College hoops action on Wednesday evening and a pair of Atlantic 10 teams will square off as the St Joe’s Hawks will pay a visit to Rose Hill Gymnasium in the Bronx, New York to grapple with the Fordham Rams. The Hawks enter this contest off an 85-73 home win over UMass to move to 5-7 in league play, while the Rams are now at 4-8 within the Atlantic 10 after topping Duquesne on the road by a score of 80-57. The Hawks won the first meeting between these teams by a score of 68-46.
Hawks End Slide By Pounding UMass
It has been a real struggle for the Hawks of late, but they are hoping that an 85-73 home win over Umass will get them going so that they can build momentum for the A-10 Tournament. They really needed the win over UMass as they had lost their previous five games in a row. The offense really woke up in that game as they scored 85 against the Minutemen, after averaging just 64.4 ppg during their five-game losing streak. The Hawks hit a healthy 46.2% of their shots from the field overall, including 37.0% of their shots from long range, plus they committed just seven turnovers in the game while forcing 13. Leading their attack in the game was Taylor Funk (12.6 ppg), who had 22 points, while James Demery (17.3 ppg) had 18 and Shavar Newkirk (17.1 ppg) had 13 to round out their double-digit scorers in the game. The defense was not great against the Minutemen as they allowed them to hit 45.2% of their shots from the field overall, including 56% of their shots from long range. The difference in the game was the turnovers and the fact that the Hawks outscored the Minutemen 15-3 at the charity stripe. St Joe’s has allowed 81.7 ppg over their last three games, but they will be taking on a very poor offense in this one. The Hawks have averaged 73.7 ppg and have allowed 72.3 ppg in league play this year.
St Joe’s has been below average on offense so far as they enter this contest ranked 197th in the nation in scoring, putting up 73.3 ppg, while also ranking 331st in shooting (40.9%), 306th in 3-point shooting (32.1%) and 309th in free throw shooting (66.8%). At the defensive end of the court, they have been below average as well as they enter this contest ranked 228th in the nation in points allowed, giving up 74.0 ppg, while also ranking 139th in defensive FG% (43.2%) and 247th in 3-point defense (35.9%).
Rams Crush Duquesne On The Road
The Fordham Rams started out league play at just 1-7, but they have been playing much better of late as they come into this game having won three of their last four games. They come into this game off a very nice and surprising 80-57 road win over the Duquesne Dukes. This is the worst offensive team in the league, but they were able to hang 80 points on the Dukes and they did so on 59.5% shooting from the field overall, including 44.4$ of their shots from long range, plus they hit 22 of their 26 attempts from the free throw line. This was their best overall offensive performance of the year and they look to keep it going against a St Joe’s team that has struggled on defense of late. Leading their attack in the win was Ivan Raut (9.1 ppg), who had 25 points, while Will Tavares (14.0 ppg) had 25 and Prokop Slanina (12.0 ppg) and Perris Hicks (7.5 ppg) each had 13 in the game. The defense has really led the team this year and that defense was very strong against the Dukes as they allowed them to hit just 31.7% of their shots from the field overall, including just 16.7% of their shots from long range. The Dukes were just four of 24 from long range in the game. The Rams need their defense to play well as the offense just hasn’t been good this year. The Rams have averaged 60.8 ppg and have allowed 70.2 ppg in their league games thus far.
The Rams have been very poor on offense so far as they come into this game ranked 347th in the nation in scoring, putting up just 62.8 ppg, while also ranking 319th in shooting (41.4%), 342nd in 3-point shooting (29.8%) and 195th in free throw shooting (70.5%). At the defensive end of the court, they have been very solid as they have allowed just 68.6 ppg, which is 82nd in the nation, while also ranking 195th in defensive FG% (44.0%) and 90th in 3-point defense (33.2%).
St Joe’s is:
- 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games following an ATS win
- 2-5 ATS in their last seven road games
- 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record
- The home team is 8-3 ATS the last 11 games in this series
The Fordham Rams have had a really bad year so far, but they have been playing better of late as they have won three of their last four games, while the Hawks have won just one of their last six games. Can Fordham keep it going? I think they cane. Their offense is not that good at all, but they have a decided edge on defense, especially at home where they have allowed just 66.4 ppg, while the Hawks have given up 79.3 ppg on the road. The Rams are playing with confidence right now, especially after blasting Duquesne on the road and I look for them to take this one outright.