January 4, 2013

Bonnies Conclude Non-Conference Schedule At Colorado State

 St. Bonaventure (7-5) @ -/RV Colorado State (12-2)
Saturday, Jan. 5 | 4:30 PM (EST) | Moby Arena (8,745)
Game Notes: St. Bona | Colorado State | Atlantic 10
Twitter: @BonniesMBB | #Bonnies
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Opening Tip
St. Bonaventure looks to stop a two-game losing streak and conclude its non-conference schedule with a win at Colorado State, which is Receiving Votes in the ESPN/USA Today Poll. The Bonnies have dropped consecutive games by 19 points each after winning their two games before that by 40 and 35 points, respectively. Only one previous time in the Mark Schmidt era (now in its sixth season) has a Bonaventure team lost three straight non-league contests, and that came Dec. 15-30, 2007, during Schmidt's first year at the helm of SBU. Under Schmidt's watch, the Brown and White has won its non-conference finale in four of the last five years, with the lone loss coming at Marshall during the 2009-10 campaign.

Last Time Out
The hot perimeter shooting of Iona proved too much for St. Bonaventure to overcome as the Gaels raced to a 93-74 victory on Monday afternoon at the Reilly Center. Senior Demitrius Conger posted a season-high 26 points – one of tying his career high – and added a game-high-tying eight rebounds for the Bonnies. Bonaventure was dealt its first home loss in six games this season and suffered back-to-back losses for the first time on the year. The loss was also just the second in the last 17 regular-season games at the RC.

Conger Nearing Rarified Air
Conger is closing in on 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 200 assists for his career. The senior enters the game against Colorado State with 966 points, 530 rebounds and 194 assists. Conger's career high for assists is eight, which he did against Massachusetts in the A-10 Semifinal last year.

The only other St. Bonaventure players to reach 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 200 assists are Ahmad Smith, who registered 1,261 points, 536 rebounds and 245 assists from 2002-2006, and David Vanterpool, who posted 1,474 points, 630 rebounds and 401 assists from 1991-95. Additionally, Conger needs just 31 more steals to reach 100 thefts in his career. If the Brooklyn native were to get to that milestone, he would join Vanterpool as the only two players in St. Bonaventure history with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 200 assists and 100 steals.

History With Colorado State
This will be the third all-time meeting between St. Bonaventure and Colorado State. The most recent contest came during the 1999-2000 season at Pepperdine University's Sparkletts Invitational as the Bonnies claimed a 64-54 win. They would go on to win the tournament with a 75-66 victory over Charlotte, which was not a member of the A-10 at that time. Ironically enough, that triumph over Charlotte avenged a loss to the 49ers just five days earlier as SBU had traveled to North Carolina before heading out to California.

The first meeting between the Bonnies and Rams came at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium during the 1964-65 season, an 86-81 CSU win. That loss snapped a 5-0 start to the season for the Bonnies and was the second of eight games they played at the Buffalo Aud that year.

The only other Mountain West member Bonaventure has faced is Air Force, and it has defeated the Falcons both times the two teams matched up.

Scouting Colorado State
^ Colorado State is 12-2 and has won six games in a row following a 62-58 win over UTEP Wednesday night
^ The Rams have won 21 straight games at Moby Arena; their longest home winning streak in history is 22, set from 1960-62
^ CSU's +13.7 rebounding margin led the nation at the beginning of the week; the Rams have not been outrebounded in a game this year
^ The Rams are also among the country's elite in taking care of the ball as they commit just 10.9 turnovers per game, ranking 13th in the nation
^ Colorado State has made three straight postseason berths, including last year's loss in the NCAA Tournament to Murray State
^ CSU's two losses came in consecutive games at Colorado (70-61) and Illinois-Chicago (64-55)
^ The Rams were picked to finish 4th in the highly-competitive Mountain West Conference
^ Colorado State is coached by Larry Eustachy, the 2000 National Coach of the Year after leading Iowa State to the Elite 8; he took Southern Mississippi to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament last season

Tough Closing Stretch
The game against Colorado State marks the final of a difficult closing non-conference stretch for the Bonnies. SBU finishes is non-league docket with three teams which went to the NCAA Tournament last year. So far, SBU has dropped consecutive games to NC State (Sweet Sixteen) and Iona (First Round).

