St. Bonaventure (6-3) at Iona (5-2)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 14, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Hynes Center (2,611) -- New Rochelle, New York.
Television: None. Home Record: St. Bonaventure 4-0, Iona 3-0. Away Record: St.
Bonaventure 0-2, Iona 2-2. Neutral Record: St. Bonaventure 2-1, Iona 0-0.
Conference Record: St. Bonaventure 0-0, Iona 2-0. Series Record: St.
Bonaventure leads, 10-5.
GAME NOTES: The Iona Gaels put a four-game win streak on the line Saturday in
a non-conference showdown with the St. Bonaventure Bonnies.
The Bonnies own a 10-5 lead in the all-time series against the Gaels, though
Iona took last year's meeting and is 3-0 against St. Bonaventure at the Hynes
Iona has rattled off convincing victories over George Mason, Florida Gulf
Coast, Marist and Fairfield since losing a 20-point decision to nationally-
ranked Kansas in mid-November. In Sunday's 83-72 win over Fairfield, Sean
Armand poured in 28 points as the Gaels rolled to a second consecutive
conference win. Armand also handed out seven assists in the victory. David
Laury tallied 19 points and 10 rebounds, and A.J. English also got in the mix
with 18 points. Iona got out to a 48-37 lead at halftime by shooting 51.7
percent from the floor and never looked back, thanks to a 48-30 advantage in
points in the paint.
Armand has been superb lately, tallying at least 20 points in four straight
games, upping his team-high total to 22.1 ppg. Laury is nearly averaging a
double-double with 15.1 ppg and 8.7 rpg to his credit, while English and Tre
Bowman round out the leading scorers with 13.1 and 12.3 ppg, respectively.
Behind that fearsome foursome, as well as a healthy 9.6 3-pointers per game,
the Gaels are averaging nearly 80 points each time out and are connecting on
47.2 percent of their shots.
Whereas Iona has done its damage on the offensive end, the Bonnies have been
stingy defensively, as they are giving up just 64.3 ppg. That kind of
dominance was not on display last Saturday, however, as St. Bonaventure
allowed Buffalo to make half of its field goal attempts in the second half en
route to a 78-73 setback, the team's second in three games. Charlon Kloof
tallied 17 points and five assists to lead the team, while Andell Cumberbatch
posted a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Marquise Simmons
added 16 points and seven boards. The Bulls outscored the Bonnies, 24-3, from
beyond the arc as well as from the free-throw line (28-24). Leading scorer
Matthew Wright was limited to nine points, eight below his season average.
The Bonnies have not been particularly effective behind the arc, making just
26.5 percent from long range, but have battled to get plenty of second-chance
points behind nearly five more offensive rebounds per game than their
opponents. Simmons has been vital in that area and is pulling down 6.0 rpg to
go along with 9.8 ppg. Kloof and Cumberbatch check in with averages of 12.8
and 10.3 ppg, respectively.
The difference in this one could very well be determined by Iona's
effectiveness from the perimeter. If the Gaels can get a few to fall, the
Bonnies will have to jump out and defend rather than protect the rim. It's a
battle of strengths, and since Iona is on a roll, the Gaels should come out
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Iona 77, St. Bonaventure 68
12/14 10:37:37 ET