Saint Joseph's (8-9; 0-2 Big 5) will take on Penn (6-8; 0-2) in the annual Big 5 game on Saturday, January 21 at The Palestra. Game time is 7 p.m.
Limited tickets are available online. PURCHASE
The game will not be televised but it will be available online on the A-10 Digital Network. WATCH
The Saint Joseph's Sports Netowrk broadcast will be carried on 610 Sports. LISTEN
ARENA: The Palestra (8,722)
RADIO: 610 Sports (Matt Martucci, Joe Lunardi)
AUDIO STREAMING: SJUHawks.com
VIDEO STREAMING: A-10 Digital Network (Atlantic10.com)
HAWKS’ NEXT GAME: Jan. 24 at St. Bonaventure, 7 p.m., ASN/TCN
• James Demery had his first career double-double (19 pts, 11 rebs), but the Hawks lost a 12-point first half lead at Massachusetts, en route to a 62-57 loss.
• Markell Lodge had a career-high 11 points at Massachusetts.
• The current three-game losing streak is the longest since a four-game losing streak in November.
• The Hawks are the designated home team tonight due to a yearly rotation of this game.
• Saint Joseph’s returns to A-10 play on Tuesday at St. Bonaventure.
KEY TO THE CITY: This is the third Big 5 game for Saint Joseph’s, as the Hawks have lost to Temple and Villanova thus far. 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 visit La Salle on Feb. 18 to round out this year’s City Series play.
CATHEDRAL OF BASKETBALL: This is 500th game that Saint Joseph’s will be playing in the Palestra. SJU has compiled a 334-165 record in over 60 years of games played in this building.
FOR A GOOD CAUSE: Next week (Jan. 23-29) marks Coaches vs. Cancer “Suits and Sneakers” Week, where coaches wear sneakers with their game attire as a visible reminder about the importance of nutrition and physical activity in reducing cancer risk. Phil Martelli and staff will participate in the week, wearing sneakers with gold laces at the St. Bonaventure game on Tuesday and against La Salle on Saturday. The gold laces are in memory of 8-year-old Lacey Holsworth, an avid basketball fan who died in 2014. Martelli is the chair of the National Coaches vs. Cancer Council and is the co-chair of the Philadelphia group, which is one of the highest fundraising groups in the nation.
DOUBLE UP: James Demery recorded the first double-double of his career with 19 points and a career-high 11 rebounds at Massachusetts. It was the first SJU double-double since DeAndre’ Bembry posted one against Oregon in the NCAA Tournament last March.
LOSING IT: SJU was up on Massachusetts early, and then led by as much as 12 points in the first half before the Minutemen went on a three-point shooting spree and tied the game by halftime. The Hawks were defeated, 62-57, to mark the largest winning margin lost this season. Prior to that, the largest lead lost was 11 points against NC State.
HE’S BACK: James Demery has been a welcome return to the court after missing 10 games with an injury. The junior had nine points, four rebuonds and four assists off the bench in his return to action against GW and followed that with 17 points and eight rebounds at Rhode Island. Demery returned to the starting lineup at Fordham and responded with a career-high 27 points to go along with six rebounds, followed by a 16-point, six-rebound effort vs. George Mason. The junior notched the first double-double of his career in a losing cause as he had 19 points and a career-high 11 rebounds at UMass. 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.
DEVASTATING BLOW: Junior Shavar Newkirk will miss the rest of the season after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee in the win over GW (Dec. 30) and will undergo surgery. Newkirk keyed the Hawks’ comeback from 12 points down in the first half, and was about to score his sixth straight point on a fast break, when he went down with the non-contact injury. He finished the game with 10 points and SJU won, 68-63. Newkirk was the Hawks’ leading scorer, averaging 20.3 points per game through 12 games. He scored 20-plus points in all but four games this season, reaching a new career-high of 28 points. Newkirk topped the Hawks in free-throw percentage (.847) and averaged 3.5 assists per game, while hitting 46.6 percent of his field goal attempts. His scoring average was 13 points more than last season’s (8.0). “This is certainly disappointing to all of us in the Saint Joseph’s basketball program. Our thoughts and concern go out to Shavar and his family,” said Phil Martelli. “We're fully supportive of him, academically and socially, and as he makes his return to the basketball court, bigger, stronger and better than ever. His teammates have expressed the same level of support.”
START IT UP: Sophomore Chris Clover has started five consecutive games in place of Shavar Newkirk. James Demery returned to the starting lineup at Fordham for Nick Robinson, who replaced Demery while he was sidelined. Here’s a rundown of the Hawks’ starting lineups this season with the number of games (current starting lineup in bold):
• Kimble, Newkirk, Brown, Demery, Lodge - 1 game
• Kimble, Newkirk, Brown, Robinson, Lodge - 11 games
• Kimble, Clover, Brown, Robinson, Lodge - 1 game
• Kimble, Clover, Brown, Demery, Lodge - 4 games
FROM THE ARC: There’s a big disparity in the Hawks’ three-point shooting and that of their opponents. SJU’s foes have outscored the Hawks, 501-285, from the three-point line. Saint Joseph’s is converting 31.3 percent of its three-point attempts while the opponents are hitting 37.1 percent. Saint Joseph’s is averaging 17.9 three-point field goal attempts per game, while the opponents are taking 26.5 threes per game.
THIN RANKS: Saint Joseph’s bench might look full with 17 players, but there are only 14 healthy enough to play.
LEAPING LODGE: Markell Lodge has been using his tremendous leaping ability to be an offensive weapon for the Hawks. The sophomore scored a career-high 11 points at UMass, on 5-of-6 shooting with either layups or dunks. He’s converting 71.4 percent from the field this year.
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.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Hawks resume A-10 play on Jan. 24 at St. Bonaventure and then return home to host La Salle on Jan. 28.