The Saint Joseph's men's basketball team (1-0) will host Columbia (1-0) on Monday, November 14, at Hagan Arena. Game time is 7 p.m. Tickets are available for the game by going to SJUHawks.com/tix.
ARENA: Michael J. Hagan ‘85 Arena (4,200)
RADIO: WTMR AM 800 - Matt Martucci, Joe Lunardi - LISTEN
AUDIO/VIDEO STREAMING: A-10 Digital Network - WATCH
SERIES RECORD: SJU leads 1-0
HAWKS’ NEXT GAME: Paradise Jam, Nov. 18 vs. Loyola-Chicago, 12:30 p.m.
• Saint Joseph’s won its opener for the fifth time in six years when it defeated Toledo, 77-76, on Saturday night. Guards Shavar Newkirk (28 pts) and Lamarr Kimble (16 pts) combined for 44 of the Hawks’ points while each recorded career-highs. James Demery had 11 points and tied his career-high with eight rebounds.
• Prior to the Toledo game, Saint Joseph’s raised the banner for the 2016 Atlantic 10 champions, as the Hawks captured the conference title for the second time in three years.
• The Hawks will head to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands on Wednesday to participate in the Paradise Jam from Nov. 18-21. It marks SJU’s second appearance in the tournament with the first in 2009.
AST TIME VS. COLUMBIA: Senior Aaron Brown scored a career-high 26 points as Saint Joseph's men's basketball team weathered a furious late charge to come away with an 80-78 win over Columbia at Levien Gym.
DeAndre' Bembry tallied 12 points, all in the second half, to go with nine rebounds, eight assists, and three blocks, while Isaiah Miles added 15 points as the Hawks shot a blistering 59.4 percent from the field in the second stanza to overcome a two-point halftime deficit. The game came down to the wire after an SJU turnover gave Columbia the ball with five seconds left, but the Lions couldn’t convert.
LAST TIME OUT: Guards Shavar Newkirk and Lamarr Kimble combined for 44 points by each hitting career-highs to lead Saint Joseph’s to a 77-76 win over Toledo in the season opener for both teams at Hagan Arena.
Newkirk tallied career-highs of 28 points and seven rebounds, while Kimble scored 16 points. James Demery had 11 points and tied his career-high with eight rebounds for SJU. The game was a back-and-forth contest with a total of 25 lead changes in the second half. Saint Joseph’s took the final lead of the game, 72-71, on a putback by sophomore Markell Lodge with 1:42 to play. Newkirk hit a jumper at :45 to increase the Hawks’ lead to its biggest of the game, 74-71, and added a pair of free throws to push it to 76-71 with 25 seconds to play. Toledo countered with a layup at :19 but Demery made one of two free throws at :11 to give the Hawks a 77-73 lead. Jalen Sanford hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to provide the final margin.
BANNER YEAR: The Hawks are coming off of one of the best seasons in school history, which saw them go 28-8 and win their third Atlantic 10 Championship in two seasons. SJU was led by A-10 and Big 5 Player of the Year DeAndre’ Bembry, and Isaiah Miles, the Most Improved Player in the A-10 and Big 5. Saint Joseph’s was the third most improved team in the nation and the 28 victories were the second best in school history, behind only the 2003-04 NCAA Elite Eight squad, which went 30-2.
DEAN OF COACHES: Now in 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 404-273 record, and has a 198-142 record in Atlantic 10 play for the most conference wins of any active coach, and the second most all-time.
THEY’RE BACK: Although Saint Joseph’s returns 12 players from last year’s A-10 champion team, only four players averaged double-figure minutes during the season. Shavar Newkirk is the lone starter returning since Pierfrancesco Oliva will be sidelined for the year with a knee injury. James Demery and Lamarr Kimble were the other two players seeing significant playing time, making key contributions off the bench last season.
DOUBLE DOWN: This marks the first time in Phil Martelli’s career that he does not have a returning double figure scorer. The Hawks lost Isaiah Miles (18.1), DeAndre’ Bembry (17.4) and Aaron Brown (10.4) from last year’s 28-8 team. SJU’s leading returning scorers are James Demery (8.1) and Shavar Newkirk (8.0).
FROM THE START: Charlie Brown became the fourth freshman in four years to be in the starting lineup on opening day. Pierfrancesco Oliva was a starter in 30 games last year. Previous freshman starters were DeAndre’ Bembry with all 34 games in 2013-14 and James Demery with 29 games in 2014-15.
RARING TO GO: Redshirt sophomore Markell Lodge made his first career start vs. Toledo and had four points and two blocks. Lodge saw limited action last season in his first year after sitting out 2014-15 to concentrate on academics. A 6-8 forward from Pace Academy (N.C.), Lodge owns a vertical leap of 39 inches, which is the highest in the program’s history.
HARD WORK PAYS OFF: Senior tri-captain Brendan Casper was awarded a scholarship for the 2016-17 academic year. Casper joined the Hawks as a walk-on as a freshman in 2013-14 and previously earned a scholarship for the Spring 2016 semester. He has played in 42 career games, including a personal best 23 as a sophomore, and has been a member of the Hawks’ two Atlantic 10 champion teams. Casper was selected to the 2016 NABC Honors Court, which recognizes academic excellence.
WELCOME TO HAWK HILL: The Hawks welcome five newcomers this season - Charlie Brown (Philadelphia), Gerald Blount (Suwanee, Ga.), Lorenzo Edwards (Lake Forest, Ill.), Nick Robinson (Chicago, Ill.) and walk-on Toliver Freeman (Baton Rouge, La.)
LOOKING AHEAD: The Hawks head to the U.S. Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam. SJU will open play in St. Thomas against Loyola-Chicago on Nov. 18 and then will face either Ole Miss or Oral Roberts in the next round on Nov. 19 or Nov. 20. Following the tournament, Saint Joseph’s returns to action at home against Temple on Nov. 30