Fordham (9-15) at Saint Louis (21-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 18th, 4:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Chaifetz Arena (10,600) -- St. Louis, Missouri. Television: None. Home Record: Fordham 8-4, Saint Louis 13-1. Away Record: Fordham 1-11, Saint Louis 5-4. Neutral Record: Fordham 0-0, Saint Louis 3-0. Conference Record: Fordham 2-9, Saint Louis 9-3. Series Record: Saint Louis leads, 6-1.
GAME NOTES: The Fordham Rams go for just their second road win of the season, their first against an Atlantic 10 Conference foe, as they challenge the Saint Louis Billikens at Chaifetz Arena this afternoon.
Fordham, which is six games under .500 on the season, has come up empty on the road versus six A-10 opponents thus far, the most recent of those setbacks taking place on Wednesday night at Duquesne in a 77-67 final. The loss was the fourth in a row and the sixth in seven games for the Rams, who are now a disappointing 2-9 in conference play and second from the bottom in the standings.
All the way at the other end are the Billikens who carry a 9-3 conference record into the weekend, good enough for second in the A-10 behind only Temple which is 9-2. Saint Louis was last in action three nights ago as well as it topped Richmond at home in a 64-50 final. The win was the fifth in a row and the eighth in nine tries for the program.
With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the hardwood, the Billikens are ahead by a count of 6-1, winning four straight over the Rams including a 68-55 final at the IZOD Center in New Jersey last January.
The Rams got just seven points from their bench at Duquesne earlier this week, but with four starters scoring in double figures they at least gave themselves a fighting chance against the Dukes. Chris Gaston registered a double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds, but he shot just 9-of-24 from the floor, while Alberto Estwick added 11 points and both Branden Frazier and Bryan Smith chipped in 10 points apiece, as the team shot just 36.1 percent from the field and 6-of-24 beyond the arc. In conference play this season, the Rams are generating just 63.1 ppg, shooting only 37.7 percent from the field and 30.1 percent beyond the arc. The competition has connected on 40.7 percent out on the perimeter and that has allowed Fordham opponents to generate 76.5 ppg. Gaston is responsible for 16.6 ppg and 8.9 rpg which both pace the Rams in conference action.
One of the toughest defenses in the nation, the Billikens held Richmond to just nine made baskets in the first and second halves last week, the Spiders finishing at just 35.3 percent from the floor and a dismal 1-of-15 on the perimeter three nights ago. Offensively, Saint Louis was paced by backup Cody Ellis who tallied 14 points, followed by Kwamain Mitchell and Mike McCall with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Perhaps the biggest surprise for the Billikens was that they were able to win even with leading scorer Brian Conklin (14.3 ppg) shooting 1-of-6 from the field and finishing with five points before fouling out. Mitchell (11.8 ppg) and Ellis (10.6 ppg) are also important pieces to the offensive puzzle for the Billikens as they generate more than 69 ppg, but permit a mere 56.5 ppg on the season.
As long as Saint Louis controls the tempo, something that shouldn't be too difficult at home, the Rams will have a tough time trying to put points on the board today.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Saint Louis 67, Fordham 51
02/18 10:32:26 ET