Bonnies Head to Rochester to Host NC State
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St. Bonaventure (5-4) hosts NC State (6-4)at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, N.Y. in a matchup of teams that have not met since the 1970 Sweet 16.
Leading From the Front
Senior All-America candidate Andrew Nicholson is in his final season with the Bonnies. The 6-foot-9, 240-pound forward from Mississauga, Ont. has racked up some impressive accolades thus far – A-10 Rookie of the Year, First and Second Team All-Conference selections, Wooden & Naismith Award nominations – and looks to continue that trend for one last run.
Last Time Out
Demitrius Conger poured in a team-high 20 points to help St. Bonaventure (5-4) snap Loyola Maryland's eight game win streak in a 76-66 SBU victory at the Reilly Center on Sunday. The Bonnies scored 14 of the game's first 16 points to open it up and held a double-digit lead for much of the game over a Loyola (8-2) team that had won eight straight. After Andrew Nicholson's layup with 8:34 left however, Loyola held the Bonnies without a field goal for the remainder and mounted a 14-4 run behind Justin Drummond's 13 second-half points to pull closer.
Cracking the Top 10
Andrew Nicholson is just six points shy of breaking into the top 10 in career scoring and rebounding at St. Bonaventure. The 6-9 forward has totaled 1,652 points thus far and will pass Glenn Price and Rashaan Palmer (t10th at 1,657 points) with a modest scoring effort, and will move into a tie for 10th (with Bob Rozyzcko, 695) with six more rebounds as well. His current standing on the scoring and rebounding charts can be found on page 15.
Last Time in Rochester
The Bonnies fought back from an early 31-16 deficit and a 41-28 halftime differential to force overtime before falling, 76-68, at the hands of Virginia Tech (7-4) Dec. 23 in front of 5,285 fans at Blue Cross Arena. Senior Ogo Adegboye hit a 3-pointer from the top of the arc with 20 seconds remaining in regulation to knot the score at 65 and send the Bonnies to overtime for the second straight game. Despite a game-high 21 points from Andrew Nicholson, who missed time in the game due to leg cramps, VT ended the game on a 6-0 run and outscored the Bonnies 11-3 in overtime to earn the win.
Last Time They Met
The Wolfpack and Bonnies have met just once on the hardwood - during St. Bonaventure's NCAA Final Four run in 1970. St. Bonaventure earned an 80-68 victory over the Wolfpack in the Sweet 16 of that year's NCAA Championship, led by 24 points and 19 rebounds from Bona legend Bob Lanier. SBU advanced to defeat Villanova, 97-74, in the Elite 8 before falling to Jacksonville, 91-83, in the Final Four.
Conger Slows Greyhounds
Demitrius Conger erupted for 20 points – his highest output in four games – to help the Bonnies past Loyola (Md.) on Sunday. The Brooklyn native was 6-of-8 from the floor and 7-of-11 from the line and also passed out five assists across a season-best 38 minutes in the victory.
Fitting the Pieces Together
The Bona starting cast of Kloof-Wright-Conger-Cook-Nicholson improved to 3-0 in the victory over Loyola (Md.). The Bonnies have used three different lineups to begin games this season: check page 19 for the start chart breakdown.
St. Bonaventure shot 57.9 percent (22-38) from the floor for the game against Loyola (Md.), including 65.2 percent (15-23) in the first half! The Bonnies are 5-1 this season when shooting at or above 40 percent from the field (see inset chart on page 3).
Johnson Steps Up
Junior guard Chris Johnson enjoyed a career day against Canisius (Dec. 10), totaling new high-water marks in nearly every statistical category: points (19), assists(2), field goals made (5) and attempted (9), free throws made (7) and attempted (8), 3-pointers (2) and attempts (4) and minutes played (25). His game-best 19 points matched the Bonnies margin of victory over their Little 3 rival.
St. Bonaventure had new banners on display at the Reilly Center for the first time against Canisius, hanging one from the rafters for each postseason appearance, with special pennants for the 1970 Final Four and 1977 NIT Championship.
Cleaning the Glass
The Bonnies leading rebounder in each of the last seven games has been the same player: Andrew Nicholson. The senior boasts a career-best 7.9 boards per game this season and has posted double-digit caroms twice.
Hitting the Century Mark
Andrew Nicholson played in his 100th career game and made his 95th start with the Brown and White on Sunday. David Messiah Capers is the Bonnies' all-time leader in games played (126).
Don't Judge a Book…
Digging deeper into the Bonnies' 5-4 record reveals that the combined record of opponents who have defeated SBU is 33-11 (as of Sunday): Cleveland State 10-1; VT 8-3; Arkansas State 5-6; Illinois 10-1. Two of those (rv/rv Cleveland State, 19/19 Illinois) are listed among the nation's top teams.
