Wagner (4-2) vs. St. Bonaventure (4-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 26, 8:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Germain Arena (6,000) -- Estero, Florida. Television: None. Home Record: Wagner 2-0, St. Bonnies 3-0. Away Record: Wagner 1-2, St. Bonnies 0-1. Neutral Record: Wagner 1-0, St. Bonnies 1-0. Conference Record: Wagner 0-0, St. Bonnies 0-0. Series Record: Wagner leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: With a spot in the title game of the Gulf Coast Showcase on the line, the Wagner Seahawks and St. Bonaventure Bonnies get together at Germain Arena in Florida tonight.
The Bonnies, winners of four of their first five outings of the season, managed to bounce back from a disappointing 72-70 loss at Siena on Nov. 19 by taking out Southern Illinois in the first game of this event yesterday, 83-71.
The Seahawks have had similar success in the early going with four wins in six opportunities, with the two setbacks coming against Penn State and St. John's, both on the road. Wagner has won three in a row however, thanks to an 81-64 triumph over the Stetson Hatters yesterday.
Wagner has won both of the previous meetings between the two programs, the most recent of those being a narrow 60-59 final during the 1991-92 campaign.
Both teams will be back in action on Wednesday versus either Illinois-Chicago and Louisiana Tech, with the matchups to be determined based on Tuesday results.
Wagner played tough at both ends of the floor on Monday, shooting 49.2 percent from the field, including 10-of-22 behind the three-point line, and limiting the opposition to only 36.8 percent success from the field. Latif Rivers scored a team-best 17 points, Dwaun Anderson and Marcus Burton both accounted for 12 and Jay Harris dropped in 11 points, while Naofall Folahan pitched in with six points, 11 rebounds and seven blocked shots.
Rivers has been the leading scorer for Wagner three times this season and is now putting up 16.7 ppg, based on his 51.6 percent effort from the floor and an even more impressive 52.2 percent behind the 3-point line. Folahan is shooting a mere 35.5 percent from the field, resulting in 5.0 ppg, but his value lies in his presence in the paint where he has cleared 7.3 rpg and already has 15 rejections.
The Bonnies turned the ball over 17 times on Monday against SIU, but the team made up for it by shooting 52.7 percent from the floor and 10-of-21 (.476) on the perimeter, while also forcing the Salukis into 18 miscues of their own during the 12-point decision. Matthew Wright exploded for a game-high 32 points, followed by Dion Wright with 15 off the bench. Charlon Kloof and Andell Cumberbatch chipped in with 11 points apiece.
Matthew Wright is responsible for 18.6 ppg, even though he has made good on only 26.9 percent of his 3-point tries. As a team the Bonnies come in with just 31.3 percent accuracy on the perimeter, yet that's still better than the competition which has knocked down just 29.3 percent through five games. On the glass, the Bonnies are dominating with a rebounding advantage of more than 11 per game.
As long as St. Bonaventure continues to take advantage of opponents in the paint and on the glass, a foe such as Wagner will have a tough time competing.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: St. Bonaventure 77, Wagner 68
11/26 10:33:13 ET