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(10) Saint Louis (25-3) at VCU (21-7)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 1, 6 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Stuart C. Siegel Center (7,617) -- Richmond, Virginia. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: SLU 14-2, VCU 13-0. Away Record: SLU 10-0, VCU 5-5. Neutral Record: SLU 1-1, VCU 3-2. Conference Record: SLU 12-1, VCU 9-4. Series Record: Saint Louis leads, 3-2.

GAME NOTES: Something has to give in Saturday's Atlantic 10 Conference clash between the 10th-ranked Saint Louis Billikens and the Rams of VCU.

Saint Louis comes in sporting a 10-0 mark in true road games, while VCU has been perfect at home with a record of 13-0.

The Billikens recently had their 19-game win streak halted, as they dropped a 71-64 decision at home to Duquesne. With the setback, Saint Louis is 25-3 overall and 12-1 in conference, holding a two-game lead on the second-place Saint Joseph's with three games to go, including this one. The Billikens will close out the regular season against Dayton at home, followed by a road clash at UMass, and a win in any of them would earn the team at least a share of the A-10 regular-season title.

VCU brings a 21-7 record into this contest, which includes a 9-4 league ledger. The Rams are currently tied with UMass for third place in the A-10 standings, and they would have to win out against Saint Louis here, the Minutemen and Fordham, and hope for a lot of help if they have any shot at finishing at the top of the conference heap.

Saint Louis topped VCU in the first meeting between the two earlier this season, winning at home in a 64-62 decision just two weeks ago. That victory for the Billikens snapped a 2-2 tie in the all-time series.

The recent loss to Duquesne was SLU's first in nearly three months, and it came about as a result of a substantial 18-2 second-half run by the Dukes, who overcame a four-point halftime deficit to win for only the second time in the last eight games. Four of the five starters for Saint Louis scored in double figures, led by Mike McCall, Jr. with 18 points. Dwayne Evans logged a double- double consisting of 10 points and 12 rebounds, but the Billikens shot just 40.4 percent from the floor, while missing the mark on 19 of their 23 3-point attempts. Conversely, DU hit 8-of-15 long-range tries, while taking advantage of 16 SLU turnovers.

Saint Louis is the top defensive team in the Atlantic 10, and one of the best in the nation in keeping the opposition at bay. Foes are putting up just 60.2 ppg behind typical shooting efforts of only .393 overall and .276 from beyond the arc. The Billikens force more than 14 turnovers per outing, while coming out on the positive side of the rebounding battle most nights (+2.0). Offensively, the squad nets 70.9 ppg and boasts three double-digit scorers in Evans (14.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg), Jordair Jett (13.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg. 4.9 apg) and Rob Loe (10.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg). McCall, Jr. (9.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg) is close to joining the ranks.

Behind a double-double effort from Juvonte Reddic (22 points, 12 rebounds), VCU blew the doors off the Fordham Rams on Thursday night, prevailing in an 85-66 final. Rob Brandenberg and Melvin Johnson both hit for double digits as well, with the former netting 16 points and the latter 14 for a team that drained 10 3-pointers and claimed a massive 56-32 rebounding advantage. Also helping matters was the fact that the hometown Rams shot just 37.9 percent from the floor, which included a dismal 5-of-18 effort from distance.

For the season, VCU is scoring 75.9 ppg while permitting 66.4 ppg. The team doesn't shoot particularly well (.419 overall), but does a nice job defending the perimeter (.297). They are quite active in the turnover battle, goading the opposition into nearly 19 miscues per outing. Treveon Graham paces the unit with his 15.8 ppg, and he ranks second to Reddic (12.4 ppg, 8.4 rpg) in rebounding as he grabs 7.0 rpg. Johnson (10.5 ppg), Briante Weber (9.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 4.1 apg, national-best 3.7 spg) and Brandenberg (9.3 ppg) have all been solid contributors for the Rams.

Having already set a new record for the best 28-game start in program history, Saint Louis has even bigger goals in mind as it sets its sights on the A-10 crown. That said, VCU has far too much pride to allow the Billikens to celebrate on its home floor.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: VCU 66, Saint Louis 64

03/01 10:24:08 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UNC 82
OSU 74
Final
MVSU 60
NCCU 94
 
1st
UNCW 11
ECU 9
 
1st
CAR 1
NYR 0
 
1st
CHA 21
UTA 18
 
9:30pm Tonight
WVU
NCSU
Final
NYK 90
PHO 99
1st
NOP 8
POR 18
 
1st
CHA 21
UTA 18
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
ATL
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
SAN
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
IND
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
MIL
Final
LALAF 16
NEV 3
Final
UTEP 6
UTST 21
Final
COLST 10
UTAH 45
 
