• Saint Joseph’s opens Big 5 play this Saturday as the Hawks travel to rival #6 Villanova.
• Saturday’s contest will be televised nationally on FS1.
• The Hawks are coming off a 79-57 victory over Binghamton on Wednesday.
• St. Joe’s 22-point win over the Bearcats is its largest margin of victory since a 91-61 decision against Saint Louis on February 8, 2019.
• Wednesday marked the third time this season four Hawks scored in double figures, as SJU previously accomplished it versus Mount St. Mary’s and Monmouth.
• Jordan Hall picked up his third double-double of the season as he finished with a game-high 15 points and 12 rebounds against Binghamton.
• Ejike Obinna went a perfect 5-of-5 from the field and 4-of-4 from the foul line for 14 points versus Binghamton.
• Over the past three games, Obinna has averaged 16.3 points and 7.0 rebounds per contest, while shooting 69 percent from the floor.
• Starting for the second consecutive game, Cameron Brown scored 13 points and had three rebounds and two steals.
• Jack Forrest finished with a season-high 11 points in a reserve role on Wednesday.
• The Hawks scored a season-best 44 points in the paint versus Binghamton.
• Taylor Funk had his streak of 24 consecutive games with 10 points or more snapped on Wednesday as he finished with seven points in the win.
• Saint Joseph’s enters Saturday’s Big 5 opener with a 128-116 all-time record in Big 5 play, and has captured 20 city series titles.
• With a pause in Big 5 play last year, the Hawks have gone 637 days between city series contests, with their last one coming against La Salle on March 7, 2020 at Hagan Arena.
• Saturday is the second time this season, and 188th time overall, that Saint Joseph’s has faced a nationally ranked opponent.
• The Hawks are 45-142 all-time versus ranked teams, with their last win coming on February 27, 2018 versus #17 Rhode Island, 78-48.
Series vs. Villanova: Villanova leads 53-25
First Meeting: 1920, Saint Joseph’s, 27-23
Last Meeting: 12/19/20, Villanova, 88-68
Coach Lange vs. Villanova: 0-4
SAINT JOSEPH’S VERSUS VILLANOVA
• The Hawks are looking to snap a nine game skid to the Wildcats that dates back to the 2012-13 season.
• Saint Joseph’s Head Coach Billy Lange, who served as associate head coach at Villanova from 2011-13, is 0-4 all-time versus the Wildcats.
• Lange originally joined Villanova’s staff as an assistant coach and coordinator of basketball operations for three seasons before taking the head job in Navy in 2004.
• Saint Joseph’s last win at Villanova came on February 2, 2004 (74-67).
• The Hawks are 2-14 in games played at Villanova.
FUNK CLIMBS ALL-TIME RANKINGS
Entering the season with 1,069 points to his name, Taylor Funk has started climbing Saint Joseph’s all-time scoring leader list rapidly as the Lancaster, Pennsylvania native enters Saturday with 1,191 career points, four points behind Shavar Newkirk in 38th place at 1,195 points, and 21 points shy of Mark Bass (1,205 points) in 37th place. Additionally, Funk is currently tied with Jameer Nelson for fifth all-time in career three-pointers (229), and just two shy of Marvin O’Connor’s mark of 231 for fourth place.
OBINNA OFF TO CAREER-BEST START
Despite being only seven games into the season, starting center Ejike Obinna has made an instant impact for the Hawks as he enters Saturday averaging a career-high 12.7 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. A three-year letterwinner at Vanderbilt, Obinna came to Hawk Hill as a graduate transfer having averaged 2.9 points and 3.0 rebounds per game for his career. Along with new highs in scoring and rebounding this year, Obinna also has collected the first two double-doubles of his career, earning them against Monmouth and #24 USC.
The Hawks open Big 5 play as they travel to #6 Villanova on Saturday. The game, set for a noon start, will be broadcast nationally on FS1.