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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 6, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Rose Hill Gym (3,470) -- Bronx, New York. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: SLU 13-2, Fordham 4-3. Away Record: SLU 2-2, Fordham 0-11. Neutral Record: SLU 1-1, Fordham 2-2. Conference Record: SLU 5-2, Fordham 2-5. Series Record: Saint Louis leads, 7-1.
GAME NOTES: Playing just their fifth true road game of the season, the Saint Louis Billikens get together with the Fordham Rams for an Atlantic 10 Conference showdown at historic Rose Hill Gym in the Bronx.
With a record of 5-2 in conference play, the Billikens are one of several teams in the hunt for the top spot in the A-10 standings coming into the week. On Saturday, SLU beat up on Dayton at home in an 81-52 final, marking the team's fourth straight win after losing back-to-back decisions for the only time in 2012-13.
As for the Rams, their efforts in league play have been less than impressive, as they've lost five of the last six outings and the lone win coming by just three points against Rhode Island at home a few weeks ago. On Saturday, the squad was thumped by VCU on the road in an 81-65 final, which means Fordham is now winless in 11 true road games this season and 2-5 in conference.
The Billikens have rattled off five straight wins against Fordham and that has led Saint Louis to a 7-1 advantage in the all-time series.
Saint Louis shot 50.9 percent from the floor, including 9-of-22 (.409) behind the 3-point line against Dayton over the weekend, while the defense forced the visiting Flyers into 21 turnovers, making it that much easier for the hosts to grab the victory. Rob Loe accounted for 17 points, Dwayne Evans 15, Kwamain Mitchell 12 points and Jordair Jett 11 points, six assists and five boards in a mere 19 minutes off the bench for the Billikens. Spreading the wealth has been the mode of operation for the Billikens again this season, with three players scoring in double figures and a total of five hitting for at least nine per game, but no one over 11.1 ppg (Evans). More importantly, the defense continues to be a main focus of the squad as it limits the opposition to just 57.6 ppg, giving SLU a scoring advantage of 10.2 ppg.
Fordham never had a lead against VCU on Saturday in Virginia, but the Rams certainly showed some spunk in the first half by holding the hosts to a mere 28.2 percent shooting from the floor. Unfortunately, Fordham could not keep up the defensive intensity and ended up trailing by as many as 24 points due to turning the ball over 22 times. Bryan Smith tallied 17 points, Mandell Thomas 16 and nine rebounds and Jermaine Myers another 11 points in 14 minutes off the bench. Ryan Rhoomes came up two points shy of a double-double with his game-high 12 rebounds. Although he did not score in double figures on Saturday, Branden Frazier is still the leading scorer overall for the program with his 16.0 ppg, even while shooting just 36.0 percent from the field. Unfortunately, the team is missing Chris Gaston (14.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg) due to personal reasons and that takes away a good bit of their offensive punch.
Assuming the Billikens will be the ones dictating the pace of this meeting, expect Fordham to have difficulty getting off enough shots in order to be competitive.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Saint Louis 66, Fordham 49
02/06 10:38:08 ET