Saint Joseph’s (11-19) begins play in the 2017 Atlantic 10 Championship on Wednesday, March 8 at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. The 13th-seeded Hawks will face 12th-seeded Massachusetts (14-17) at 6 p.m.
Wednesday's contest will be televised by the American Sports Network and ComcastSportsNet (Pa.), as well as ASN affiliates in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Missouri, Ohio and Virginia. To find the game in your area, go to AmericanSportsNet.com. Streaming of the game will also be available on ASN's website. WATCH
The radio broadcast can be heard on WTMR 800 AM or via streaming audio on SJUHawks.com. - LISTEN
Tickets for the game are availble at: SJUHawks.com/tix
If the Hawks win, they will meet fifth-seeded St. Bonaventure in the Second Round on Thursday at 2:30 p.m., with the national telecast on the NBC Sports Network.
ATLANTIC 10 CHAMPIONSHIP CENTRAL
ARENA: PPG Paints Arena
TELEVISION: American Sports Network, Comcast SportsNet (Pa.)
RADIO: WTMR 800 AM (Joe Greenwich, Joe Lunardi)
AUDIO STREAMING: SJUHawks.com - LISTEN
VIDEO STREAMING: AmericanSportsNet.com - WATCH
NEXT POSSIBLE GAME: March 9 vs. St. Bonaventure, 2:30 p.m., NBCSN
• Saint Joseph’s snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 63-60 win at Duquesne. Chris Clover and James Demery had 19 points apiece and Jai Williams had a pair of free throws at :03 to secure the team’s first win since Jan. 28.
• James Demery topped the Hawks in scoring in conference games with a 14.2 average, which ranks 13th in the league. Freshman Charlie Brown has scored 13.8 ppg in league contests.
• Chris Clover is averaging 14.5 points per game in the last six contests.
• Saint Joseph’s dropped both meetings to UMass this season.
• The Hawks are the defending A-10 champions but have lost four players this year to season-ending injuries.
• The winner of this game advances to meet 5th-seeded St. Bonaventure in the Second Round on Thursday at 2:30 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT: Chris Clover and James Demery combined to score 38 points as Saint Joseph’s defeated Duquesne, 63-60, in the regular-season finale at the Palumbo Center, snapping a nine-game losing streak for the Hawks. In a game that saw both teams hold leads, Charlie Brown’s jumper at 1:07 gave the Hawks a 61-60 advantage. After missed possessions by both teams, the Dukes inbounded with 8.7 seconds to go and Mike Lewis II was fouled on a drive. He missed both free throws at 4.3 seconds and Jai Williams grabbed the Hawks’ biggest rebound in over a month. Williams was fouled and converted both free throws at 2.9 to secure the win for SJU. Duquesne missed on the ensuing shot and after an SJU turnover, had one more shot with four-tenths of a second to go, but it was off the mark. (full recap on pg. 25)
LAST TIME VS. UMASS: Saint Joseph’s fell behind early and couldn’t recover, dropping an 87-76 decision to Massachusetts at Hagan Arena on Feb. 11. Charlie Brown led with 15 points, on 4-of-8 three-pointers, to go along with eight rebounds. The Hawks’ leading scorer Lamarr Kimble had 12 points and six assists before leaving the game with a fracture in his foot that ended his season. (full recap on pg. 23)
IT WAS THE BEST OF TIMES...: At this time last year, Saint Joseph’s was 24-7, 13-5 in the A-10, and the fourth seed in the A-10 Championship. The Hawks were led by the A-10 Player of the Year (DeAndre’ Bembry) and the Most Improved Player of the Year (Isaiah Miles). SJU defeated George Washington, Dayton and VCU to to capture its second Atlantic 10 title in three seasons and reach the NCAA Second Round, finishing with a 28-8 record.
SEEDLINGS: This is the lowest seed (13) ever for the Hawks in the Atlantic 10 Championship. The previous low was 12th in back-to-back tournaments, 2010 and 2011. The 2011 team won two games to reach the semifinals before suffering a 64-63 loss to Dayton.
LONG TIME COMING: Although Saint Joseph’s and UMass play twice every year, this is the first A-10 Championship meeting of the teams since 2001. UMass holds a 3-1 advantage over the Hawks in A-10 tourney play, with SJU’s only win coming in the 1989 First Round.
PHIL AND THE POST-SEASON: Phil Martelli has guided SJU to a 28-8 record in the Atlantic 10 Championship, with three tournament titles. He owns a 16-5 record in the Hawks’ first game of the A-10 Championship.
MARTELLI IN MARCH: Although the Hawks are just 1-1 in the month of March, Phil Martelli owns an all-time record of 64-44 during the final month of the season.
OFF THE SCHNEID: The Hawks ended their nine-game losing streak on March 4 against Duquesne, which was the longest since 2011. It was SJU’s first win since a Jan. 28 decision over La Salle.
