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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 27, 8:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Germain Arena (6,000) -- Estero, Florida. Television: None. Home Record: St. Bonnies 3-0, LaTech 1-0. Away Record: St. Bonnies 0-1, LaTech 1-1. Neutral Record: St. Bonnies 2-0, LaTech 2-0. Conference Record: St. Bonnies 0-0, LaTech 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The title in the inaugural Gulf Coast Showcase is up for grabs tonight, as the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs tangle with the Bonnies of St. Bonaventure at Germain Arena.
Since losing to Saint Mary's on the road in the season opener back on Nov. 8, the Bulldogs have turned it around with four consecutive victories. The last two triumphs have taken place in this new tournament, starting with a 99-62 blowout of UNC Greensboro on Monday and continuing with another lopsided affair yesterday, a 103-78 decision versus Illinois-Chicago.
As for the Bonnies, they've moved out to a 5-1 mark to begin the 2013-14 campaign, thanks to an 83-71 victory against Southern Illinois on Monday during the first day of this tourney, followed by a narrow 70-67 decision versus Wagner on Tuesday.
This is the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
Raheem Appleby scored a game-high 26 points as the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs posted a 103-78 win over the Illinois-Chicago Flames in the second round of the tournament. Chris Anderson tallied 21 points, Cordarius Johnson 18 and Alex Hamilton 10 points for the Bulldogs in their fourth straight victory. Louisiana Tech outscored the Flames in the paint, 50-30, and forced UIC into 18 turnovers.
Appleby, the leading scorer in three of the five games for the Bulldogs this season, accounts for 15.6 ppg as he shoots an even 50.0 percent from the field. Appleby is also among the team leaders in assists with 20, but even that effort is not enough to gloss over the fact that he is converting just 25.0 percent of his perimeter shots. Thanks to yet another blowout win, LaTech is now producing 94.4 ppg and outscoring the opposition by a margin of almost 27 ppg.
Matthew Wright scored 19 points and handed out six assists as St. Bonaventure registered a 70-67 win over the Wagner Seahawks in the second round of the showcase. Also scoring in double figures for the Bonnies were Youssou Ndoye with 12 points and eight rebounds, followed by Andell Cumberbatch and Charlon Kloof with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Kloof also pulled down eight boards and handed out four assists in the triumph.
Matthew Wright has paced the team in scoring four times this season, pushing him to a team-best 18.7 ppg. He is also second on the unit with 25 assists and has been more than willing to involve himself in the paint, resulting in 4.2 rpg. As a group the Bonnies, who are outscoring the competition by 14.1 ppg at the moment, are beating foes on the glass by 8.5 rpg as well.
Both of these teams have the potential to explode for significant points on any given night, but it might be more difficult for the Bonnies to turn the trick in such a short time span. The Bulldogs have the luxury of having plenty of returning talent from last season, so experience should count for something in this case.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Louisiana Tech 96, St. Bonaventure 88
11/27 10:40:03 ET