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St. Bonaventure (16-14) vs. La Salle (15-15)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Thursday, March 13, 12 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Barclays Center (17,732) -- Brooklyn, New York. Television: NBCSN-Regional. Home Record: SBU 10-4, LSU 9-5. Away Record: SBU 4-9, LSU 4-8. Neutral Record: SBU 2-1, LSU 2-2. Conference Record: SBU 6-10, LSU 7-9. Series Record: La Salle leads, 15-12.

GAME NOTES: The eighth-seeded La Salle Explorers take on the ninth-seeded St. Bonaventure Bonnies in the second round of the 2014 Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament.

The winner will battle the top-seeded Saint Louis Billikens in Friday's quarterfinals.

St. Bonaventure limps into the postseason, having lost its last four games. The most recent defeat was an 86-67 decision at Virginia Commonwealth on Saturday. The Bonnies were one of four teams that did not qualify for last year's A-10 Tournament, but in 2012 they managed to capture the tournament crown.

The Explorers enter this contest on more of a positive note, capturing wins in three of their last four. On Sunday, they took to the road and downed Big 5 rival Saint Joseph's, 71-63.

La Salle has won four of the last five meetings with SBU. The teams split the season series this year, with each winning at home. In their only other meeting in the A-10 Tournament, the two teams squared off in 2011 in a first- round tilt at St. Bonaventure, with La Salle leaving with a 75-73, double- overtime victory.

Matthew Wright put up 21 points, but was the only Bonnie to reach double figures, as SBU fell to VCU in the final game of the regular season. Charlon Kloof added nine points and seven assists, but committed six turnovers for the Bonnies. VCU scored the first nine points of the contest and SBU was never able to recover against a formidable opponent that had not lost at home all season. The Rams held a 44-28 lead at the break, and the Bonnies opened the second half with seven unanswered points to get back into the game and trailed by just six midway through the half before VCU used a 13-5 run to push its lead back to double digits. The Bonnies were done in partly by their own mistakes, as they turned the ball over a whopping 24 times, which VCU converted to 31 points.

One of the top offensive players in the conference, Matthew Wright leads the Bonnies with 16.7 ppg, and he has been on a tear of late, scoring at least 20 points in five of his last six outings. Kloof chips in 11.5 ppg and is dishing out a generous 5.0 apg, second-best in the A-10.?Five other Bonnies are scoring at least 8 ppg, including Youssou Ndoye (9.9 ppg, 2.2 bpg), Dion Wright (9.0 ppg), Andell Cumberbatch (8.7 ppg), Jordan Gathers (8.3 ppg) and Marquise Simmons (8.0 ppg). With such a balanced scoring attack, it's no wonder that the Bonnies are the third-ranked offensive unit in the A-10, scoring 74.0 ppg, while giving up 70.2 ppg.

The Explorers were led by senior Tyreek Duren's 27 points in the recent win over cross-town rival Saint Joseph's. Duren went 16-of-17 at the free-throw line. Jerrell Wright added 17 points and 12 rebounds in the win. The Explorers held SJU without a field goal over the final eight minutes of the first half, as La Salle went on a 17-3 run to take a 33-23 advantage at intermission. Eight straight points by the Hawks midway through the second would cut their deficit to five, but they would get no closer as La Salle held on down the stretch for the win. For the game, the Explorers committed a mere five turnovers while forcing 14, which included a season-high 11 steals.

Duren has been the top Explorer all season, leading the team in scoring (15.2 ppg), assists (3.5 apg) and steals (1.7), while serving as its ironman in logging 36 minutes per game. Tyrone Garland scores 13.0 ppg and Wright adds 12.9 ppg and 6.6 rpg. The main man on the glass is Steve Zack, the top rebounder in the league, pulling down 9.5 rpg. As a team, the Explorers score just 67.6 ppg, second-worst in the A-10, and still give it all back, as they allow opponents to put up 67.9 ppg. The Explorers are hampered by their poor shooting, as they connect on just 40.9 percent of their field goal tries, second only to Fordham for the bottom spot in the conference.

The Bonnies can certainly score but their defense has been suspect, particularly during their four-game slide when they've given up over 82 points per game. While the Explorers have had their offensive struggles, they have some momentum and hope to capture some of last year?s postseason magic.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: La Salle 75, St. Bonaventure 70

03/13 10:49:55 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
2nd
SFG 1
KAN 0
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
 
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
 
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
 
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
 
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
 
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
 
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
 
4th
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
 
3rd
WASU 16
ARZ 45
 
Half
CLEM 3
SYR 6
 
3rd
LAMON 13
TXST 0
 
3rd
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 17
 
Half
COLST 24
WYO 3
 
2nd
LSU 0
MISS 7
 
2nd
TENN 0
ALA 27
 
2nd
AUB 14
SCAR 14
 
1st
PSU 0
OSU 7
 
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
2nd
TOR 0
BOS 1
 
2nd
NYI 4
DAL 4
 
2nd Intermission
PHI 1
DET 1
 
2nd
OTT 1
NJD 1
 
2nd
MON 2
NYR 1
 
1st
STL 1
CHI 1
 
1st Intermission
NAS 0
PIT 1
 
1st
MIN 4
TAM 1
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14