E For 3
Senior Eric Mosley is unquestionably the Bonnies best shooter from long range as he's knocked down 49.2 percent of his 3-point attempts this year (31-63). His 3-point shooting percentage ranks 7th nationally. No one else on the Bona roster has more than 16 makes (Chris Johnson), and Mosley has done his work from deep in just 215 minutes of action (7th most minutes on the team). His 31 3-pointers account for more than a third (37 percent) of Bonaventure's 84 3-pointers on the season. Additionally, he's the only player who has knocked down four or more 3's in a game this year, something he's done three times (4 at Canisius, 6 at Ohio, 5 at NC State).

Depth Perspective
St. Bonaventure has received scoring contributions from throughout its lineup so far this year, and for the year the SBU bench has outscored its opponents in eight of the first 12 games – including four straight – and by 100 points overall (313-213). Beginning with the Cleveland State game on Dec. 15, Bonaventure put together a stretch of three straight games in which it received 40 or more points from its bench. The 134 combined points over that three-game stretch was 43 percent of Bona's entire bench scoring this year. However, in the three games the SBU bench has been outscored by its oppositions' bench, the Bonnies have won all three games.

Uncharacteristic Defense
Since head coach Mark Schmidt took over the Bona program prior to the 2007-08 season, only three non-conference opponents in 79 games have scored 90 or more points against the Bonnies in a regulation 40-minute game. Two of those three occasions have come in the last two games as NC State netted 92 and Iona tallied 93. The only other non-league team to score 90 or more in a regulation 40-minute game against SBU under Schmidt's watch was Mississippi State as the Bulldogs scored 105 during the 2009-10 season.

20-20 Vision
Despite averaging 74.2 points per game (top-60 nationally), the Bonnies have had only player – senior Demitrius Conger – score 20 or more points in a game this year. And that is something Conger has only done on two occasions, most recently against Iona on Monday when he scored a season-high 26. The other came versus Buffalo on Dec. 1 when he tallied 20.

Kloof, There It Is
Junior Charlon Kloof issued a career-high eight assists in Bonaventure's game against Iona on Monday afternoon, the most assists by a Bona player in a game this year. The eight assists are the most by anyone since Demitrius Conger issued the same amount in the A-10 Championship Semifinal last year against Massachusetts.

Rounding Into Form
After missing most of last season with a shoulder injury and redshirting, Michael Davenport has gradually worked his way back into the Bonaventure rotation and is making his presence felt. Through the first seven games of the season, Davenport scored in just two of them for 10 total points. Over the last five games, he has scored at least four points in each and has totaled 31 points.

Trying To Stop The Skid
The loss to Iona gave SBU consecutive losses for the first time this year and just the third time over the last two years. The Bonnies have not lost three straight games since the 2010-11 season from Jan. 12-19, and will be looking to avoid their first losing streak of three of more games entering the A-10 schedule since the 2006-07 season (eight straight losses).

More Opportunities Than Ever
St. Bonaventure attempted 70 shots in its loss Monday to Iona, representing the most field goal attempts in a 40-minute game in the Mark Schmidt era (2007-08). The last time an SBU team attempted that many field goals in a regulation 40 minutes was Feb. 3, 2007, when it put up 73 shots in a loss against Duquesne.

A Change Of Pace
For the first time in six games, the Bona starting lineup changed in its contest against Iona Monday as Michael Davenport and Jordan Gathers made their first starts of the season in place of Chris Johnson and Matthew Wright, respectively. Wright did not play at all because of a foot injury, and it marked the first time in the junior's career that he failed to play in a game. He played in all 31 games as a freshman, all 32 last year as a sophomore and had started the first 11 of this season.

Next Up
St. Bonaventure begins Atlantic 10 Conference play at George Washington Wednesday night. The Bonnies finished tied for 3rd in the league last year, earned the 4th seed in the A-10 Championship, and went on to win its first tournament title. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. from the recently renovated Charles E. Smith Center in Washington, D.C.