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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 13, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Vadalabene Center (4,000) -- Edwardsville, Illinois. Television: FSN-MW. Home Record: Saint Louis 1-0, SIUE 0-0. Away Record: Saint Louis 0-0, SIUE 0-1. Neutral Record: Saint Louis 0-0, SIUE 0-0. Conference Record: Saint Louis 0-0, SIUE 0-0. Series Record: Saint Louis leads, 7-1.
GAME NOTES: The Saint Louis Billikens will begin a two-game trek through the Land of Lincoln on Wednesday, as they take on the SIU Edwardsville Cougars at the Vadalabene Center.
Saint Louis opened its season last Friday at home and registered an 87-64 victory over Southeast Missouri State. The Billikens came into the new season with high hopes after and outstanding 2012-13 campaign in which they went 28-7 overall, won both the Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season and tournament championships and advanced to the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament.
SIUE's season did not get off to such a promising start, as it faced a difficult road test at Arkansas last Friday and suffered a 99-65 loss. The Cougars, who were just 9-18 overall and 5-11 in the Ohio Valley Conference a season ago, will play two straight at home before participating in the Portland State Tournament next weekend.
These two teams met for the first time since 1982 last December, with Saint Louis winning in convincing fashion, 68-41, to give it a 7-1 advantage in the all-time series.
Saint Louis was one of the best defensive teams in the nation last season, and that trend continued in the opener as it held SEMO to just 37.5 percent field goal shooting while forcing 19 turnovers. Its own shooting effort was outstanding, as it made 51.6 percent of its attempts. Grandy Glaze tallied a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds while going perfect on his seven shots from the floor. Dwayne Evans also netted 16 points, and he's expected to be a major player once again after leading the team a season ago with 14.0 points per game. Jordair Jett poured in 15 points in the triumph, and Rob Loe rounded out the double-digit scorers with 13 points. As strong as their debut was, the Billikens could stand to improve their efficiency from beyond the arc (3-of-19).
The Cougars never had a chance in their first game of the season, as they found themselves down 56-27 heading into halftime on their way to an embarrassing 34-point defeat. Naturally, the shooting effort was lackluster, as the team netted less than 40 percent of its field goal attempts, and it was also hindered by committing 23 turnovers. The only player to put up double figures in points was Tim Johnson, who shot 5-of-8 from the floor for 13 points in just 16 minutes off the bench. Kris Davis and Michael Messer -- the two top returning scorers from a season ago with 11.7 points and 8.9 points per game, respectively -- both got off to slow starts. Davis tallied just five points on 1-of-5 shooting from the field, while Messer managed only six points. SIUE also struggled to slow down Arkansas and were undisciplined with 24 personal fouls.
Both in terms of pedigree and on-the-court performance so far on the young season, Saint Louis is clearly the superior team, and it should easily overcome the road atmosphere on its way to a 2-0 start.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Saint Louis 76, SIU Edwardsville 58
11/13 10:32:43 ET
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