Saint Joseph's (3-3; 0-1 Big 5) will visit second-ranked Villanova (7-0; 1-0) in the 74th edition of the Big 5 rivalry on Saturday, December 3 at The Pavilion. The game will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network.
The radio broadcast can be heard on WTMR 800 AM or via streaming audio on SJUHawks.com.
ARENA: The Pavilion (6,500)
TELEVISION: CBSSN (Rich Waltz, Doug Gottlieb, John Schriffen)
RADIO: WTMR 800 AM - Matt Martucci, Joe Lunardi
AUDIO STREAMING: SJUHawks.com - LISTEN
SERIES RECORD: VU leads 48-25
HAWKS’ NEXT GAME: Dec. 11 at Drexel, 6 p.m.
• The Hawks opened Big 5 play on Wednesday falling to Temple, 78-72. Shavar Newkirk had 22 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists while Lamarr Kimble added 12 points and nine assists.
• Shavar Newkirk has scored 20-plus points in four of five games and in three consecutive contests. He’s the third leading scorer in the Atlantic 10 with 21.8 points per game.
• Saint Joseph’s has lost four in a row to Villanova, with the last win coming on Dec. 17, 2011 at Hagan Arena (74-58).
• This starts a four-game “road” swing for the Hawks, although two of the games are local (Villanova, Drexel on Dec. 11). The Hawks don’t return to Hagan Arena until Dec. 22.
• This is the second straight Big 5 game for the Hawks. Last season, SJU went 3-1 in the City Series, with the only loss to Villanova.
LAST TIME VS. VILLANOVA: Saint Joseph’s placed five players in double figures but fell to eighth-ranked Villanova, 86-72, in the annual rivalry game before a sold-out crowd at Hagan Arena. DeAndre’ Bembry scored a team-high 17 points and Isaiah Miles added 14 on 6-for-12 shooting. Shavar Newkirk had a career-high 13 points and career-high nine assists, with no turnovers, while James Demery also scored 13 points. Aaron Brown added 11 points for SJU. The Hawks trailed by as many as 15 points, 49-34, early in the second half, but Miles started a 15-5 SJU run with a jumper at 17:25. Bembry then energized the Hawk crowd with a steal and dunk to close the gap to 52-41. Miles finished the spurt with five more points and his three-pointer at 14:08 pulled SJU within 54-49. The teams traded baskets for the next three minutes but Lamarr Kimble grabbed a steal and fed Demery on the break for a layup that put the Hawks within 61-55 at 10:19. Villanova regained the 10-point lead with a pair of free throws and a jumper. With VU leading 68-57, SJU cut it to 68-59, but that was the closest the Hawks would come the rest of the way. The Wildcats went up 34-20 in the first half, but Saint Joseph’s ended the half on a 7-2 run as Bembry connected on a three-pointer at 1:23 to bring the Hawks within 42-32 at halftime. The teams combined for only 15 turnovers in the game.
KEY TO THE CITY: This is the second straight Big 5 game for Saint Joseph’s, after the Hawks lost to Temple on Wednesday. Saint Joseph’s has won 20 Big 5 titles (9 outright/11 shared), which is third all-time to Temple’s 27 titles (6/21 shared). Last year, SJU went 3-1 in the Big 5, losing only to Villanova. The Hawks will face Penn on Jan. 21 and travel to La Salle on Feb. 18 to round out the City Series.
HAWKS VS. THE TOP 25: Saint Joseph’s is 3-9 against ranked teams over the past three seasons. The last win over a Top 25 team came last year when SJU defeated #15 Dayton at Hagan Arena, 79-70, on Feb. 17. That win snapped a five-game losing streak for the Hawks against ranked squads. SJU’s most recent game played vs. the Top 25 was in the NCAA Second Round against #5 Oregon (March 20, 2016). The last time Saint Joseph’s beat the nation’s second-ranked team was on Feb. 7, 1984, with a 58-45 win over DePaul at the Palestra. Current assistant coach Geoff Arnold was a junior on that team. This is the highest ranked Villanova team SJU has faced since Dec. 9, 2009 when the Wildcats were #3 and scored a 97-89 win. Here’s a look at SJU’s all-time wins over Top 5 teams:
• 2/29/00 vs. #5 Temple (Palestra), W 62-59
• 2/7/84 vs. #2 DePaul (Palestra), W 58-45
• 3/14/81 vs. #1 DePaul (NCAA Tourn.), W 49-48
• 12/5/64 vs. #4 Davidson (Palestra), W 74-66
• 12/29/64 vs. #2 Wichita State (Palestra), 76-69
• 2/22/64 vs. #5 Villanova (Palestra), 69-63
• 1/11/61 vs. #5 St. John’s (Palestra), 74-71
WORKING FOR A CAUSE: Phil Martelli and Jay Wright are heavily involved in the Philadelphia Coaches vs. Cancer effort, which is one of the nation’s highest fundraising groups for Coaches vs. Cancer. The group, which is comprised of the city’s six Division I coaches and their wives, raised over $1 million last year. Martelli is the co-chair of the local group and is also the chair of the National Coaches vs. Cancer Council.
WELL-GUARDED: Saint Joseph’s backcourt of Shavar Newkirk and Lamarr “Fresh” Kimble has combined to score 50 percent of the Hawks’ 436 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 then again with 26 points vs. Loyola Chicago. Newkirk has recorded 20-plus points in five of six games. Last season, the duo split time at point guard so this is the first time they’re seeing significant playing time together.
CAN’T MISS: Shavar Newkirk is putting up career-best numbers thus far and shooting an impressive 52.4 percent from the field and 47.8 percent from three-point range. The junior has scored 20-plus points in four straight games and all but one game this year.
FRESH APPROACH: Sophomore tri-captain Lamarr Kimble bettered 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.
MARKELL’S MARK: Redshirt sophomore Markell Lodge had quite possibly his best game as a Hawk against Temple. He scored a career-high nine points and grabbed five rebounds, while playing a personal best 24 minutes. Lodge, who has a program-record 39-inch vertical leap, excited the sellout crowd with three dunks.
RAINING THREES: Against Temple, the Hawks connected on a season-best from behind the arc, going 12-for-23. Shavar Newkirk led the way with 4-of-6, while Charlie Brown and Lamarr Kimble each had three. It was the most three-pointers for the Hawks since they had 10 at Massachusetts on Feb. 24, 2016.
GETTING IN THE SPIRIT: The Hawks will participate in their annual Christmas Charity Project - “Hawks Helping Others”. It marks the 22nd year of the project, started by head coach Phil Martelli, and run in conjunction with SJU's Campus Ministry, to aid needy families in West Philadelphia. The Hawks will break into teams and shop for their assigned families on Dec. 16, wrap the gifts and then deliver food and presents prior to the holiday. A collection was taken at the Temple game and raised over $2,400 to assist in the purchase of the gifts. (If you were unable to attend the Temple game, but would like to support the Christmas charity project, you can make a donation online by visiting: alumni.sju.edu/mbbchristmas
LOOKING AHEAD: Saint Joseph’s now gets a break for the final week of classes before visiting Drexel on Dec. 11 and Princeton on Dec. 14. The Hawks will be at home only twice in the month of December - on the 22nd against Lafayette and on the 30th versus GW in the A-10 opener.
Follow the Hawks on Twitter and Instagram: @SJUHawks_MBB