Saint Joseph's (6-5) will open Atlantic 10 Conference play on Friday, December 30, when it hosts George Washington (8-5) at Hagan Arena. Game time is 7 p.m.

The game will be televised in Philadelphia on Comcast SportsNet and in Washington, D.C. on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. The video stream will be available on the A-10 Network.

The radio broadcast can be heard on 610 Sports, with streaming audio on

ARENA: Michael J. Hagan ‘85 Arena (4,200)
TELEVISION: CSN (Pa.), CSN Mid-Atlantic (Matt Martucci, Joe Lunardi)
RADIO: 610 Sports (Joe Greenwich, Jack Scheuer) - LISTEN
SERIES RECORD: SJU leads 35-26
HAWKS’ NEXT GAME: Jan. 3 at Rhode Island, 7 p.m., CBSSN

• The Hawks had a seven-day layoff for Christmas, with the last game being a 92-63 win over Lafayette on Dec. 22. Shavar Newkirk scored 24 points, with 17 in the first half, and Lamarr Kimble added 22 points in the win.  
• Junior James Demery has been cleared to return to action for the first time since the season opener (Nov. 12) after he suffered a stress fracture in his left foot. Demery, the leading returning scorer from last season, has missed 10 games.
• Shavar Newkirk ranks third in the Atlantic 10 in scoring (21.2) and 23rd in the nation.
• SJU goes on the road for two straight games at Rhode Island on Tuesday and Fordham on Saturday. 

LAST TIME OUT:  Shavar Newkirk scored 24 points and Lamarr Kimble had 22 to lead Saint Joseph’s to a 92-63 win over Lafayette. Charlie Brown had 13 points and eight rebounds, Chris Clover scored 10 off the bench and Nick Robinson had eight rebounds. Newkirk got the Hawks going, scoring 10 points in the first five minutes of the game, as SJU jumped out to a quick 15-2 lead. Leading 18-10, Saint Joseph’s went on a 10-2 run, with the last four from Robinson, to take a 28-12 lead. Newkirk hit a three pointer at 4:49 to give him 17 of the Hawks’ 35 points, as SJU took its biggest lead of the game, 35-18. Saint Joseph’s shot 50 percent in the half and held a 45-29 lead at the intermission, despite Lafayette converting 7-of-16 from three-point range. It was more of the same in the second half as the Hawks built their lead to 20, 49-29, in the first minute. Lafayette would come no closer than 57-41 the rest of the way, while Saint Joseph’s took its biggest lead, 90-60, on a pair of free throws by Brown with 4:01 to play.

HE’S BACK: Junior James Demery has been cleared to return to action after sitting out 10 games with a stress fracture in the fourth metatarsal of his left foot. It will mark his first game since the season opening win against Toledo on Nov. 12, where he had 11 points and tied his career-high with eight rebounds. Demery was a starter as a freshman and was the sixth man for the 2016 A-10 champion team, averaging 8.1 points per game. His return also gives SJU’s defense a boost as he has been regarded as the team’s best defender over the past few seasons.

NO PLACE LIKE HOME: After playing four straight road games in December, the Hawks are now playing their second straight at Hagan Arena. SJU is 3-1 at home thus far this year.

FOR OPENERS: The Hawks open defense of their Atlantic 10 title tonight, which was the second championship in three seasons. SJU is 14-7 in A-10 openers under Phil Martelli. The Hawks defeated Richmond at home last year, which marked their first win in the conference opener since an 84-82 overtime win at Duquesne on Jan. 4, 2012.

THE GOOD GUY: Phil Martelli has been named the recipient of this year’s “Good Guy Award” from the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association, which will be presented at the 113th annual PSWA banquet on Feb. 3 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill. Martelli, always helpful and accessible to the media in good times and bad, capped off a strong 2015-16 season by storming through the Atlantic 10 Tournament, to win the Hawks' second title in three years and earn an eighth seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Hawks then defeated No. 9 Cincinnati for their first NCAA Tournament win since 2004 before bowing to Oregon in the second round, finishing at a stellar 28-8.  The conference title was the second in the last three years for Martelli, who is also a four-time A-10 Coach of the Year.

50-50: Shavar Newkirk and Lamarr Kimble combined for 17 of SJU’s 35 field goals in the 92-63 win over Lafayette.

WELL-GUARDED: Saint Joseph’s backcourt of Shavar Newkirk and Lamarr “Fresh” Kimble has combined to score 49 percent of the Hawks’ 641 points and have each exceeded their career-highs already this year. Newkirk had a career-high 28 points in the opener vs. Toledo, with Kimble bettering his career-high by scoring 16 points. Kimble then increased his personal best vs. Columbia with 19 points, and again with 26 points against Loyola Chicago. Newkirk has recorded 20-plus points in eight of 11 games. Last season, the duo split time at point guard so this is the first time they’re seeing significant playing time together.

INJURY UPDATE: Freshman Lorenzo Edwards has been sidelined with a shoulder injury and is out indefinitely.

SLOW STARTERS: A slow start doomed the Hawks at Illinois State, as they fell behind by 14 points at the half. SJU committed 12 turnovers and shot just 36 percent, while Illinois made 50 percent of its shots, and went 6-for-11 from behind the arc. The Hawks picked it up in the second half, but couldn’t overcome the deficit, losing 81-72.

BIG BOARDS: Saint Joseph’s dominated the boards at Princeton, outrebounding the Tigers, 58-34, in total rebounds and 19-7 on the offensive glass. It was the most total rebounds for SJU since the Hawks had 50 at St. Bonaventure on Jan. 14, 2009.

TWO-BY-TWO:  Phil Martelli has said that the Hawks need to make their two-point field goals for them to be successful. They are currently converting 47 percent (213-453) of their two-point field goals and 33.0 percent of their three-pointers. Saint Joseph’s is averaging 19.5 three-point field goal attempts per game.

CAN’T MISS: Shavar Newkirk is putting up career-best numbers thus far while shooting 47.1 percent from the field. The junior has scored 20-plus points in all but three games this year.

FRESH APPROACH: Sophomore tri-captain Lamarr Kimble started the season bettering his career-high for the third time in three games with 26 points vs. Loyola Chicago. Kimble shot 10-for-17 from the field and made a personal best five three-pointers. It marked the first 20-plus point game of his career. He has two on the season after scoring 22 against Lafayette.

WORKING OVERTIME: Lamarr Kimble and Shavar Newkirk are seeing career-high numbers in minutes played, with Kimble averaging 35.5 and Newkirk at 35.1. Kimble is third in the A-10 and ranks 35th in the nation for minutes played, while Newkirk is fourth in the league and 44th in the national rankings. Kimble played a career-high 37 minutes against both Loyola Chicago and Temple, while Newkirk reached a new career-high with 38 minutes versus Temple. The duo actually played all 20 minutes together of the second half at Drexel, for the first time this season.

HANDS OFF: As they have in the past few years, the Hawks are limiting their personal fouls and average 17.3 per game. They rank second in the A-10 ank 34th in the nation in fewest fouls with 190. At one point last year, SJU led the nation in fewest fouls and only had 10 disqualifications all season.