FACTS & STATS: Site: Reilly Center (5,480) -- St. Bonaventure, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Fordham 4-7, SBU 8-5. Away Record: Fordham 0-15, SBU 5-9. Neutral Record: Fordham 2-2, SBU 1-0. Conference Record: Fordham 2-13, SBU 7-8. Series Record: St. Bonaventure leads, 18-16.
GAME NOTES: With a chance to clinch a spot in the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament, the Bonnies of St. Bonaventure welcome the Fordham Rams to the Reilly Center.
Fordham was blown out by Temple at home on Wednesday night, 74-55, in what was the 10th straight loss by the Rams. They are winless on the road this season and did not qualify for the conference tournament.
After falling at Dayton on Wednesday night, 75-63, St. Bonaventure has everything on the line Saturday afternoon. If the Bonnies win, they clinch a spot in the 12-team Atlantic 10 Championship. With a loss, SBU needs either a Charlotte loss (at home vs. Saint Joseph's) or a George Washington loss (at home vs. Dayton) to qualify for the tournament.
This game marks the 35th meeting between Fordham and St. Bonaventure. The Bonnies lead the all-time series, which started in 1955-56, 18-16, and they have won the last six meetings.
In their loss to Temple on Wednesday, Jeffrey Short led the way for the Rams with 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting from 3-point range. Branden Frazier and Chris Gaston poured in 12 points apiece for the Rams, who extended their losing streak to 10 games. Fordham held Temple to just 35.7 percent from the field in the first half, but Fordham was even worse at 25 percent. The Owls pulled away in the second half by improving their field goal efficiency to 48.4 percent.
Frazier is the squad's leading scorer this season, posting 14.1 ppg but he shoots a very poor 33.9 percent from the field and just 27.9 percent from beyond the arc. Gaston follows closely behind in scoring with 13.9 ppg. Gaston also pulls down 7.4 rpg and Ryan Canty grabs 7.0 rpg and while he scores just 6.0 ppg, he shoots 56.6 percent from the field. Fordham has one of the worst defenses in the nation (76.1 ppg, worst in the conference). The offense isn't much better, averaging just 64 ppg, second from the bottom in the A-10.
Dayton started the second half on a 12-2 run to open up a 15-point lead, and St. Bonaventure couldn't get any closer than six the rest of the night, spoiling a game-high 22 points from senior Demitrius Conger in his final regular-season road game. Eric Mosley was the lone other SBU player to reach double figures as he tallied 13, but the nation's 13th-best 3-point shooter (.443) struggled from distance, going just 3-of-10 and scoring 10 of his points in the second half.
Conger lead the Bonnies in scoring, averaging 14.2 ppg. Mosley (13.1 ppg) and Chris Johnson (12.7 ppg) are the other top scorers on the squad. Conger also pulls down 7.1 rpg to lead the team, which is averaging 72.8 ppg, fourth-best in the A-10, but giving up 71.9 ppg, fourth-worst.
The Rams have been terrible of late, and awful on the road all season. With a berth in the A-10 tourney on the line, expect the Bonnies to exploit Fordham's weaknesses and win the game rather easily.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: St. Bonaventure 69, Fordham 56
03/09 10:49:33 ET
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