FACTS & STATS: Site: Smith Athletic Center (5,000) -- Washington, D.C. Television: None. Home Record: SBU 5-1, GW 3-3. Away Record: SBU 1-5, GW 2-4. Neutral Record: SBU 1-0, GW 1-0. Conference Record: SBU 0-0, GW 0-0. Series Record: George Washington leads, 30-25.
GAME NOTES: Atlantic 10 Conference action opens on Wednesday night, as the St. Bonaventure Bonnies have made the trek to Washington, D.C. to take on the George Washington Colonials.
St. Bonaventure's impressive start to the season has come to a screeching halt in recent weeks, as it is currently riding a season-long, three-game losing streak. The Bonnies most recently had to travel out west to do battle with Colorado State this past Saturday, and they were saddled with an 85-64 setback.
George Washington recently snapped a three-game slide of its own with back-to- back wins over VMI (76-67) and Sacred Heart (77-38), but it fell back below .500 with a 52-41 loss at Georgia last Friday night. The Colonials haven't been especially strong at home this season, as they have split their six contests at the Smith Center.
The Colonials lead the all-time series with St. Bonaventure, 30-25, but the Bonnies have won the last two encounters.
The Bonnies fell behind Colorado State 19-2 in the opening minutes of their matchup last weekend, and they could never recover as they trailed by double- digits for the remainder of the contest. SBU shot just 34.9 percent from the field in the setback, with only Matthew Wright (12 points, four assists), Charlon Kloof (10 points) and Chris Johnson (10 points) putting together noteworthy performances. On the season, St. Bonaventure is typically much better at the offensive end of the floor, shooting 43.8 percent in averaging 73.5 ppg, but it has also been vulnerable at the defensive end, allowing opponents to net 70.3 ppg (13th in the A-10). Demitrius Conger has been the team's driving force, putting up 13.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg, and 3.1 apg, all team- highs. Johnson adds 13.1 ppg to the mix, and Eric Mosley (10.2 ppg) has been spectacular from 3-point range, making 33-of-69 bombs (.478). For the most part, the Bonnies have done a decent job taking care of the basketball as they turn it over 12.8 times per contest in staking claim to a plus-2.4 turnover margin.
George Washington played exceptional defense against Georgia late last week, forcing 25 turnovers, but it was spoiled by its worst shooting effort of the year, as it made just 24.6 percent from the field, which included misses on all 12 of its 3-point tries. Despite the team's overall struggles, Kevin Larsen shot a perfect 6-of-6 from the floor for 14 points. The Colonials haven't nearly been that bad at the offensive end of the court this season, but they haven't been particularly strong either, as they shoot a modest 43.1 percent from the field for 64.5 ppg. Their saving grace has been an outstanding defensive effort, as they hold opponents to just 39.3 percent shooting and 61.2 ppg. The only player to tally double-digits in points on a nightly basis is Isaiah Armwood, who puts up 12.8 ppg on 52 percent shooting. He also grabs a team-high 8.3 rpg and swats away three shots per contest, second-most in the conference. Patricio Garino and Kromah each help out with 9.5 ppg.
Although George Washington is surely eager to return home after the disappointing loss to Georgia, the Smith Center hasn't exactly provided a strong homecourt advantage for the Colonials this season. The Bonnies have been reeling, but they have a stronger corps of players than GW, and they should be able to get back on track in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: St. Bonaventure 68, George Washington 65
01/09 10:33:36 ET
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