Jan. 26, 2010
PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's men's basketball team (8-11; 2-3 A-10) will look to stretch its winning streak to four games when it hosts Massachusetts (7-12; 1-4) on Wednesday evening at Hagan Arena. Game time 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.
GAME NOTES The Hawks are in the midst of a three-game winning streak which is tied as the season's longest. SJU started the year by winning its first three contests. Saint Joseph's played its final non-conference game of the season on Monday when it defeated Penn, 85-64, at The Palestra. The Hawks are 1-1 in the Big 5. 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 had 17 points and Carl Jones had 16 off the bench as Saint Joseph's defeated Penn, 85-64, in a Big 5 game at The Palestra. It was the Hawks' third straight win, tying their longest winning streak of the year. The Hawks led from the start and after Penn tied the score at 27-27 with 5:34 remaining in the first half, SJU went on a 12-1 run to take control and own a 40-27 lead at halftime. Todd O'Brien had four points in the run while Idris Hilliard paced the Hawks with 12 points in the half. Saint Joseph's outscored Penn, 11-3, in the first four minutes of the second half, as a dunk by Garrett Williamson gave SJU a 51-30 lead. The Hawks used its best 3-point shooting in a number of games, hitting 6-of-10 long range shots in the second half. Jones found his stroke, hitting three 3-pointers in a row to put SJU ahead, 68-40. Chris Prescott followed with a three at 9:39 to give Saint Joseph's a 71-40 lead, while SJU's biggest lead was 81-46 with under seven minutes to play. The Hawk defense forced 27 Penn turnovers and held leading scorer Zack Rosen to just eight points on two field goal attempts.
ON A ROLL: The Hawks' current three-game winning streak ties their longest of the year, from the start of the season. The last time SJU won at least four in a row was a seven-game streak last season in early January.
PLUSSES AND MINUSES: In the win over Penn, SJU forced 27 Quaker turnovers and had 21 assists, both season-highs.
BIG WIN: The Hawks notched their biggest win of the season with the victory over a previously 14-4 Dayton team at Hagan Arena last Saturday night to improve to 2-3 in the conference. SJU has a tough road ahead in the A-10 with games still remaining against the top five teams.
IN THE LEAGUE: The Hawks' 2-3 conference start matches that of the 2006-07 squad, which ended the year with a 9-7 league record.
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 five games this season, averaging 11.3 ppg. He's scored 215 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.
HE'S BACK: Carl Jones had the hot hand against Penn, shooting 5-for-8 in the second half while converting all four of his 3-point attempts. The freshman finished with 16 points, which was his highest point total since January 2 (17 points). In the six games previous to Penn, Jones was shooting just 25.7 percent from the field and 21.1 percent from beyond the arc, averaging just 6.7 points per game.
MAGIC NUMBER: The Hawks haven't held many teams to under 70 points this year, but in the past three wins, they have done just that. In two of the wins, they've limited them to under 60 as Towson scored just 57 points while Dayton had 59.
WARMING UP: Phil Martelli's teams are known for their strong play as the season progresses, especially during the conference slate. In the past five years (counting this one), the Hawks have headed into January with a combined 25-30 record. But during the conference regular season (counting the current year), Saint Joseph's has compiled a 43-26 mark. The Hawks ended December with a 4-7 record, but have gone 4-4 thus far in January.
ROAD BLOCKS: The Hawks notched their first win on the road by beating Penn, although it was in the building (Palestra) that is their "home away from home. SJU is still looking for its first win outside of Philadelphia. SJU is 1-7 on the road, but is 6-1 in Hagan Arena.
LOOKING AHEAD: Saint Joseph's goes on the road to Duquesne for a Sunday afternoon contest and then returns home to host Richmond in the first of three consecutive games at Hagan Arena.