MAKING THEM COUNT: SJU’s free-throw shooting has been a weak spot all year, but actually helped the Hawks earn the win over Duquesne. Saint Joseph’s converted 13-of-16 in the second half, led by Chris Clover’s 8-for-8 effort. Jai Williams made two of the biggest free throws of the year with three seconds left to provide the three-point differential and secure the win.
DYNAMIC DUO: Chris Clover and James Demery combined for 38 of the Hawks’ 63 points (60 percent) in the win at Duquesne. It was reminiscient of the early season when Shavar Newkirk and Lamarr Kimble were scoring close to 50 percent of SJU’s points.
ONE FOR THE BOOKS: Charlie Brown has set a new SJU freshman record for three-pointers in the season with 68. He broke the mark of 65 previously shared by career three-point leader Langston Galloway (2010-11) and Arthur Davis (1996-97). Brown now also holds the freshman record for three-point attempts with 178, as Davis held the old mark of 171.
LUCKY CLOVER: Sophomore Chris Clover had the breakout game the Hawks were hoping for against La Salle (Jan. 28). He established a new career-high of 13 points in the first seven minutes and finished the game with a personal best 21 points. He shot 8-for-11, and made 4-of-5 three-pointers, while adding five assists in a career-high 34 minutes of action in the win. He matched the 21 points at VCU and scored team-highs of 17 points at both Saint Louis and Duquesne. Clover has tallied double figures in five of the last six games, while averaging 14.5 per game in this stretch.
INJURY BUG, AGAIN: Freshman Nick Robinson played just eight minutes against Rhode Island due to a bruised foot suffered against La Salle on Feb.18. Senior Brendan Casper replaced him to make the third start of his career against Rhode Island in the home finale. Robinson was back in the starting lineup at Duquesne and played 25 minutes, scoring six points and handing out a season-best four assists.
SENIOR SALUTE: Seniors Javon Baumann and Brendan Casper are closing out their Hawk careers. Baumann is a fifth-year senior who has played in 99 career games, making 30 starts. He led the Hawks in blocked shots in 2014-15 and was a co-recipient of the team’s Most Improved award in 2013-14. Baumann received his bachelor’s degree in December 2015 and is completing his master’s degree in international business. Casper, a former walk-on who received a scholarship last Spring, has played in 72 games and recorded new career-highs this season in points, rebounds, assists and minutes. He has scored in double figures five times this season. The team’s Most Improved Player in 2014-15, he will receive his bachelor’s degree in business administration in May.
DISTINGUISHED DUO: Javon Baumann and Brendan Casper are the last of six Hawks who have won two Atlantic 10 Championships (2014 and 2016).
TOP ROOKIE: Charlie Brown is one of the top rookies in the Atlantic 10. He’s averaging 12.8 points per game and is the second highest scoring freshman in the league behind Mike Lewis II of Duquesne (13.9). Brown has been named the A-10 Rookie of the Week three times this season. He has scored double figures in all but six games, and owns a 16-game double-figure scoring streak. Brown tops the Hawks in three-pointers made (68), three-point percentage (37.6) and ranks second in scoring and rebounding (5.1).
DEPLETED SQUAD: SJU is down to 13 available players, nine of which are scholarship players.
EYE ON JAI: Jai Williams has been giving the Hawks solid minutes off the bench this year. In the Hawks’ win at Duquesne, Williams grabbed a crucial rebound with three seconds left and hit two free throws to give the Hawks a 63-60 lead, which would be the winning margin. At Dayton, the junior tied his career-high with eight points on 4-for-4 shooting. In the win over La Salle, Williams played a personal best 25 minutes and grabbed a career-high eight rebounds. He had six points at St. Bonaventure, going 3-for-4, and tied his career-high with eight rebounds at Saint Louis.
DEAN OF COACHES: Now completing his 22nd season as Saint Joseph’s head coach, Phil Martelli is the dean of A-10 coaches. He’s the Hawks’ leader in wins with a 414-292 record, and has a 202-156 record in Atlantic 10 play for the most conference wins of any active coach, and the second most all-time.
HAWK LEGEND: Former SJU standout Pat Carroll ‘05 was named to the 2017 Atlantic 10 Legends Class, and will be honored at the A-10 Semifinals on March 11. Established in 2013, the Legends program recognizes men’s and women’s basketball student-athletes and coaches who have made a lasting impact on their respective basketball programs and institutions. Carroll made his mark as one of the finest perimeter shooters in SJU and Atlantic 10 history and remains the conference’s all-time leader in career three-point field goal percentage (45.4) Carroll closed out his career in 2005 with his finest season, averaging 18.3 points to be named the Atlantic 10 Co-Player of the Year, while helping the Hawks to berths in the title games of the A-10 and NIT.
LOOKING AHEAD: A win over Massachusetts will advance the Hawks to the Second Round on Thursday against fifth-seeded St Bonaventure at 2:30 p.m. in a national telecast on NBCSN.
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