The Saint Joseph's men's basketball team (10-19; 3-14 A-10) will close out the regular season at Duquesne (10-20; 3-14) on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. The game will not be televised but can be viewed on the A-10 Digital Network and on Facebook Live.
The Saint Joseph's Sports Network broadcast can be heard on WTMR 800 AM.
ARENA: A.J. Palumbo Center (4,390)
RADIO: WTMR 800 AM (Joe Greenwich)
AUDIO STREAMING: SJUHawks.com - LISTEN
VIDEO STREAMING: A-10 Digital Network; Facebook Live (A-10)
HAWKS’ NEXT GAME: A-10 Opening Round, March 8, PPG Paints Arena, TBA
• Saint Joseph’s lost to Rhode Island for the second time this year on “Senior Night” at Hagan Arena. Charlie Brown was the only Hawk in double figures with 13 points.
• James Demery tops the Hawks in scoring in conference games with a 13.9 average, with Charlie Brown right behind at 13.8 points per game.
• Today’s game will be broadcast on Facebook Live - facebook.com/atlantic10
• The Hawks have lost nine in a row, which is the longest since a nine-game skid in January 2011. SJU’s last win came on Jan. 28 against La Salle.
• SJU will return to Pittsburgh next week for the Atlantic 10 Championship at PPG Paints Arena. The tournament bracket will announced on Saturday night after the final conference game. The Hawks are locked into an opening-round game on Wednesday evening as either the 13th or 14th seed playing at 6:00 or 8:30 p.m.
ONE FOR THE BOOKS: Charlie Brown has set a new SJU freshman record for three-pointers in the season with 66. He broke the mark of 65 previously shared by career three-point leader Langston Galloway (2010-11) and Arthur Davis (1996-97). Brown now also holds the freshman record for three-point attempts with 173. Davis held the old record of 171.
INJURY BUG, AGAIN: Freshman Nick Robinson played just eight minutes against Rhode Island as he is battling a bruised foot. He injured it in the La Salle game on Feb. 18, but he hadn’t missed any time. Senior Brendan Casper made the third start of his career against Rhode Island in the home finale. Robinson is expected to see some action against Duquesne.
SENIOR SALUTE: Seniors Javon Baumann and Brendan Casper are closing out their Hawk careers. Baumann is a fifth-year senior who has played in 98 career games, making 30 starts. He led the Hawks in blocked shots in 2014-15 and was a co-recipient of the team’s Most Improved award in 2013-14. Baumann received his bachelor’s degree in December 2015 and is completing his master’s degree in international business. Casper, a former walk-on who received a scholarship last Spring, has played in 71 games and recorded new career-highs this season in points, rebounds, assists and minutes. He has scored in double figures five times this season. The team’s Most Improved Player in 2014-15, he will receive his bachelor’s degree in business administration in May.
DISTINGUISHED DUO: Javon Baumann and Brendan Casper are the last of six Hawks who have won two Atlantic 10 Championships (2014 and 2016).
WE MEET AGAIN: Saint Joseph’s and Duquesne met in last year’s regular-season finale, which was played at Hagan Arena. The Dukes ruined the Hawks’ “Senior Day” with a 78-70 victory.
FALLING IN THE FINALE: Saint Joseph’s has not fared well in regular-season finales over the past few years. The Hawks are actually 1-5 in the last six and have lost five straight, even with last year’s 28-8 squad. The last time Saint Joseph’s scored a victory in the final game of the regular season was in 2010-11 at Charlotte.
IT WAS THE BEST OF TIMES...: At this time last year, Saint Joseph’s was 24-6 and 13-4 in the A-10 and about to secure the fourth seed in the A-10 Championship. The Hawks were led by the A-10 Player of the Year (DeAndre’ Bembry) and the Most Improved Player of the Year (Isaiah Miles). SJU went on to capture its second Atlantic 10 title in three seasons and reach the NCAA Second Round, finishing with a 28-8 record.
