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The Virginia Commonwealth Rams host the Bonnies of St. Bonaventure Saturday in Atlantic 10 hoops action. The Rams are 12-5 overall and 2-2 in the conference while the Bonnies are 11-5 overall and 3-0 in the conference. VCU destroyed the Bonnies last year by 30 points. Tipoff is Saturday at 2:00 p.m. ET at the Stuart Siegel Center in Richmond, Virginia.
St. Bonaventure improves to 4-0 in A10St. Bonaventure improved to 12-5 overall and a perfect 4-0 in the A10 after a 74-61 win over UMass. Kyle Lofton led the Bonnies with 19 points and six assists. Dominick Welch had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds while Jaren EnglishandBobby Planutis each scored 12 points apiece. The Bonnies shot 44 percent from the field and held UMass to 37 percent shooting. They out rebounded UMass 37-30.
"I thought UMass was a team that pressed and shot the 3 really well. Mitchell is a load inside, but we had a good job in the press and the 3-point line. We kept the ball out of transition, they had one fast break point. We were able to rebound and take care of the basketball and that's why we won," coach Mark Schmidt said, reported Bonnie's basketball. "We had contributions from a number of guys. Osun was in foul trouble, Amadi fouled out and Rob came in and gave us a lift. AJ did a really good job in the second half. We did what we needed to do to beat a good UMass team."
Rams fall to No. 13 DaytonThe VCU Rams faced a tough task Tuesday when they took on No. 13 ranked Dayton Flyers. The Rams kept it close in the first half, trailing 38-33 at halftime. But Dayton went on a 22-0 run over a six-minute stretch in the second half to blow it wide open. The Flyers wound up winning 79-65. Bones Hyland and De'Riante Jenkins each had 16 points to lead VCU. Marcus Evans added 13 points while forward Marcus Santos-Silva chipped in with 12 points, nine rebounds, and two blocked shots.
VCU shot 42 percent from the floor while Dayton shot 50 percent. VCU only made 3 of 20 from three-point range, shooting 15 percent. Dayton made 20 of 25 free throws while VCU made only 10 of 17. Dayton outrebounded VCU 37-31 but VCU forced 20 turnovers while only committing 15 themselves. VCU had 9 steals. The loss dropped their record to 12-5 and 2-2 in the Atlantic 10. It was their second straight loss in the conference, also losing to Rhode Island.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Take VCU here to cover. The Rams are 2-2 in the conference, but they have played a tougher conference schedule than the Bonnie's have so far. They have played the 71st toughest schedule thus far, while St. Bonaventure has the 156th hardest schedule. Their two losses are to No. 13 ranked Dayton and 3-1 Rhode Island. The truth is, VCU has a higher Kenpom ranking at No. 51, while the Bonnie's are ranked No. 117. The Rams have only lost twice at home this year. I think they end the Bonnie's unbeaten streak in the conference and they will cover the spread here.
Prediction: Virginia Commonwealth
Full-Game Total Pick
Take the under in this one. These are two very good defensive teams. VCU ranks No. 86 in defensive efficiency while St. Bonaventure ranks No. 56. Since the conference schedule started, VCU has given up more than 70 points only once, and that was to No. 13 Dayton. They held URI to 65, George Mason to 59, and Fordham to 46. Add to that the fact that the Bonnies play a very slow down game. They rank 329th in pace of play. I expect the Bonnies will slow it down here to keep it close on the road against a good to me. To me, it all adds up to another low-scoring game -- played in the under.