Men's Basketball Hosts Dayton Flyers on Wednesday
Game Notes: St. Bona | A-10 | Dayton
Dayton: Roster | Schedule & Results | Statistics
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St. Bonaventure (8-6, 1-1) returns to the Reilly Center to put its 5-1 home mark on the line against a Dayton (12-4, 2-0) team that has won seven of its last eight games.
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
Andrew Nicholson scored all 11 of his points in the second half to put the Bonnies in striking distance, but Duquesne (10-6, 1-1 Atlantic 10) responded with a 13-0 run to pull ahead en route to a 66-52 victory over St. Bonaventure (8-6, 1-1) at the Palumbo Center. The senior became the 10th player in school history to score more than 1,700 in a career (1,710 - ninth all-time) and moved to ninth on career rebounds ledger (711). Nicholson – who played six first-half minutes due to two fouls – scored on a dunk, put back and fadeaway, all before a traditional three-point play ignited SBU in the final frame. Duquesne junior guard Sean Johnson sparked the Dukes rally though, netting 15 of his game-high 17 in the second half as DU put together a decisive 13-0 response over a 4:28 span. Johnson converted back-to-back three-point plays in transition to put the Dukes in control for good.
The Bonnies travel to Xavier (10-5, 1-1) to battle the Musketeers on ESPNU at noon on Saturday. The Bonnies trail Xavier in the all-time series 23-15, including a span of 10 consecutive losses that dates back to Jan. 11, 2003.
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.
Dayton's Last Time Out
Kevin Dillard and Josh Parker scored 16 points apiece to lead five Flyers in double figures as Dayton picked up an 87-77 win over Temple at the Liacouras Center Saturday. Dillard scored all his points in the second half and Parker got his off the bench for the Flyers, who snapped Temple's 25-game win streak at the Liacouras Center. Chris Johnson recorded his second consecutive double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, Matt Kavanaugh added 14 points and Luke Fabrizius tallied 13. Down 58-53 midway through the second half after a 31-all halftime tie, Dayton used a 16-4 run to take a lead it wouldn't relinquish.
Andrew Nicholson finished with game-highs of 35 points and 11 rebounds to lead St. Bonaventure, but Dayton (16-7, 4-4 A-10) held on down the stretch to earn a hard-fought 63-61 victory at UD Arena. Nicholson drained a 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left to cut the Dayton lead down to one, before Chris Johnson made the front end of a pair of free throws to give the Flyers a two-point lead. After the miss, Nicholson's three-quarter court heave fell short as the Bonnies (11-10, 3-5) suffered their ninth straight loss to Dayton. Nicholson ignited a 9-0 run for SBU that resulted in its largest lead of the game at 32-26 just 2:45 into the second half. Josh Parker converted a pair of triple tries as the Flyers clawed back into the game and tied the score at 38 with 13:18 left.
Nicholson Moves Up
With a two-handed dunk to open the second-half scoring, Andrew Nicholson became the 10th player in St. Bonaventure basketball history to surpass the 1,700-point barrier, and now owns sole possession of ninth place (1,710). The senior also moved to ninth on the career rebounds list with 711 for his decorated career.
One More Milestone
With one more block, Andrew Nicholson will become just the second player in Bona annals with 200 or more rejections in his career. The senior owns the school's single game record (9 vs. Bucknell), and each of his three previous seasons rank among the best for shot blockers in program history. Check page 15 for the single-season and career block charts.
Back to Back vs. GW
The Bona triumph over GW marked SBU's second straight over the Colonials. The Bonnies had not defeated George Washington in consecutive contests since Jan. 3 and Feb. 11, 1989, at the very end of five game unbeaten streak against their DC foe.
Since You've Been Gone
Michael Davenport suffered a season-ending shoulder injury against Canisius and the Bonnies have benefitted from the production of Chris Johnson. In the six games Johnson has stepped up – starting with Canisius when Davenport played just four minutes – the Nova Scotia native is averaging 10.4 points in 18.6 minutes per game, setting and matching a career-high 19 points, upping his career high rebounds (6) and scoring in double figures in three straight games. His game-by game stats can be found page 9.
(Almost) Among National Leaders
Demitrius Conger is now shooting 57.4 percent from the field this season (62-108), a mark that ranks as the eighth best in school history and would tie for the 26th-best nationally this season. Chris Johnson is 27-for-29 from the charity stripe, good for a 93.1 percent clip, which would be fourth in the nation and second all-time at SBU. The catch? Niether player meets the NCAA's minimum to qualify for the free throw (2.5 makes/gm – 32.5) or field goal percentage (5 makes/gm – 65) leaderboard.
Grounded vs. The Flyers
St. Bonaventure has played a total of 106 games in the last four years, with Andrew Nicholson seeing action in all but one. The only Bonnies' game without Nicholson since the start of the 2008-09 season? Jan. 30, 2010, a 75-58 loss to Dayton, when Nicholson missed the game with illness.
