Dec. 1, 2006
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's (4-1) hosts Drexel (3-2) in the first city game of the year tomorrow, December 2, at the Palestra at 2 p.m. A limited number of tickets remain and can be purchased at the SJU ticket office on Friday (610-660-1712) or on game day at the Palestra.
The game will be broadcast on WFIL Radio (560 AM) with Tom McCarthy and Joe Lunardi calling the action.
GAME NOTES The Hawks have the top defense in the Atlantic 10, limiting the opponents to just 55.4 points per game. SJU's 3-point field goal percentage defense is also one of the best in the league, ranking second at 27.4 percent. Freshman Darrin Govens made one of the quickest returns from injury in recent memory as he played on Monday against Boston University after having surgery on his hand on Nov. 17. Phil Martelli has won 100 games more than he's lost with his 226-126 record. He needs nine wins to surpass Hall of Famer Jack Ramsay on SJU's list for coaching victories. Ramsay totaled 234 in 11 years (234-72 from 1955 to 66) while Martelli's 12-year mark stands at 226-126. The Hawks own a 12-5 record in the Palestra over the last three years. SJU went 4-2 last season, with losses to Ohio State and Villanova.
THE COMEBACK KID: Darrin Govens made an extremely quick return to action playing in the Boston University game, just 10 days after having surgery on his fractured right hand (fourth metacarpal). Govens, who had surgery on Nov. 17, asked to participate in practice on Nov. 26, and then was cleared by the doctor just hours before the BU game. The freshman made an impact, playing 24 minutes and scoring 11 points, while making 3-of-3 3-point field goals.
DEE-FENSE: Defense has always been one of the Hawks' trademarks and thus far they've limited the opponents to 58.4 points per game, the best number in the Atlantic 10. The Hawks rank sixth in FG percentage defense (.425) and are second in 3-point defense, limiting their foes to just 27.4 percent from the arc.
MORE ON THE DEFENSE: The Hawks limited BU to a dismal 2-for-20 shooting effort in the second half of the win. The Terriers scored their last field goal of the game with 12:21 to play, whil amassing 26 turnovers in the contest.
DOUBLE TIME: Freshman Garrett Williamson had a solid all-around effort against Boston University, notching his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. The freshman shot 5-for-8 from the field and keyed the defense with a season-best three steals. He's averaging 7.6 points per game.
YOUTH MOVEMENT: Phil Martelli is giving plenty of minutes to his freshmen, and often SJU has had three or four of them on the court at the same time. Jawan Carter and Garrett Williamson comprise the starting backcourt, with D.J. Rivera being one of the first players off the bench. Carter is third on the team in minutes played, averaging 29.4, with Rivera at 25.6 and Williamson at 28.0. With the recovery of Darrin Govens from the hand injury, he's likely to play significant minutes as well.
ON THE LINE: The top free throw shooting team in the nation last year (79.9), SJU is shooting 75.0 percent from the line this season, The team came up short down the stretch at Penn State as the Hawks had made 11 in a row, and 14 of their first 15, but in the final minute of play, missed three free throws, including two that were front ends of a one-and-one. SJU bounced back to make 17-of-23 free throws against BU. Overall, all five starters are making 70 percent or better from the line.