Yale (5-6) at Saint Louis (12-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 4, 5:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Chaifetz Arena (10,600) -- Saint Louis, Missouri. Television: NBC Sports Network. Home Record: Yale 2-1, SLU 7-1. Away Record: Yale 2-5, SLU 4-0. Neutral Record: Yale 1-0, SLU 1-1. Conference Record: Yale 0-0, SLU 0-0. Series Record: Saint Louis leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The reigning Atlantic 10 Conference champions will try to build up even more momentum as the Saint Louis Billikens close out the non-league portion of their schedule against the Yale Bulldogs at Chaifetz Arena.
The Bulldogs enter 2014 on a two-game losing streak thanks to their 70-62 loss at Albany on Dec. 20. Yale, which dropped to a 5-6 record with the loss, will return home to host Vermont in its second to last non-league game before beginning its Ivy League slate. Coach James Jones's team is ranked second in the Ivy League in points per game at 67.1, however it is surrendering 70.8 ppg to its opposition to rank third to last in the conference in scoring defense.
Saint Louis will be looking to continue a six-game winning streak that was extended with a 57-49 decision at Vanderbilt on Monday. It has been outscoring the opposition by an average of 14.5 ppg during that span. The Billikens' only two losses came to ranked foes Wisconsin and Wichita State. Coach Jim Crews's squad will hope begin its A-10 season on Tuesday at Rhode Island with 13 victories.
This will be the third meeting in history between these schools on the hardwood. SLU won both previous encounters, the most recent of which took place in 1971.
Yale had a poor offensive showing against Albany, finishing 18-of-57 from the field and 4-of-19 from beyond the arc. Javier Duren poured in 26 points on 8- of-15 efficiency from the floor to lead the way, but the rest of the starting five combined to make only 23 percent of their field goal tries. Justin Sears was held to only seven points. The Bulldogs also allowed Albany to convert 49 percent of their shots from the floor and earn a 37-32 edge in the rebounding battle. Sears is pacing Yale with 17.3 ppg and seven rpg, while Duren is adding 14.4 ppg.
Jordair Jett stepped up against Vandy with 17 points and eight assists to help the Billikens keep their winning streak alive. Jett was supported by Grandy Glaze, who pulled down 10 rebounds, and Dwayne Evans just missed a double- double, finishing with nine points and nine rebounds. SLU outscored the Commodores, 34-26, in the paint and converted Vandy's 17 turnovers into 16 points. Evans connected on only 3-of-11 field-goal tries in the win after scoring 46 total points in his last two outings. The senior forward is netting 15.4 ppg on the season, while Jett is chipping in 10.9 ppg and 4.9 apg. The Billikens lead the A-10 and are eighth nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 57.7 ppg. SLU is also first in the A-10 in field-goal percentage defense (.389) and 3-point field-goal percentage defense (.246, fourth in nation).
Yale's struggles on the offensive end will continue against this tenacious Billikens' unit. The Bulldogs do not have a player capable of shutting down Evans, which means he will either have a monster game or his teammates will get a full serving of open looks.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Saint Louis 75, Yale 52
01/04 10:39:43 ET