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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 22, 9 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Reilly Center (5,480) -- St. Bonaventure, New York. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: La Salle 7-1, SBU 7-1. Away Record: La Salle 2-3, SBU 2-5. Neutral Record: La Salle 2-2, SBU 2-1. Conference Record: La Salle 3-0, SBU 1-3. Series Record: La Salle leads, 14-11.
GAME NOTES: The St. Bonaventure Bonnies and La Salle Explorers meet on Wednesday night a nationally-televised, Atlantic 10 contest at the Reilly Center.
The Bonnies have lost three in a row, all in Atlantic-10 play, while La Salle has won five in a row and is coming off an impressive 74-68 win over Temple at the Palestra Saturday afternoon.
The Explorers have started 3-0 in the A-10 for the first time. It's their first 3-0 start in conference action since beginning 3-0 in the MAAC in 1989-90. The Explorers went 16-0 in conference play that season. The five-game winning streak is the longest for the Explorers since they captured six in a row, Dec. 22, 2011 - Jan. 10. 2012.
Not only are the Explorers winning, but they're not blowing late leads. In fact, La Salle has won its last 34 games when leading with five minutes to play. Its last such defeat came Feb. 25, 2012 at Fordham.
On Saturday, Tyreek Duren tallied 20 points and seven assists to guide the Explorers over Big Five rival Temple. Tyrone Garland accounted for 17 points and Jerrell Wright 15, while Steve Zack recorded a double-double consisting of 10 points and 15 rebounds.
Fueling the success for the Explorers has been the starting five, led by Duren (14.1 ppg). Zack (10.0 ppg, 9.7 rpg) leads the A-10 in double-doubles with 10. Not only does Zack leads the A-10 in rebounds, but it's the highest rebounding average by an Explorer since K'Zell Wesson averaged 10.8 rpg in 1998-99. Garland (13.9 ppg) and Wright (12.9 ppg) are part of a balanced offense that averages 71.0 ppg. Garland has taken good care of the ball as he has only nine turnovers over his last seven games. Duren needs one more point to become the 20th Explorer to reach 1,500 points in a career. Sam Mills has also helped in the success, as the senior guard has connected on 18-of-35 from beyond the arc over his last five games. He ranks fourth in the A-10 this season at 43.5 percent from 3-point range. La Salle shoots only 33.2 percent from three-point range as a team.
The Bonnies have suffered through some rough times recently with three consecutive defeats. That includes Saturday's 79-71 home setback against George Washington. Andell Cumberbatch scored a team-high 15 points before fouling out for St. Bonaventure. Youssou Ndoye chipped in 14 points and eight rebounds, while Jordan Gathers contributed 12 and Dion Wright added 11 points and seven rebounds.
Seven Bonnies average at least eight points per game, led by Matthew Wright (15.4 ppg). Charlon Kloof (11.9 ppg) and Cumberbatch (10.8 ppg) are part of a team that has the third-worst 3-point shooting percentage (.311) in the A-10. The Bonnies enjoy the inside game as only 16 percent of their 480 field goals are 3-pointers. The Bonnies rank seventh in the A-10 in scoring at 74.8 ppg.
The last time these teams met it was at the Reilly Center on Feb. 13, 2013 and the Explorers came away with a 69-66 overtime triumph. Garland had 16 points and La Salle won despite shooting only 35.8 percent. Ndoye, who had 14 points and nine boards in that game, could provide a spark the Bonnies need to snap their skid and end La Salle's unbeaten run in the conference.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: St. Bonaventure 70, La Salle 69
01/22 10:35:59 ET
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