St. Bonaventure (3-0) at Siena (0-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 19, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Times Union Center (17,500) -- Albany, New York. Television: None. Home Record: SBU 3-0, Siena 0-1. Away Record: SBU 0-0, Siena 0-2. Neutral Record: SBU 0-0, Siena 0-0. Conference Record: SBU 0-0, Siena 0-0. Series Record: SBU leads, 28-7.
GAMES NOTES: In their first game on the road, the St. Bonaventure Bonnies will visit intrastate rival Siena in a non-league tussle at the Times Union Center.
The Bonnies enjoyed a three-game homestand to open up the 2012-13 campaign. In those three contests the Bonnies came out on top each time with victories over South Dakota (68-46), Abilene Christian (75-47) and, most recently, Canisius (86-64). St. Bonaventure was mediocre both at home (8-6) and on the road (5-9) last season which accounted for their pedestrian 14-15 overall record.
Siena nearly earned its first win of the season against another Atlantic 10 foe on Saturday but fell short in a 78-74 decision at La Salle. The loss was the third in as many tries for the Saints, who lost to a pair of America East foes to get the year started. Those setbacks came against Albany (74-62) and Vermont (77-66). Siena had just eight wins all of last year and a 4-10 mark at home.
There has been very little parity in the all-time series between these teams. St. Bonaventure leads the series, 28-7, and has won five straight and 17 of 18 meetings, including a 58-43 triumph a year ago.
Even though they only had a single 3-pointer, the Bonnies still easily got by Canisius by making good on 54.8 percent of their overall shots from the floor. The Bonnies also helped themselves by owning a 44-25 edge on the boards and a 56-30 advantage on points in the paint.
Matthew Wright may have missed all three of his shots from 3-point distance in the win over Canisius but he still finished with a season-high 27 points while knocking down 10-of-14 shots overall. Wright (16.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg) is the standard when it comes to scoring for the Bonnies as he leads four players in double figures. Charlon Kloof (14.0 ppg, 4.7 apg) has been just as happy to score himself as setting his teammates up for easy shots. The same could be said of Jordan Gathers (11.0 ppg, 3.3 apg), who has been selective with his shots which has helped him connect on better than 50 percent of his attempts from the field. Youssou Ndoye (11.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg) anchors the team in the paint, netting 63.2 percent of his shots while leading the team in rebounding. As a team the Bonnies are holding foes to 52.3 points per game and 36.1 percent shooting, while posting 76.3 points a contest on 47.4 percent shooting themselves.
Siena led for nearly the entire second half, pushing its advantage to as many as nine points, but fell apart down the stretch in its loss to La Salle. The Saints held an eight-point lead with 7:02 to lay but allowed a 12-0 run to the Explorers to give up the lead for good.
Although they are holding foes to just 40 percent shooting, the Saints are still allowing 76.3 points per game. That type of defense isn't good enough for a team netting fewer than 40 percent of its field goal tries. Rob Poole (19.3 ppg) is a leader on this team. Poole is one of just two players on the roster scoring in double figures. In the loss to La Salle, Poole scored a game-high 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting and also contributed six rebounds and four assists. Lavon Long (11.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg) is the only other consistent scorer for the Saints as well as the team's top rebounder. Evan Hymes (7.3 ppg) works himself into the mix off the bench but he is shooting at just a 37.5 percent clip this year. Hymes did manage 11 points against the Explorers. Maurice White (9.7 ppg) is flirting with double figures but needs to improve on his shooting touch (.238).
St. Bonaventure had no issue dealing with Canisius. Playing at home may keep Siena more competitive, but expect the Bonnies to secure the win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: St. Bonaventure 76, Siena 65
11/19 10:55:30 ET