St. Bonaventure (7-5) at Colorado State (12-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 5, 4:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Moby Arena (8,745) -- Fort Collins, Colorado. Television: None. Home Record: SBU 5-1, CSU 8-0. Away Record: SBU 1-4, CSU 2-2. Neutral Record: SBU 2-0, CSU 1-0. Conference Record: SBU 0-0, CSU 0-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 1-1.
GAME NOTES: One of six teams in the Mountain West Conference already with double-digit wins, the Colorado State Rams set their sights on visiting St. Bonaventure when the two squads clash at Moby Arena in Fort Collins on Saturday afternoon.
After beating up on a number of opponents by sizeable margins in the last few weeks, the Rams were challenged by UTEP on Wednesday night, but still CSU came away with the 62-58 victory. Not only was it the sixth straight win overall for the Rams, it was the 21st consecutive triumph at home for the program, marking the fourth-longest run in basketball right now.
As for the Bonnies, they began the 2012-13 campaign with seven wins in 10 tries, but in the last few weeks they haven't been nearly as successful. In fact, the team has now lost back-to-back outings for the first time this season following a 92-73 blowout versus NC State on Dec. 22 and a lopsided 93-74 defeat at the hands of the Iona Gaels on New Year's Eve.
In terms of the all-time series between these two squads, they've split the previous two matchups.
The Bonnies played early in the day on NYE, but perhaps the team wasn't quite ready to respond to Iona as the Gaels blew through the hosts at the Reilly Center. Demitrius Conger tried to keep the Bonnies in the mix as he scored 26 points and pulled down eight rebounds, but while he was the lone double-digit scorer for the hosts, the visitors had a total of five players net at least 11 points in the rout. Conger leads the team in scoring this season with his 14.5 ppg, and he is also tops on the glass with 7.6 rpg and first with 37 assists. As someone who has a nose for the ball in the paint, Conger might be wise to abandon his dream of being a 3-point threat since he is shooting just 28.6 percent out on the perimeter. Chris Johnson and Eric Mosley are the other two double-digit scorers for the program with 13.3 and 10.4 ppg, respectively.
Maybe the Rams didn't need another blowout win in order to realize that they are a tough bunch. Perhaps a close call was in order for them to understand that not every game would be easy, which is why the four-point win against UTEP wasn't such a bad thing after all. Greg Smith finished with 18 points, Colton Iverson 17 and Wes Eikmeier 12 points for the Rams, as they shot just 2-of-9 beyond the arc. Pierce Hornung was held to only five points, but he did contribute 10 rebounds and three steals otherwise. Defensively, the Rams were at it again as they held UTEP to less than 40 percent shooting from the floor, which is right in line with the effort this entire season, which has seen CSU limit the opposition to just 38.6 percent from the field and 59.2 ppg. Offensively, Iverson (14.7 ppg), Smith (12.4 ppg), Dorian Green (12.2 ppg) and Eikmeier (10.1 ppg) are all on the attack for a squad that is crushing the competition on the glass by almost 14 rebounds per game.
With Colorado State ruling the boards these days and spreading the wealth on offense, a team like the Bonnies will have a tough time keeping up with the Rams, particularly in Fort Collins.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Colorado State 69, St. Bonaventure 60
01/05 10:39:43 ET