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Game 22 Preview: Rhode Island Rams vs St. Bonaventure Bonnies

The Rhode Island Rams get set for SNOWMAGEDDON tomorrow… and also a game. Rhody heads back to the Ryan Center following a two game road trip as they look to stop their current skid. URI has dropped five straight for the second time this season, and they need to start picking up some Ws if they’re going to sneak into the A-10 tournament in March. Let’s have a look at tomorrow’s opponent.

St. Bonaventure University
Mascot: Bonnies
Location: Allegany, New York
Conference: Atlantic 10
2012-13 Record: 10-11 (3-5)

First an important note about tomorrow’s start time. Thanks to the impending BLIZZASTER, the game has been pushed back from a 2:00 PM tip-off to 7:00 PM.

As for the Bonnies, they started off the season winning seven of their first 10 games, all of them in the non-conference portion of their schedule. But they have run into some difficulty as of late, winning just three of their last 12 games as they’ve struggled against conference opponents. The Bonnies do have two big road wins against Temple and St. Joe’s, but they were smoked by both Butler and George Washington. St. Bonaventure is also 0-2 against teams named the Rams this season, falling to both Colorado State and VCU. After the Runnin’ Rams, the Bonnies still have the Fordham Rams on their schedule.

Projected Starting Lineups

St. Bonaventure
G: Eric Mosley, Sr, #2, 5’10″, 170
G: Jordan Gathers, So, #5, 6’3″, 200
F: Chris Johnson, Sr, #23, 6’5″, 205
F: Demitrius Conger, Sr, #11, 6’6″, 205
C: Youssou Ndoye, So, #35, 7’0″, 235

Rhode Island
G: Mike Powell, So, #1, 5’11″, 175
G: Xavier Munford, Jr, #5, 6’2″, 180
G: Andre Malone, Sr, #12, 6’6″, 210
F: Nikola Malesevic, Sr, #23, 6’7″, 200
C: Jordan Hare, Fr, #4, 6’10″, 205

Is there such thing as a basketball triple crown? If so, Demitrius Conger would capture it for St. Bonaventure. The senior forward leads the Bonnies in points (14.3 per game), rebounds (6.8) and assists (2.7). Conger is the clear star of this SBU squad, so a combination of Nikola Malesevic and Alwayne Bigby will have to keep him contained.

The good news for Rhody is that St. Bonaventure isn’t that great of a rebounding team. The Bonnies average just half a rebound better per game (32.5 to 32.0) than the Rams, so Rhody has a chance to win the rebounding battle. Boards have been key for URI since the first game of the season, and if they can out-rebound SBU they’ll have a great shot to come away with a win.

Unfortunately, it likely won’t come in front of a large crowd. Even with the start time pushed back, SNOWSPLOSION may keep a majority of fans away from the Ryan Center tomorrow night. But if the Rams can come away with a win, it might make the shoveling a little more pleasant for Rhody fans.

Tags: Basketball Rhode Island Rams St. Bonaventure Bonnies

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