Half
AFA 20
WMICH 10
 
9:15pm Tonight
BGU
SALABAMA
Final
GEOR 81
CHAR 78
Final
WKENT 67
LOU 76
Final
MICH 51
SMU 62
Final
CIN 47
VCU 68
Final
BSU 77
ABCHRIST 33
 
Final
PROV 85
UMASS 65
Final
AMER 46
MNTER 45
 
Final
UNC 82
OSU 74
Final
IUPUI 71
SALA 65
 
Final
VILL 82
SYR 77
Final
VT 64
CITA 61
Final
DUQ 79
MLOWELL 63
 
Final
FAIR 61
BEL 73
 
Final
YALE 60
GTDNS 64
 
Final
FD 76
DEL 74
 
Final
PSU 73
DREX 68
Final
UNCG 64
ELON 71
 
Final
ILL 62
MIZZ 59
Final
CAMP 90
MONT 64
 
Final
LONG 106
PSUBEAVER 74
 
Final
HOU 63
SCST 71
 
Final
FSU 75
SFLA 62
Final
BING 51
BONA 69
 
Final
RUTG 68
RFLSH 73
 
Final
MCNST 69
TOL 83
 
Final
JVU 84
TRUETT 55
 
Final
GT 65
VANDY 60
Final
INDST 56
EILL 60
 
Final
BUT 73
IND 82
Final
STEPH 94
ARTCH 57
 
Final
OREG 83
DELST 70
 
Final
Terriers 61
FATL 56
 
Final
TXARL 89
HPYN 50
 
Final
KU 96
LAF 69
Final
ARKST 67
MARS 58
Final
MEM 78
ORU 63
Final
KNST 53
UMBC 66
 
Final
NW 67
WMICH 61
Final
MIZST 65
EMICH 77
 
Final
CHIST 77
STJOE 54
 
Final
KENT 83
UCLA 42
Final
COC 68
DAVID 80
Final
RIU 69
DET 55
Final
UCR 78
HOUB 67
 
Final
MURST 89
ILLST 77
 
Final
NWST 89
LALAF 85
 
Final
WAGN 66
MON 74
 
Final
MVSU 60
NCCU 94
 
Final
PITT 81
OU 77
Final
TENNM 77
PBY 60
 
Final
WYO 57
SOUTH 39
 
Final
AFA 75
UCD 81
Final
MSST 51
USCU 53
 
Final
JMU 71
HIGH 80
 
Final
TXST 90
HTILL 56
 
Final
DRAK 54
ISU 83
 
Final
SHU 73
UNH 60
 
Final
SCU 72
NE 78
 
Final
MSU 64
TXSOU 71
 
Final
UF 63
WAKE 50
 
Final
ND 94
PURD 63
 
Final
SHSU 61
PVU 44
 
2nd
AUB 45
XAV 56
 
1st
AKR 23
BLUFFTON 11
 
1st
DAY 12
BU 7
 
1st
UNCW 11
ECU 9
 
1st
CLMB 12
HOF 9
 
1st
GMAS 21
IONA 20
 
1st
TOWS 10
LAS 13
 
1st
MAN 14
MRGST 16
 
1st
CCST 19
YALE 19
 
1st
PEPP 13
RICH 17
 
1st
MAR 7
STJOE 24
 
1st
KYST 21
TEXAM 11
 
1st
MAST 14
VALPO 13
 
1st
UMKC 18
INCWORD 11
 
7:30pm Tonight
IDST
CALST
 
7:30pm Tonight
NIOWA
IOWA
7:30pm Tonight
SIUE
UWMIL
 
8:00pm Tonight
TEX
LBSU
8:00pm Tonight
TCU
TXSA
8:30pm Tonight
ARK
SEMIZ
9:00pm Tonight
NCOL
JVST
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARST
LEH
 
9:00pm Tonight
NMST
NMU
 
9:00pm Tonight
WASH
OKLA
9:00pm Tonight
GRCN
STED
 
9:00pm Tonight
WEBER
WLVRN
 
9:30pm Tonight
WVU
NCSU
10:00pm Tonight
SDST
BST
10:00pm Tonight
GONZ
CPSL
10:00pm Tonight
PAC
FRES
10:00pm Tonight
PORT
MNTST
 
10:00pm Tonight
CSNO
TAMCC
 
10:05pm Tonight
UTST
SDKST
 
11:00pm Tonight
BYU
STAN
11:30pm Tonight
UNLV
UTAH
Final
LOS 4
ARI 2
1st
CLB 0
CHI 0
 
1st
BUF 0
COL 2
 
1st
PIT 2
FLA 1
 
1st
CAR 1
NYR 0
 
1st
MON 0
OTT 1
 
1st
TOR 1
PHI 0
 
1st
NYI 0
TAM 0
 
1st
NJD 0
WAS 0
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
NAS
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
CAL
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
STL
4th
WAS 24
PHI 24
 
8:25pm Tonight
SFX
SDC