St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - The Saint Louis Billikens finally find
themselves in the national rankings, and they will host the St. Bonaventure
Bonnies in an Atlantic 10 Conference clash at Chaifetz Arena on Wednesday
Although they are not in contention for the Top-25, the Bonnies have enjoyed a
fair amount of success this season, notching 11 wins in 16 chances. However,
they were set down in a 73-68 decision against 16th-ranked Massachusetts last
time out, ending a four-game win streak. St. Bonaventure will be at home for
its next two games against league foes George Washington and La Salle.
A 67-59 road win over Dayton last Saturday finally got the now 24th-ranked
Billikens the respect they probably deserved much earlier in the campaign.
Saint Louis is currently 15-2 overall, with road victories in its first two
league contests. The two wins extended a nine-game win streak for the
Billikens, who are 8-1 at home, with the only loss coming against fifth-ranked
Saint Louis visited the Bonnies in the only matchup between the two teams last
season, and came away with a 67-57 victory. It was the third win in the last
four meetings for the Billikens, who lead the all-time series by a 10-4
Turnovers and sloppy play on defense kept the Bonnies from pulling off an
upset against UMass. St. Bonaventure turned the ball over 20 times and
committed 25 personal fouls, which led to a 32-16 disparity in free-throw
attempts. Charlon Kloof turned in 15 points and seven assists, but also had
six turnovers and four fouls.
Leading scorer Matthew Wright (15.9 ppg, 3.5 apg) was held in check by the
Minutemen as he finished with only eight points. The effort ended a three-game
streak in double figures for Wright, who has actually had more games below 10
points (four) than above (three) in the last seven bouts. Kloof (12.7 ppg, 4.7
apg) is the second-leading scorer, although he clearly has the ability to
carry the load when need be. Additionally, he is a skilled passer, ranking
third in the A-10 in assists. Andell Cumberbatch (11.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg) is the
final member of the team averaging in double figures, while Youssou Ndoye (9.1
ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.1 bpg) makes his presence felt as an enforcer in the paint.
Dwayne Evans recorded 22 points on 9-of-11 from the floor, and he also
collected nine rebounds to help lift Saint Louis over Dayton. The Billikens
were doubled up in points off turnovers (18-9), but they shot 46 percent from
the floor, while holding the Flyers to just 30.6 percent.
Defending is what Jim Crews' team does best. The Billikens are ranked sixth in
the nation in scoring defense (57.6 ppg) and 10th in assists allowed per game
(9.1 apg). They have also broken into the top-25 nationally in opponent field
goal percentage (.386). Evans (15.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg) does the heavy lifting at
the offensive end, for a team scoring just 70.4 ppg, which ranks 10th in the
A-10. Jordair Jett (11.8 ppg, 4.8 apg) does his best to fill the basket, but
he is more dangerous as a passer, ranking second in the conference in assists.
Jett finished with 12 points and five assists against Dayton.
The Sports Network