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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 26, 4 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Reilly Center (5,480) -- St. Bonaventure, New York. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: SLU 11-2, Bonnies 5-3. Away Record: SLU 1-2, Bonnies 3-6. Neutral Record: SLU 1-1, Bonnies 1-0. Conference Record: SLU 2-2, Bonnies 2-3. Series Record: Saint Louis leads, 8-4.
GAME NOTES: The Saint Louis Billikens will enter the Reilly Center this afternoon to tangle with the St. Bonaventure Bonnies in an Atlantic 10 Conference clash.
Saint Louis cruised through the month of December and early portion of January with a nine-game winning streak, but back-to-back losses to Temple and Rhode Island soured the good vibes. However, the Billikens got back into the win column on Wednesday night with a 73-64 road win over Duquesne to move to .500 in A-10 play. Following today's action, they'll return home to face Butler and Dayton next week.
St. Bonaventure has rebounded from a six-game slide by winning each of its last two contests, both on the road. After downing Temple last Saturday, 81-78, the Bonnies took down preseason league favorite Saint Joseph's on Wednesday night, 73-64. The latter victory snapped a string of nine straight losses against Saint Joseph's inside Hagan Arena dating back to the 1999-2000 campaign.
SLU leads the all-time series, 8-4, although St. Bonaventure has won four of the last six meetings.
Cody Ellis tallied 16 points on Wednesday night to help the Billikens to their first road win of the season. The game featured 11 ties and 17 lead changes, but SLU went on a late 10-0 run to stretch a three-point lead into a 13-point cushion with just over a minute to play. The Billikens overcame a 37.5-percent shooting effort from the floor and a rough 3-of-21 showing from beyond the arc by outscoring Duquesne at the free-throw line, 28-9. They also forced 16 turnovers and committed only eight. Dwayne Evans chipped in with 14 points and six rebounds, as four different Billikens reached double figures. Four players are averaging double figures on the season, and Ellis leads the way with 11.2 ppg despite coming off the bench in all 18 games. SLU is averaging only 11.4 turnovers per game for a +3.4 margin.
Headlining St. Bonaventure's starting five is forward Demetrius Conger, who averages 14.3 points and 7.1 rebounds and is an 82-percent free-throw shooter. Chris Johnson (12.9 ppg) and Eric Mosley (10.5 ppg) command plenty of attention along the perimeter, where they have combined to knock down 72 3- pointers at a 44.7-percent clip. The Bonnies jumped out to a 12-0 lead against Saint Joseph's and never trailed, as they went on to shoot a healthy 53.8 percent from the floor and 10-of-20 from beyond the arc. They held the Hawks to 2-of-22 shooting from 3-point range, while also committing just six turnovers for the game, as those factors helped overcome Saint Joseph's 36-19 rebounding advantage. Conger led all scorers with 21 points to go along with seven rebounds. Matthew Wright added 18 points, and Johnson finished with 15 in the win.
These teams both played Temple recently, and the Bonnies won their matchup with the Owls on the road. The Billikens have not been tested much on the road this season, but they'll face a tough one against a St. Bonaventure squad that has turned things around of late.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: St. Bonaventure 75, Saint Louis 73
01/26 11:40:15 ET