Jan. 18, 2010
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's (5-11) returns home to take on Towson (4-12) in a non-conference game this 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 have lost two in a row, and five of their last six, after falling at St. Bonaventure on Saturday night. That ended a 15-game winning streak vs. the Bonnies. SJU is playing its third game in nine days. The Hawks are 4-8 in non-conference matchups this season. Saint Joseph's will play one more non-conference game next Monday when it takes on Penn in a Big 5 game at the Palestra. 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: Chris Matthews' 3-pointer with 2:02 to play became the decisive basket as St. Bonaventure upended Saint Joseph's, 68-65, in Atlantic 10 action at the Reilly Center. The loss ended SJU's 15-game winning streak against the Bonnies. The Hawks held a 37-28 lead at halftime, but allowed the Bonnies back into the game, as SBU opened the second half with a 10-1 run to tie it, 38-38, at the 16:19 mark. Saint Joseph's fell behind by 10 points, 63-53, at 6:58, but Darrin Govens started the Hawk comeback, hitting a 3-pointer at 6:46. The Hawks would go on an 11-0 run, ending with a dunk by Todd O'Brien at 3:42 which gave SJU a 64-63 lead. That set the stage for Matthews' shot, his only three of the night, which put the Bonnies ahead for good. The Hawks missed two baskets and chances to tie with under 1:54 to play, while SBU missed a 3-pointer at 1:05 that would've put the game out of reach. SJU cut it to 66-65 as Govens made the second of two free throws at :09, and Malcolm Eleby made two free throws at :08 to give SBU the three-point cushion. The Hawks' last chance, a 3-point attempt by Garrett Williamson, was off the mark with :02 to play. Govens finished with 15 points for SJU while Williamson had 12. Idris Hilliard scored all of his 12 points in the first half, while O'Brien also chipped in 11 points. O'Brien and Hilliard led SJU in rebounding with seven each, as the Hawks were outrebounded, 32-31, for the 15th time this year.
FAILED FREE THROWS: Saint Joseph's is a good free-throw shooting team (72.7%), but made only 13-of-20 in the loss at St. Bonaventure. The Hawks missed five in the second half, with a critical miss by Darrin Govens at :09 that would've tied the game.
WELCOME HOME: Tonight marks the return to the friendly-confines of Hagan Arena after two games on the road. The Hawks are winless on the road (0-7) but 4-1 on their homecourt.
LOWLIGHTS: The loss to Rhode Island was the most points given up the by Hawks since a 102-88 loss to Duquesne on February 6, 2008. It was also the second 20-plus point losing margin of the season as SJU fell to #7 Purdue, 85-60, in the Paradise Jam.
INJURY REPORT: Bryant Irwin suffered a possible concussion at Rhode Island and as a precaution, sat out Saturday's game and will also sit out tonight.
DIFFERENT OUTLOOK: Phil Martelli found one consistency in the loss to Rhode Island: "The silver lining that we leave with is we all got clobbered. It wasn't 'we had this, we had that'. We got it handed to us all over the floor."
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 13.1 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.
BENTLEY'S BEST: Junior Charoy Bentley scored a career-high 10 points at Rhode Island off the bench, making 4-of-6 shots. Bentley became the 10th Hawk to score double figures at least once this season.
NOT FOR THREE: The Hawks have struggled from beyond the arc this year and are converting 31.9 percent on the season. In the past four games, SJU is converting just 28 percent (28-for-100), which included efforts of 3-for-18 against Princeton, 4-for-19 vs. Rhode Island and 6-for-20 effort at St. Bonaventure.
FROM THE LINE: The Hawks are converting 72.7 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 78.0 percent and Garrett Williamson is at 76.5 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.
CENTENNIAL MOMENT: January 18, 1986 - Mo Martin scored 27 points to lead the Hawks to an 88-74 win over UMass at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse. SJU scored 56 second-half points in the win. That squad, under Jim Boyle, would go on to post a 26-6 record and win the Atlantic 10 title.
LOOKING AHEAD: SJU gets a break with no games during the week but will host Dayton on Saturday at 6 p.m. in a contest to be televised on ESPNU. Then the Hawks will face Penn on Monday evening at The Palestra.