Canadians Lead the U.S.
St. Bona boasts three Canadian players on its roster in Andrew Nicholson (Mississauga, Ontario), Matthew Wright (Toronto) and Chris Johnson (North Preston, Nova Scotia). The trio have combined for 43.3 percent of SBU's points (401-926) – the largest percentage of a team's points by Canadian players in the nation.
Demitrius Conger's 27-point, 11-rebound effort against Niagara marked his fifth career double-double and first this season. Conger leads the Bonnies in scoring at 15.8 points per game over over the Bonnies' last five for SBU and is just .8 of a point behind Andrew Nicholson for the team scoring lead overall. The junior Brooklyn native has four 10+ point games five outings so far (see page 7).
Get Out Your Brooms
St. Bonaventure earned a sweep of Big Four rivals Buffalo, Canisius and Niagara for the first time in program history with its win at Niagara last week. Bona had not managed to beat all three teams in the same campaign in four prior opportunities: 1995-96 season, 96-97, 98-99, 2010-11. Note that SBU and UB have met just seven times overall, while the Bonnies have played Canisius (160) and Niagara (151) a combined 311 times.
A Dish to Pass
Charlon Kloof passed out six assists to record a career high in the win over Saint Francis. Kloof's passes led to 16 points for SBU, including a trio of 3-pointers from Matthew Wright and a layup each for Demitrius Conger and Chris Johnson. Fellow backcourt mate Eric Mosley doled out a personal-best five dimes in the Bonnies' win over Niagara.
Johnson Steps Up ... Again
Junior guard Chris Johnson matched his career-best with 19 points in a win over Loyola (Md.) Dec. 23. He posted the same total against Canisius 13 days prior with a similar stat line: 5-9 FGs with a plethora of FTs (7-8 vs. Canisius; 9-10 vs. Saint Francis). His game-best 19 points matched the margin of victory over Canisius and the North Preston, Nova Scotia product has 10+ points in four of his last five games with 10+ minutes.
Ice in His Veins
With the Bonnies trailing 65-63 and the clock running low at the Blue Cross Arena, Eric Mosely worked free for a drive down the lane and drew a two-shot foul with just 3.1 seconds to play (he made his layup, but the ball glanced off the shotclock and was ruled out of play). Mosley - a solid free throw shooter for his career – calmly stepped to the line and connected on the front end before NC State used a timeout. After the break, the junior hit nothing but net again, tying the game for the ninth time and setting the stage for NC State's miracle game-winner.
Ndoye Patrols the Paint
6-foot-11 freshman C Youssou Ndoye boasts a team-best four blocks over the last five games. The Senegal native boasts a 7-2 (86") wingspan and has been a valuable reserve in the post in his first collegiate season, even earning a start opposite then-24/22 Illinois and 7-footer Meyers Leonard.
Released the 'Hounds
The Bonnies scored 14 of the game's first 16 points against Loyola to open it up and held a double-digit lead for much of the game over a Loyola team that had won eight straight. Loyola held the Bonnies without a field goal from the 8:34 mark on and mounted a 14-4 run behind Justin Drummond's 13 second-half points to pull closer, but SBU kept it out of reach from the free throw line.
Fitting the Pieces Together
The Bona starting cast of Kloof-Wright-Conger-Cook-Nicholson is now 5-2 on the season. The Bonnies have used three different lineups to begin games this season. Check page 18 for the start chart breakdown.
Hitting the Century Mark
Andrew Nicholson played in his 100th career game against Loyola (Md.); David Messiah Capers is the Bonnies' all-time leader in games played (126). The senior also made his 100th career start at Duquesne Jan. 7.
New York, New York
Wednesday's game vs. the Flyers is seventh game in the last eight played in the state of New York for St. Bonaventure. The Duquesne contest marked the first time in six games that the Bonnies left the Empire State, a 5-1 span.
Let Me Upgrade Ya
There's no debating that the Bonnies have significantly upgraded the schedule during Mark Schmidt 's tenure. The Bonnies are just outside the top 100 nationally in strength of schedule (103) and have been beaten by opponents with an average RPI of 74. By comparison, SBU ended the 2006-07 season (prior to the Schmidt era) ranked 278th in the RPI.
It's Been How Long?
Prior to the two occasions this season (game-by-game stats p.15) Andrew Nicholson had not been held under double digits points in back-to-back games since his sophomore year (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.
It Runs in the Family
Redshirt senior Da'Quan Cook ranks third on the team at 5.4 boards per game. While at LSU, Da'Quan's uncle Greg Cook averaged 6.5 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.
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 Lee Academy (Maine) teammate, freshman Youssou Ndoye.
Simmons, Davenport Out
Marquise Simmons (achilles vs. Cornell) and Michael Davenport (shoulder vs. Canisius) each suffered season-ending injuries and will not play the rest of the year.