It will be tough for Saint Joseph's to top the 2004 season when they finished the regular season undefeated and nabbed a first seed in the NCAA tournament. When all is said and done, however, Phil Martelli might end up being just as proud of this year's edition. They've won 11 of their last 12, have climbed into contention for the A-10 crown and, with yesterday's thumping of Villanova, can strut around Philly with their heads held high.
The 77-55 rout was Nova's first Big 5 loss since 2004 and their fifth straight loss overall. The Wildcats are going to have to turn it around fast if they'd like to qualify for the Big East tournament, let alone the NCAA one. They can't shoot, turn the ball over in bunches and have no leadership to guide them through the tough times.
The Hawks, on the other hand, just added another feather to their rapidly filling cap of tournament worthiness. As usual, it was Pat Calathes who led them to victory. He scored 20 points, grabbed nine rebounds and blocked three shots. Another senior, Rob Ferguson, scored 20 as well and the experienced Hawks overwhelmed the reeling Wildcats from the opening tip.
SJU fans even got in on the fun. They were waving signs that read "Even Tim Donaghy bet on SJU," reminding the losers of their infamous graduate and the easy to see coming win.