert 41 of his next 73 shots in the regular season (57.1 percent), increasing his season percentage to 46.1. He finished the year hitting 45.8 percent, to rank sixth in the nation. This season, Carroll entered SJU's game at Fordham (Jan. 5) with a 3-point percentage of 35.0 (21-for-60). Through the first full month of the year, Carroll shot 52.4 percent from beyond the arc, and in the last nine games is converting 52.2 percent, while scoring 18.4 ppg. He has upped his season percentage to a league-leading 44.2 percent. Pat Carroll's shooting/scoring since January 5 3-pt FG Pts at Fordham 2-6 14 vs. URI 4-7 20 vs. UMass 3-7 9 at La Salle 6-10 23 at Dayton 3-7 14 at UMass 5-8 19 vs. Penn 3-7 17 vs. Xavier 7-11 29 at St. Bonaventure 3-6 21 Total 36-69 (.522) 18.4 ppg
PAT'S PLAY: Pat Carroll was named the Player of the Week in the Atlantic 10 and Co-Player of the Week in the Big 5 for Jan. 30 after averaging 23 points in games against Xavier and Penn. The senior hit for a career-high 29 points in the win over Xavier and for the week shot 15-for-28 (.536) from the field, 10-for-18 from 3-point range (.556) and 6-for-9 (.667) from the foul line. It marks the third time in his career that he's earned the conference's weekly honor.
SECOND FIDDLE: There's only one sports story in Philadelphia now, and rightfully so, it's the Eagles reaching the Super Bowl. So for the time being, Saint Joseph's and the other city basketball teams are flying below the radar. At this time last year, however, the Eagles had lost in the NFC Championship game and the Philly media quickly turned its attention to the 15-0 and nationally-ranked St. Joe's Hawks.
WHAT'S A GUY TO DO?: Coach Phil Martelli has a dilemma this weekend as the entire city of Philadelphia is focused on the Eagles and the Super Bowl. With Martelli always setting his practice schedule in advance, the Hawks are scheduled to practice at 7 p.m. on Super Sunday. In most circumstances, it would be easy to just adjust the practice time. But after today's 4 p.m. the Hawks will have just one day of preparation before meeting arch-rival Villanova on Monday night at 8 p.m. in a nationally-televised contest. Martelli is a believer in the theory that an athlete needs at least 24 hours for the body to recover after a competition. Barring a last-minute change by Martelli it looks like the Hawks might be the only people in Philly not watching the big game.
WORKING FOR A CURE: Coach Phil Martelli will participate in today's Coaches vs. Cancer Sneaker Event by wearing sneakers for the game. The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) is asking its member coaches to wear sneakers during their games this weekend to show support for Coaches vs. Cancer, symbolizing that the NABC and ACS are working together to eliminate cancer as a health problem. Martelli is a key player in the Philadelphia group of Coaches vs. Cancer, which raised $500,000 last year.