St. Bonaventure (3-1) vs. Southern Illinois (1-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, November 25, 8:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Germain Arena (6,000) -- Estero, Florida. Television: None. Home Record: St. Bonnies 3-0, SIU 1-1. Away Record: St. Bonnies 0-1, SIU 0-2. Neutral Record: St. Bonnies 0-0, SIU 0-0. Conference Record: St. Bonnies 0-0, SIU 0-0. Series Record: Southern Illinois leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: A pair of teams searching for their first wins away from home meet up at Germain Arena tonight, as the Bonnies of St. Bonaventure take on the Southern Illinois Salukis as part of the inaugural Gulf Coast Showcase.
The Bonnies played their first three games of the 2013-14 campaign at home, taking down the likes of South Dakota, Abilene Christian and Canisius, but last week the squad was upended at Siena in a 72-70 final.
As for the Salukis, they haven't been nearly as successful in the early going, winning just once in four tries. The team has been the opposite of the Bonnies in fact, losing three straight out of the gate to Missouri, Saint Louis and Austin Peay before capturing a 96-74 triumph versus Missouri S&T on Thursday.
With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the hardwood, the Salukis are 2-0 against St. Bonaventure after posting a 74-72 win in the most recent meeting back in 1994 in Honolulu.
The way in which the bracket is set up for this tournament, the winner of this contest will take on the survivor of the Wagner/Stetson meeting, while the losers compete against each other as well.
In a game that featured 13 ties and as many lead changes, the Bonnies were on the wrong side at the wrong time at Times Union Center as they dropped the two-point decision to Siena. Youssou Ndoye tried to prevent the setback as he produced a double-double consisting of 16 points and 12 rebounds, while reserve Dion Wright chipped in with 14 points. Matthew Wright accounted for 13 and seven of the unit's 14 assists, followed by Andell Cumberbatch with 10 points off the bench.
Although he is shooting just 39.2 percent from the field and 2-of-16 (.125) behind the 3-point line over four games, Matthew Wright is still the leading scorer for the group with his 15.3 ppg, followed by Ndoye and Charlon Kloof with 12.5 and 11.5 ppg, respectively. As a group, the Bonnies are hitting a meager 23.3 percent out on the perimeter.
Against Missouri S&T, a Division II program, the Salukis padded their stats a bit with 58.3 percent shooting from the floor and by forcing 23 turnovers. However, it was not all smooth sailing for SIU as the team suffered 21 miscues and made just 3-of-9 behind the 3-point line during a game that featured seven ties and as many lead changes.
Desmar Jackson and Jalen Pendleton both tallied 24 points, the former adding 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals, while the latter got the job done in only 22 minutes off the bench. Anthony Beane accounted for 20 points as well.
Jackson, a 52.5 percent shooter from the field, is producing 22.0 ppg to pace the program and also has 6.8 rpg which is second to Bronson Verhines and his 7.3 rpg. Pendleton (13.3 ppg) and Beane (10.8 ppg) are also key figures for an offense posting 73.0 ppg, but at the same time giving up 73.5 ppg.
No longer a team that is feared outside of the Missouri Valley Conference, SIU will be lucky to have any success during this trip to Florida because the odds are against the Salukis right off the bat in this meeting.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: St. Bonaventure 74, Southern Illinois 65
11/25 10:32:33 ET