St. Bonaventure (16-13) at Virginia Commonwealth (23-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 8, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stuart C. Siegel Center (7,617) -- Richmond, Virginia. Television: SNY. Home Record: SBU 10-4, VCU 14-0. Away Record: SBU 4-8, VCU 6-5. Neutral Record: SBU 2-1, VCU 3-2. Conference Record: SBU 6-9, VCU 11-4. Series record: St. Bonaventure leads, 2-1.
GAME NOTES: The Virginia Commonwealth Rams try to put the finishing touches on an unbeaten home season when they entertain the St. Bonaventure Bonnies in the regular-season finale between these Atlantic 10 foes.
The Rams have not only won all 14 home games this season, but haven't lost as the host since Jan. 26, 2013 against La Salle. A win here would be the 20th in a row at home for the Rams.
VCU enters the day 11-4 in the A-10, tied with Saint Joseph's for second place, one game behind Saint Louis. No matter the scenario, the Billikens will be the top seed in the conference tournament next week. However, VCU could still claim a share of the A-10 regular season championship.
On Thursday, the Rams won their third straight game, 56-50, at Richmond. Treveon Graham scored 18 points and collected 10 rebounds. Rob Brandenberg added 11 points for VCU. Briante Weber tallied four steals, pushing his season total to 109 and giving him the single-season record in the A-10.
Graham (15.5 ppg) leads the offensive attack for the Rams, while Juvonte Reddic (12.5 ppg, 8.3 rpg) and Melvin Johnson (10.5 ppg) are also part of a team that averages 75.2 ppg, while giving up 65.5 ppg. VCU is holding its opponents to 29.4 percent from 3-point range. The Rams are also getting 9.4 ppg from Weber and 9.2 ppg from Brandenberg. VCU leads all Division I teams with 11 steals a game, helped by Weber's 3.6 spg. Johnson is shooting 40 percent from 3-point range.
The Bonnies, who are 6-9 in the conference and tied with La Salle for eighth place, have lost three in a row following a three-game winning streak. St. Bonaventure hasn't played since last Saturday's 83-74 home loss to Saint Joseph's. Matthew Wright led the way for the Bonnies with 27 points, while Marquise Simmons finished with 13 points, Charlon Kloof chipped in with 11 points and five assists, and Youssou Ndoye scored 10.
Wright (16.5 ppg) has stepped up offensively of late, as the senior guard is averaging 19.1 ppg, while shooting 41 percent from 3-point range over the last 10 contests. Kloof (11.6 ppg) is second in the Atlantic 10 in assists (4.9), while the 7-foot Ndoye (10.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg) is third in the conference in blocks (2.2). Dion Wright (9.2 ppg) is the top contributor off the bench, while Andell Cumberbatch (8.7 ppg) and Simmons (8.0 ppg) are the other starters. Simmons leads the A-10 in field-goal percentage (.634).
The Rams are primed to extend their winning streak against a team they haven't seen much of over the years. This will be just the fourth meeting in a series that has the Bonnies holding a 2-1 edge. VCU came away with a 72-65 win at the Reilly Center on Jan. 12, 2013 when Graham scored 17 points to lead a balanced VCU attack. Expect another big game from the junior. Brandenberg should also thrive against a team that is allowing foes to shoot 38.1 percent from 3-point range.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Virginia Commonwealth 79, St. Bonaventure 69
03/08 10:23:36 ET