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• The Hawks have won two in a row closing out 2010 with victories over Holy Cross and Siena.
• Phil Martelli is in his 16th year as Saint Joseph's head coach, and his 26th year on Hawk Hill. The coach needs six wins to reach 300 for his career, and the 24th game he coaches this year will be his 400th. He also owns the most Atlantic 10 wins among active coaches, with 146.
• The Hawks are 12-3 in A-10 openers and have won three of the last four.
• Leading scorer Carl Jones has scored double figures in 12 of 13 games this year, with five games of 20-plus points.
• Freshman C.J. Aiken ranks eighth in the nation in blocked shots and leads the Atlantic 10 with 3.3 per game.
• SJU is fielding its youngest team ever under Phil Martelli with two seniors, one junior, four sophomores and five freshmen. The opening day starting lineup included three freshmen, which is the most ever under Martelli.
• This is only SJU's fifth game at Hagan Arena this season. The Hawks are 2-2 on their homecourt.
LAST TIME OUT
Carl Jones scored 17 points to lead four Hawks in double figures as Saint Joseph's held off Siena, 58-48, in a New Year's Eve game at Hagan Arena. It was SJU's second win in a row and just its first home game since December 8. Justin Crosgile added 11 points and Langston Galloway and C.J. Aiken each contributed 10 points. Aiken also grabbed nine rebounds and blocked four shots.The Hawks held a 27-23 lead at halftime, but saw Siena go on a quick 6-0 run to take a 34-33 lead with 14:37 to play. But Saint Joseph's would outscore the Saints 10-2, paced by five points from Galloway, to regain the lead, 43-36 at 11:08. A 3-pointer by Siena's Rakeem Brookins pulled the visitors within 43-41 at 8:22. Saint Joseph's answered with a 5-0 run, ending with a tip-in by Aiken, to give the Hawks a 48-41 edge. Aiken would then register two more points and two blocks on consecutive possessions to help SJU maintain the 50-43 lead. The home team converted 6-of-8 free throws in the final 37 seconds to preserve the win, despite shooting 36.2 percent from the field and 22.7 percent from 3-point range (5-of-22). SJU committed a season-low five turnovers in the contest.
Saint Joseph's is 12-3 in Atlantic 10 openers under Phil Martelli, and has won three of the last four. The Hawks dropped last year's opener to #25 Temple.
With two more victories, Saint Joseph's will reach 1,500 wins in the program's history. The Hawks currently own a 1,498-995 record in 102 seasons. SJU will become one of 35 programs to reach the plateau.
TAKING CARE OF THE BALL
Saint Joseph's recorded a season-low five turnovers against Siena last Friday. It marked the fourth straight game in which the Hawks had less than 10 turnovers. On the year the Hawks are averaging 12.2 per game.
The all-important conference season is upon the Hawks and SJU will be looking to get off to a better start than last year, when it went 1-3. The Hawks played three of the four on the road and lost to Temple, defeated Fordham, and then dropped games to Rhode Island and St. Bonaventure. SJU finished the conference season with a 5-11 record.
Carl "Tay" Jones has recorded double-figures in 12 of 13 games and has scored 20-plus points five times, including a career-best 29 points vs. Minnesota. He had a 13-game scoring streak, which dated back to last year, come to an end at Holy Cross. Jones leads the Hawks with his 17.9 scoring average, while ranking fifth in the A-10.
Freshman Langston Galloway has been putting up solid all-around numbers for the Hawks. He recorded a season best of 24 points at Boston University, while making 6-of-8 from 3-point range. He currently ranks second on the team in scoring (12.5), but leads the team in rebounding (5.6), assists (3.0), free throw percentage (92.3) and assist/turnover ratio (3.0).
The win at Holy Cross ended the Hawks' six-game losing streak and marked their first victory in December. It was SJU's longest skid since a seven-game streak in 2008-09. SJU went 2-6 in December after going 3-2 in November. The Hawks have now won two in a row. The longest winning streak recorded by SJU last season was a three games, on two occasions.
NEW TO THE NEST
Papa Samba Ndao (pronounced NUH-doe) is the newest member of the Hawks. The freshman began attending classes and practicing with the team on December 30 and despite being eligible immediately, he will redshirt the season. Nda, a 6-8, 215 lb. forward who is originally from Senegal, played scholastically at Montverde Academy in Florida. He averaged 10 points and four rebounds for a team which had four Division I signees.
This marks just the Hawks' fifth game in Hagan Arena this season, with SJU in the middle of a three-game homestand. SJU has played in Philadelphia six times this year, counting the game vs. Rutgers at The Palestra. The Hawks will be rewarded for their early-season travels as they will play all but two games in Philadelphia during the month of January. SJU is 2-2 this year at Hagan Arena.
RINGING OUT THE OLD
Saint Joseph's was definitely ready to ring in a New Year and say goodbye to 2010. In the past calendar year, the Hawks went 12-21.
Phil Martelli leads the current coaches in the Atlantic 10 in all-time conference wins with 146. Jim Baron of Rhode Island trails Martelli with 126. The Hawks' mentor is the longest tenured coach at one school currently in the A-10 now in his 16th year at SJU.
The Hawks close out the three-game homestand on Saturday, hosting George Washington, before taking a two-game Midwestern trip to Dayton and Saint Louis on Jan. 12 and Jan. 15. Saint Joseph's will return home on Jan. 19 to host Rhode Island.