Bonnies Host League-Leader Temple on CBS Sports Network
Game Notes: St. Bona | A-10 | Temple
Temple: Roster | Schedule & Results | Statistics
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St. Bonaventure (13-9, 6-4), winners of eight straight home games, hosts league-leader rv/rv Temple (19-5, 8-2) in a "White Out" game televised nationally by CBS Sports Network.
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 posted 21 points and 23 rebounds to mark the school's first 20-20 double -double on record since Bob Lanier's 34-and-27 Dec. 22, 1967, as St. Bonaventure (13-9, 6-4) defeated Duquesne (14-10, 5-5) 69-48 at the Reilly Center. Nicholson's effort on the glass ranks as the third-best single-game total in school history behind 27-, 24-, and 23-rebound games from Lanier, a member of the Naismith Hall of Fame. The Mississauga, Ont. native joins Bona basketball icons Lanier, Glen Price (21-20) and Essie Hollis (21) as the only other players in school history to grab 20 or more boards in a single game.
SBU concludes its three-game homestand Saturday against Rhode Island in the back end of a double header as the nationally-ranked women's squad hosts Xavier. Both Bona squads will honor their seniors prior to the games.
Player of the Year?
Don't look now, but Andrew Nicholson is surging in the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year race. After seeing his production dip slightly (14.3ppg/6.9rpg) in the non-conference season, the senior now ranks among the league's best in scoring (15.9, 7th) and rebounding (7.1, 10th) - one of just three players on both lists - while shooting 61 percent from the floor and nearly 80 percent from the line.
Temple: Last Time Out
Ramone Moore scored 30 points, and Micheal Eric had 11 points and 16 rebounds to lead Temple to its eighth straight win, 85-72 over Xavier on Saturday night. Khalif Wyatt scored 18 points and helped the Owls (19-5, 8-2 Atlantic 10 Conference) build a 21-point lead in the first half and remain in first place in the conference. The Owls dominated from the start in a matchup between two of the perennial powers in the Atlantic 10. The Musketeers, playing for the fourth time in five games on the road, entered only a half-game behind the Owls in the conference standings. Tu Holloway scored 23 points and Mark Lyons added 15 for Xavier (16-9, 7-4).
When Last They Met
No. 19/23 Temple (12-3, 3-0 A-10) used a 32-11 run to end the first half and maintained the lead from there in an 83-55 win over St. Bonaventure (9-6, 1-1) Jan. 12, 2011 at the Liacouras Center. Temple had all five starters in double figures. Ramone Moore led all scorers with 19, Scootie Randall was 6-of-6 from the line en route to 17 points and Lavoy Allen and Khalif Wyatt each added 15 in the Owls' 15th consecutive home win and 14th in a row over the Bonnies.
Where We Stand
SBU sits tied for fifth in the league standings, a half-game back of a fourth-place tie (UMass, XU), 1.5 games back of second-place SLU and a full two games back of Temple. With six games left on the Bona slate, nine teams are within three games of first place.
A-10 Co-Player of the Week
Nicholson averaged 22.5 points, 16.0 rebounds and shot 19-of-30 (63.3 percent) in a 1-1 week to capture Atlantic 10 Co-Player of the Week honors with Temple's Ramone Moore. After a 24-point, nine-rebound outing in a loss as UMass, the senior posted St. Bonaventure's first 20-20 game on record since Bob Lanier in 1967 with 21 points and a career-high 23 rebounds in a win over Duquesne at the Reilly Center. It marked the Atlantic 10's best effort on the glass since Dayton's Ryan Perryman in 1998, ranks as the second-best rebounding total in the NCAA this season (Cameron Moore – UAB, 24), and ties for the third-best rebounding game in St. Bonaventure history behind 27-, 24-, and 23-rebound games from Lanier.
Home Sweet Home
SBU has won eight straight home games this season and is 13-2 overall in its last 15 home, regular-season conference tilts since Feb. 27, 2010 vs. Rhode Island. In their nine home victories overall (9-1), the Bonnies have posted a double-digit win in all but one (Dayton, +8), including a 44-point victory over Fordham Jan. 21. SBU averages a 16.6-point win and scores 11.6 more points per game in games at the RC.
The Temple game represents the final game on the schedule against a team ranked ahead of SBU in the standings. The Bonnies play the league's 13th (URI) and 14th-placed (FOR) teams back to back before finshing with Charlotte (10th), Saint Joe's (t6th) and La Salle (t6th).