New York, New York
St. Bonaventure is in its third game of a six-game stretch that will keep the Bonnies in the Empire State. After defeating Canisius in the RC, SBU will serve as the host team in three games over a five-day stretch, including the trip to Rochester to face NC State at the Blue Cross Arena. SBU travels to Niagara Dec. 30 before concluding the travel-friendly span Jan. 4 against GW to open conference play.
Andrew Nicholson rejected four shots in back-to-back games at Cleveland State and Siena, and already owns three of the school's highest single-season block totals (see page 15). He is now just three rejections away from becoming the second player in school history with 200 or more.
Ndoye Draws a Start
Freshman C Youssou Ndoye, a 6-foot-11 Senegal native, earned his first career start against 24/22 Illinois. Ndoye helped limit Big 10 Player of the Week Meyers Leonard to just three shots, while logging 11 minutes of game action.
No. 300 for Schmidt
The win over Buffalo was Mark Schmidt's 300th game as a head coach. Schmidt first coached Robert Morris from 2001-02 to 2006-07, before joining St. Bonaventure in 2007-08.
Let Me Upgrade Ya
There's no debating that the Bonnies have significantly upgraded the schedule during Mark Schmidt 's tenure. Three of the four losses this season are to RPI top-55 teams (CSU 39, VT 55, UI 38) and the Bonnies' 77 rating in the RPI this season (as of Dec. 17) would be its lowest since an NIT campaign in 2001-02 (81).
Sophomore guards Charlon Kloof and Matthew Wright have guided SBU to a 3-1 mark since being inserted into the starting lineup against Buffalo. Wright is the team's third-leading scorer (8.9ppg) and top assist man (26) while Kloof's energy, athleticism and savvy (2:1 A/TO) give SBU a spark.
It's Been How Long?
Andrew Nicholson grabbed a game-high nine rebounds and added six points versus Arkansas State. He battled bronchitis earlier this season and went nearly two calendar years since the last time he was held under double figures in back-to-back games (2pts vs. Illinois State 11/29/09; 4pts vs. Mississippi State 12/5/09). He has not been held under double digits in three straight since his freshman season.
The Kloof is on Fire
Charlon Kloof recorded a career-high 11 points on 3-of-7 from 3-point range in the Bonnies' loss to Arkansas State. Kloof hit all of his triples in the first 20 minutes to lead all scorers at the break.
It Runs in the Family
Redshirt senior Da'Quan Cook ranks second on the team at 6.0 boards per game. While at LSU, Da'Quan's uncle Greg Cook averaged 6.55 rebounds over his 119-game career, including a trip to the 1981 Final Four. The elder Cook passed away in 2005, and Da'Quan has a large tattoo of the Sesame Street character Cookie Monster on his side in his uncle's memory.
PG Eric Mosley, who joined SBU after spending seasons at Cincinnati State and Austin Peay, recorded a career-high 17 points and hit 3-of-6 from distance against Siena. The Louisville, Ky. native has been hot from beyond the arc so far, hitting 14-of-33 (42.4 pct) overall.
House of Toupane
St. Bonaventure announced the signing of Jean Yves Toupane (Jawn two-PAIN) to a National Letter of Intent Nov. 16. The 6-foot-7 small forward from Senegal joins his fellow Lee Academy (Maine) teammate, freshman Youssou Ndoye. With long arms and good size, Toupane has the ability to shoot long range and drive towards the basket.
He's All Wright
Matthew Wright was a key factor in the Bonnies' 79-58 win over Cornell. After the Big Red held him to two points in the first half, Wright went off in the second stanza, scoring 11 points to complement a career-best seven rebounds. The Toronto product also dished out five assists to just one turnover.
Moving Up in the World
St. Bonaventure is picked to finish fourth in the league preseason poll, the highest since SBU was slotted second in the East division prior to the 2002-03 campaign. Last year, the Bonnies were picked second-to-last among 14 A-10 schools, but far exceeded expectations by finishing seventh, the biggest disparity between preseason prediction and postseason finish in the league.
Sophomore transfer Charlon Kloof has had an interesting path to St. Bonaventure. The Paramaribo, Suriname native was born in South America, moved to Holland at age four and attended JUCO in North Carolina, all before a prep year at Canarias Basketball Academy in Spain's Canary Islands.
Simmons Sees Early End
Redshirt junior Marquise Simmons suffered a torn Achilles in just his second minute of action Nov. 11 against Cornell, ending his 2011-12 season. Simmons suffered the injury while driving to the hoop and being fouled, but stayed in the game to hit both of his free throws before leaving.