Cleveland State (6-3) at St. Bonaventure (5-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 15, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Reilly Center (9,000) -- Olean, New York. Television: None. Home Record: CSU 3-0, SBU 3-0. Away Record: CSU 1-3, SBU 1-3. Neutral Record: CSU 2-0, SBU 1-0. Conference Record: CSU 0-0, SBU 0-0. Series Record: St. Bonaventure leads, 6-2.
GAME NOTES: The Cleveland State Vikings look to get back on track as they venture to the Reilly Center for a non-conference tilt against the St. Bonaventure Bonnies on Saturday.
The Vikings had their two-game winning streak snapped their last time out when they suffered an 80-63 setback at nationally-ranked NC State. Cleveland State's other two losses also came on the road at Michigan and Robert Morris. Coach Gary Walters has guided the team to a 6-3 record despite trailing at halftime in seven of its nine games so far. The Vikings are scoring 69.8 points per contest, which is two points more than they are allowing their opposition to produce.
The Bonnies came up just short last Saturday and suffered a 73-70 loss at Arkansas State. SBU, which won two of its previous three outings, is now 5-3 overall with road losses at Canisius and Ohio University on its resume. Coach Mark Schmidt has yet to see his team fall at the Reilly Center this season. The Bonnies are outscoring their opposition by an average of 3.2 ppg.
St. Bonaventure owns a 5-3 all-time series lead versus Cleveland State, including a 3-1 mark at home. The Viking came out of the last two meetings on top, including a 67-64 decision last season.
NC State had five players in double figures and shot 55-percent from the field to claim a victory over Cleveland State. The Vikings were haunted by 18 turnovers which the Wolfpack turned into 17 points. Sophomore point guard Charlie Lee paced the Vikings with 15 points and three assists, while junior forward Devon Long just missed his first career double-double, finishing with 12 points and nine rebounds in his second career start. Lee is quarterbacking the offense with team-high averages of 15.8 points and 5.8 assists per outing. Senior forward Tim Kamczyc is netting 11.3 ppg, but the team will continue to miss Anton Grady (13.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg) who has missed the last three games due to a knee injury.
A three-pointer by ASU's Ed Townsel with under three seconds remaining proved to be the difference in the Bonnies' loss to the Red Wolves. St. Bonaventure missed some golden opportunities as it shot only 6-of-24 beyond the arc and was outscored at the free-throw line, 20-16. Senior forward Chris Johnson tallied a game-high 19 points for his seventh-straight double-digit performance. Fellow senior forward Demitrius Conger, who shot only 2-of-11 from the floor and missed all six of his 3-point attempts, accounted for a team-best 12 rebounds. Johnson is pacing the team with 15.8 ppg while Conger is second in points (13.8) and first on the squad in rebounding (7.3 rpg).
Even without Grady, the Vikings are not an ideal visitor. CSU has a great floor general in Lee, who is surrounded by a few capable scorers. The Bonnies are going to need Conger to be more efficient to protect their perfect mark at home.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: St. Bonaventure 68, Cleveland State 63
12/15 10:33:03 ET