Saint Joseph's (16-7; 6-3 A-10) will do something for the first time in 13 years when it takes on La Salle (12-11; 4-5) at Gola Arena on Saturday morning. Tip-off is 11 a.m. and the game will be televised nationally on ESPNU.
The game will be broadcast on CBS Sports Radio 610 AM (WIP) with Matt Martucci and Joe Lunardi calling the action, with free audio streaming available on SJUHawks.com.
• Saint Joseph’s defeated VCU on Saturday, 69-62, behind 24 points from Langston Galloway and 18 from DeAndre’ Bembry. Halil Kanacevic grabbed 10 rebounds in the win.
• Saint Joseph’s has posted a 12-3 record since a loss to Villanova on Dec. 7.
• Langston Galloway leads the Hawks in scoring with 16.6 points per game. Halil Kanacevic tops the team in rebounds (8.7) and assists (4.4), while Ronald Roberts leads the team in field goal percentage (55.9).
• This game will not count in the Big 5 standings - the March 9 game at Saint Joseph’s is the City Series game.
• Saint Joseph’s current RPI is 46th and the sixth best in the Atlantic 10.
• Langston Galloway needs 20 points to move into fourth place on the Hawks’ all-time scoring list.
• The Hawks’ 16-7 record is the best at this point since a 17-6 mark in 2007-08.
• SJU goes on the road on Wednesday for its second meeting with Rhode Island.
AST TIME OUT: Langston Galloway scored a game-high 24 points and DeAndre' Bembry added 18 as Saint Joseph's held off VCU, 69-62, at Hagan Arena. Galloway shot 8-for-14 from the field while Halil Kanacevic posted game-highs of 10 rebounds and seven assists. After a three by Kanacevic, Saint Joseph's took its biggest lead of the game, 63-50, on a dunk by Roberts off a lob from Bembry with 5:56 to play, VCU chipped away at the lead, running off 10 straight points to close to 63-60 with 2:56 to play. The teams then traded baskets, with Bembry hitting a layup at 1:28 to put SJU up 65-60, and then VCU scored with 1:15 left to cut the Rams' deficit to 65-62. After a Saint Joseph's miss, the Rams were stopped on the next possession as Kanacevic took a charge with 32.9 seconds to play. SJU then put the game away from the foul line with Galloway and Chris Wilson each hitting a pair in the final 25 seconds. Saint Joseph's, which was without sixth man Papa Ndao because of the flu, handled VCU's pressure defense from the start and the teams were close throughout the first half. With the game tied, 20-20, SJU scored six straight to take a 26-20 lead. The Hawks took their biggest lead of the first half, 34-24, on a three by Bembry at 1:29. VCU answered with a jumper from Johnson to cut SJU's lead to 34-26 at halftime.
THIS TIME LAST YEAR: La Salle shot 72.7 percent in the second half and its backcourt combined for 45 points to lead the Explorers to a 76-64 win over Saint Joseph's in an Atlantic 10 and Big 5 matchup at the soldout Palestra on Feb. 16, 2013. Halil Kanacevic shot 6-for-8 from the field to lead Saint Joseph's with 16 points while Ronald Roberts had his 12th double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Langston Galloway added 12 points and a season-high five steals. The Explorers expanded on a 29-24 halftime lead and the Hawks could only come within six points early in the half, despite connecting on 63.0 percent (17-for-27) of their field goal attempts. La Salle, which went 10-for-16 from three-point range in the game, took a 45-34 lead with 13:13 to play. The Hawks cut it to 48-41 on a three by Kanacevic, but La Salle came back and ran off five straight points to go up 53-41, for its biggest lead of the game. SJU's Galloway picked up a steal and converted the three-pointer to pull SJU within 53-44, but the Explorers would maintain close to a double-digit lead the rest of the way.
LAST MEETING HERE: The last time the two teams met here in Gola Arena was on March 3, 2001. It was one of the most memorable individual performances ever by a Hawk as Marvin O’Connor scored 18 points in 57.5 seconds, en route to a game-high and career-high 37 points. La Salle still pulled off the upset of the #18 Hawks, 91-90, which ended a 10-game winning streak for Saint Joseph’s. O’Connor scored all but two points in a 20-11 run in the final minute, but La Salle hit its final 10 free throws to hold on for the win. O’Connor would go on to tie his career-high again a few weeks later in the NCAA Tournament vs. Stanford, when he scored a tournament-best 37 points in the Hawks’ 90-83 loss.
CHANGE OF VENUE: This is the first meeting at Gola Arena since March 3, 2001 and just the second meeting on either school’s campus since 1995-96, when La Salle became a member of the Atlantic 10. The Hawks and Explorers played at Hagan Arena on SJU’s campus on March 6, 2010, which was a 74-59 Saint Joseph’s win. The majority of meetings between the teams have been played at The Palestra. Prior to 2001, the last time SJU played on La Salle’s campus (then Hayman Hall), was March 1, 1978.
LET’S GO AGAIN: The teams will meet again on March 9 at Hagan Arena, in the regular-season finale. That game will count in the Big 5 standings and will mark the first time since 2002-03 that the teams will have played twice in one season.
THE 600 CLUB: The game at Rhode Island on Wednesday, Feb. 19 will be the 600th game of Phil Martelli’s head coaching career. Martelli currently has a school-record 354 wins in 19 seasons.
TOP ROOKIE: DeAndre’ Bembry was named the Atlantic 10 Co-Rookie of the Week for Feb. 10, as he averaged 11.5 points and four rebounds per game in the Hawks’ 1-1 week. Bembry scored 18 points and added six rebounds as the Hawks topped VCU, 69-62. He also added three assists and a game-high three steals in the win. It is the second weekly honor for Bembry as he was previously honored on Nov. 18.
KEY TO THE CITY: The Hawks are 2-2 against Philadelphia teams this season with wins over Penn and Drexel and losses to Temple and Villanova. Today’s game does not count in the Big 5 standings.
BOUNCING BACK: Langston Galloway snapped out of a “slump” in which he had two consecutive games under double figures to score 24 points and lead SJU to the 69-62 win over VCU. The senior shot 8-for-14 from the field and went 5-for-6 from the foul line. He has scored 20-plus points 31 times in his career and has hit for double figures 90 times in 122 career games.
BIG-TIME BEMBRY: DeAndre’ Bembry had a big-time game in Saint Joseph’s win over VCU. The Hawks used the freshman to bring the ball upcourt against VCU’s pressure and he scored 18 points on 8-for-13 shooting while grabbing six rebounds. Among the plays on his highlight reel were a three-pointer near the end of the first half that gave SJU a 10-point lead, and a lob pass to Ronald Roberts for an alley oop dunk that pushed the Hawks’ lead to 13 points with 5:56 to play.
ALL-AROUND GUY: Halil Kanacevic is the only player to wear the Saint Joseph’s uniform and amass over 1,000 points, 900 rebounds and 300 assists in his collegiate career. He currently has 1,036 points, 931 boards and 359 assists, totals which include his freshman at Hofstra.
ALL-TIME HAWK: Langston Galloway has moved up to fifth place on the Hawks’ all-time scoring list with 1,770 points and is just 19 points out of fourth place and Ahmad NIvins’ total of 1,789. The senior has already passed Hawk greats such as Mike Bantom, Maurice Martin, Norman Black, Clifford Anderson and Tony Costner.
LOOKING AHEAD: Saint Joseph’s goes on the road to Rhode Island on Feb. 19 for the second meeting of the year with the Rams and then returns home for two in a row - against Fordham on Feb. 22 and Dayton on Feb. 25.