Crashing the Boards
While Andrew Nicholson hauled in 23 boards overall, the senior got eight on the offensive end for a career high and combined with Demitrius Conger (seven offensive) to dominate the backboard. The Bonnies totaled a season-high 21 offensive rebounds, the most since 24 against Canisius 11/29/08. It marked the seventh time under Mark Schmidt that the Bonnies snared 20+ offensive caroms.
Johnson Ranks 2nd in FT%
Chris Johnson is 46-50 from the charity stripe, good for a 92.0 percent clip, which would be second in the nation, and currently ranks second all-time at SBU. He fails to qualify for the NCAAs free throw (2.5 makes/gm – 52.5) minimum and met for the school's single-season standard (50 attempts) in the loss at UMass.
Something's Not Wright
Sophomore shooter Matthew Wright has endured a tough stretch since a 4-for-7 outing from beyond the arc Dec. 23. Since then, Wright is 6-for-32 from deep including: 1-6 (Niagara); 1-7 (Duquesne); 0-5 (UMass).
That's Just Foul
Senior Andrew Nicholson has been hampered with foul trouble in three games prior to UMass, fouling out after an average of just 20 minutes played. Nicholson played a combined seven minutes in the first halves against Rhode Island (six minutes) and Saint Louis (one) after being whistled for two early infractions.
Keys to Victory
Coach Mark Schmidt has stressed three keys to the Bonnies' success on the hardwood throughout the season: Rebound; Defend; Take Care of the Ball. To that end, SBU is 10-3 when outrebounding opponents, 7-1 when holding the opposition under 40 percent from the field and 9-1 when posting fewer turnovers.
Start Me Up
Andrew Nicholson and Demitrius Conger have been staples of the Bona starting five over the past three seasons. Nicholson has started in 65 straight since missing the Dayton game as a sophomore, while Conger has started 53 straight since the beginning of his second season.
Fine From the Line
The Bonnies rank 18th nationally in free throw percentage at 75.6 percent (357-472), and are one of three A-10 teams inside the nation's top 20. SBU has shot more free throws that its opponent in 12 of its 13 wins this season.
1,800 and Counting
With his 14 points in the win over Richmond, Andrew Nicholson became just the sixth player in school history to crack the 1,800-point barier (1,835). The senior also secured his 750th rebound (767). He is on pace for 5th place on both historical charts with 1,949 points and 818 caroms by the end of the regular season.
Against the Grain
Three Bona players scored 10 or more points in the win over Duquesne, the 13th time this season that three or more players have cracked double digits for SBU. The Bonnies are 12-1 in those games, with the only loss being the Saint Louis game.
Closing it Out
The Bonnies got off to a tough 3-4 start to the season, and let late leads slip away in three of those four losses (Cleveland State, Arkansas State, Illinois). Following the Canisius game, however, St. Bonaventure has closed the door on the opposition - winning its last nine games when holding a lead with 4:00 minutes to play (13-3).
Blowing the Doors Off
The Bonnies' 44-point margin of victory vs. Fordham is the biggest ever in conference play for SBU and just the second time with a 40+ point victory within the A-10. The other two biggest margins of victory have both come against Rhode Island: 1/29/00 (40, 84-44); 1/21/01 (36, 91-55).
He's a Hunter, That Gathers
Freshman guard Jordan Gathers had a breakout performance against Fordham, posting 12 points on 5-of-7 FGs (2-4 from 3) while grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out three assists in 20 minutes. The Los Angeles, Calif. native booked career highs in each of those categories and stepped out of a 1-for-14 shooting funk to start his career.
YOU So Good
Freshman C Youssou Ndoye (YOU-sue EN-doy) used two dunks and went 3-of-3 from the line to record a career-high nine points (3-4 FGs) at Xavier. The Dakar, Senegal native was also active in the OT win over URI with a dunk, drawn charge, block, steal and rebound in the final 77 seconds.
Andrew Nicholson's 30-point, 13-rebound, six-block effort against Dayton was just the third 30+/10+/5+ game in the nation over the last two seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information Senior Researcher Jason McCallum. He's the first Atlantic 10 player to do it since Ahmad Nivins in 2008. The last "Power 6" conference player with a 30-10-5 game? Kevin Durant. It marked his sixth career 30-point game (first this season), seventh career game with five or more blocks (first since 5 @UMass 1/20/10), and 20th career double-double (third this season).
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 43.7 percent of SBU's points (655-1,498) – the largest percentage of a team's points by Canadian players in the nation.
Let Me Upgrade Ya
There's no debating that the Bonnies (RPI: 88) have significantly upgraded the schedule - and the program - during Mark Schmidt 's tenure. By comparison, SBU ended the 2006-07 season (prior to the Schmidt era) ranked 278th in the RPI.
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.