UPHILL BATTLE: Facing adversity with the most significant injuries in Phil Martelli’s 22-year tenure, the Hawks’ 19 losses are the most since they the 2014-15 team went 13-18. The nine-game losing streak is the longest since a nine-game streak in January-February 2011. The last time SJU lost 10 in a row was a 12-game streak during the 1974-75 season.
LOSING IT: The loss at Saint Louis marked the fifth time that Saint Joseph’s has held a double-digit lead (13 points), only to lose it. The Hawks had their biggest lead of the game, 50-37, with 9:48 to play and saw SLU go on a 15-2 run to tied the game with 5:28 to play. The largest lead lost this season was at St. Bonaventure on Jan. 24, as the Hawks were up by 18 points at 14:59 of the second half, but suffered the 67-63 defeat. SJU lost a 15-point lead to Fordham in the double-overtime loss in addition to a 12-point lead at Massachusetts and an 11-point lead to NC State in the Paradise Jam.
LUCKY CLOVER: Sophomore Chris Clover had the breakout game the Hawks were hoping for against La Salle (Jan. 28). He established a new career-high of 13 points in the first seven minutes and had 16 points by halftime. Clover finished the game with a personal best 21 points on 8-for-11 shooting, and 4-of-5 three-pointers, along with five assists while seeing a career-high 34 minutes of action in the win. He matched the 21 points at VCU and scored a team-high 17 at Saint Louis. Clover has tallied double figures in four of the last five games.
WHO’S NEXT: Brendan Casper has seen more time at point guard in the last few games. At Saint Louis, the senior handed out a career-high seven assists without a turnover. He made the start against Rhode Island in place of Nick Robinson and had seven points, three assists and a career-high three steals.
TOP ROOKIE: Charlie Brown is in the running for the A-10 Rookie of the Year award. He’s averaging 12.8 points per game and is the second highest scoring freshman in the league behind Mike Lewis II of Duquesne (14.0). Brown has been named the A-10 Rookie of the Week three times this season. He has scored double figures in all but six games, and owns a 15-game double-figure scoring streak. Brown tops the Hawks in three-pointers made (66), three-point percentage (38.2) and ranks second in scoring and rebounding (5.1).
DEPLETED SQUAD: SJU is down to 13 available players, nine of which are scholarship players.
THE HITS KEEP COMING: You can pick from any number of terms - snakebitten, unlucky, cursed, jinxed, bad karma - and they could all describe what SJU has faced this year with injuries. The latest blow came when leading scorer Lamarr Kimble was sidelined for the rest of the season after sustaining a fracture in his foot during the Hawks’ loss to Massachusetts (Feb. 11). He has a fracture in the fifth metatarsal of his left foot which required surgery and two months of recovery. Kimble, a sophomore point guard, led the Hawks in scoring with 15.5 points per game, as well as assists with 4.5 per game. He scored double figures in 19 games, with five games of 20 points or more. This is the second season-ending injury to a Hawks’ leading scorer and point guard as junior Shavar Newkirk suffered a torn ACL on December 30 after leading SJU with a career-best 20.3 scoring average. Kimble is the fourth SJU player to be sidelined for the year as sophomore Pierfrancesco Oliva was declared out for the year in June because of a chronic knee condition that required surgery. Freshman forward Lorenzo Edwards also underwent shoulder surgery in December because of a recurring injury. “We’re obviously disappointed for ‘Fresh’. We’ll certainly miss his on the court skills and do expect, as Shavar has done, that he will continue to be prominent in a leadership role. Speaking for the program, we’re all disappointed but not discouraged. Our challenge now is to exemplify ‘the Hawk will never die’ spirit,” said coach Phil Martelli. This marks the most number of significant injuries in Martelli’s 22 years at SJU.
LOOKING AHEAD: Saint Joseph’s will return to Pittsburgh in just a few days for the opening round of the 2017 Atlantic 10 Championship at PPG Paints Arena on March 8.