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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 28, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (13,080) -- Athens, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: SBU 2-0, Ohio 4-0. Away Record: SBU 1-1, Ohio 1-0. Neutral Record: SBU 0-0, Ohio 0-0. Conference Record: SBU 0-0, Ohio 0-0. Series Record: SBU leads 6-3.
GAMES NOTES: A pair of surprise teams from last season's NCAA Tournament will be featured at the Convocation Center when the St. Bonaventure Bonnies and Ohio Bobcats collide Wednesday night.
St. Bonaventure rebounded from its first loss of the season (72-69 at Canisius) by posting an 80-75 victory over another Empire State foe, Niagara in its last time out. The Bonnies are now 3-1 on the early season. They will return home following this game to host Buffalo and Siena.
As for Ohio, the season could not have started any better, as the Bobcats come into their sixth game sporting a perfect 5-0 record. All five of those wins have come at home, including a 73-48 romp over Richmond last Saturday. Ohio makes its first road trip of the season after this game to face Robert Morris and Memphis.
In nine previous meetings St. Bonaventure has captured six wins against Ohio.
The Bonnies found themselves tied 75-75 with just under a minute to play against Niagara but Demetrius Conger pulled down an offensive rebound off a 3- point miss and was fouled on the put back attempt. Conger then hit two free throws and the Bonnies forced a turnover on the other end to secure the victory. The Bonnies won despite shooting just 40.6 percent from the floor although 7-of-14 of their 3-point field goal attempts found the bottom of the net. Conger was stellar in the game with 18 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
On the season St. Bonaventure is scoring 71.5 points per game and shooting at a 44.0 percent clip. Ball movement has been strong for the Bonnies with the team handing out 15.2 assists per game. On the other end the Bonnies allow teams to shoot just 41.0 percent. Conger (14.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 3.5 apg) has shown versatility in his game. He can score and rebound, but also passes extremely well for a forward. Chris Johnson (16.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg) is the leading scorer on the team and has been doing so while shooting at an impressive 54.5 percent rate. Eric Mosley (9.8 ppg) and Marquise Simmons (8.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg) have given head coach Mark Schmidt depth off the bench.
The second half was the difference for Ohio in its win over Richmond. After trailing 30-27 at the break, the Bobcats shot a blistering 60.7 percent from the field including 8-of-13 from beyond the arc, while holding the Spiders to just four second-half field goals. Ohio also had a 36-26 edge in rebounds and forced 19 turnovers which it turned into 26 points. Walter Offutt led four players in double figures with 16 points.
Ohio hasn't just been winning this season it has been dominating. The Bobcats are outscoring teams by a 24.6 points per game margin while shooting 50.9 percent from the field. Such a high rate of success on offense has come from the team's ability to find the open man, as the Bobcats rank 18th in the country in assists (17.8 apg). Running the show is point guard D.J. Cooper (13.6 ppg, 6.6 apg) who burst onto the scene last year during the NCAA Tournament and has kept it up. Four other players are scoring in double figures with Ivo Baltic (12.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg), Offutt (11.6 ppg) and Nick Kellogg (10.6 ppg) doing so out of the starting five. Reggie Keely (10.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg) is the top reserve.
Some of Ohio's fast start can be credited to an easy schedule. Even so, the Bobcats have looked phenomenal early on and should continue the perfect start to the season with yet another home win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ohio University 74, St. Bonaventure 65
11/28 10:37:15 ET
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