Bonnies, Canisius To Meet For 166th Time

St. Bonaventure Men's Basketball Game Preview: Canisius Golden Griffs

Date: Wednesday, Dec. 6
Time: 7:00
Location: Buffalo, N.Y.  |  Koessler Center

Records:

St. Bonaventure 5-2  |  Canisius 4-4
Bonnies Statistics   |   Griffs Statistics

Video: GoGriffs.com (ESPN3, requires login)
Radio: WPIG 95.7 FM with Gary Nease and Don Scholla
Twitter: @BonniesMBB

Complete Game Notes (PDF)


OPENING TIP

St. Bonaventure plays its third straight road game and final Big 4 game of the season Wednesday when it visits Canisius for the 166th meeting between the schools. The Bonnies look for their 100th win in the series, but more importantly aim for their sixth win of the season.

BONA-NOTEWORTHY
•  Last Saturday, the Bonnies got the welcome news of Jaylen Adams returning to the lineup for the first time. He sprained his left ankle in the Bonnies' exhibition game Nov. 4 and had not played since then. Adams had nine points in 28 minutes at Buffalo. Already one of the most accomplished players in the program's history, the two-time first team All-Conference selection is on the preseason watch list for three national player of the year awards, the Wooden Award, the Oscar Robertson Award and the Naismith Trophy.
•  Matt Mobley, the other half of the Bonnies' dynamic duo in the backcourt, has certainly done his part. Mobley ranks 19th nationally in scoring at 22.3 points per game; he has four games of 20+ points already. Like Adams, Mobley was named to the Atlantic 10's preseason first team All-Conference.
•  Defense and ball control have been critical to early-season success. The Bonnies lead the A-10 in scoring defense (64.3 ppg), field goal percentage defense (.397) and three-point defense (.279) and are 14th nationally with a +5.6 turnover margin.
•  Among the Bonnies' early-season wins were an impressive two-point decision over Maryland and last Saturday's 11-point victory at Buffalo, who was ahead of the Bonnies in the RPI.
•  Courtney Stockard's story is much more than just a game-winner against Maryland. The 22-year old redshirt junior missed all of the last two seasons due to foot injuries, leaving his career in serious doubt. He persevered, though, and is averaging 11 points per game off the bench.
•  Now in his 11th season at the helm, coach Mark Schmidt got the 250th win of his career on Nov. 20 with the victory over Maryland Eastern Shore. Schmidt led the Bonnies to consecutive 20-win seasons the past two years, and he stands second on the program's wins list with 171.

St. Bonaventure vs. Canisius: The Last Meeting
Dec. 22, 2016 at Reilly Center: Canisius 106, Bonnies 101 (OT)
St. Bonaventure came up on the short end of an NBA-type score. Matt Mobley, who scored a career high 33 points, forced OT with a three-pointer with four seconds left in regulation. In overtime, the Bonnies three times went ahead but could not hold the leads. Mobley's three-pointer with 40 seconds left gave St. Bonaventure a 101-100 edge, but Kiefer Douse answered with a layup with 25 seconds remaining. Mobley missed a pair of three-point shots in the closing seconds and the Griffs sealed the win with free throws. Jaylen Adams fouled out of the game with 4:03 left in regulation. Three-point shooting propelled Canisius (8-5), which made 15 of 38 (39.5 percent) of their shots from long range. Senior forward David Andoh scored a career high 18 points for the Bonnies and Denzel Gregg added 15 points.

Series History
St. Bonaventure has met Canisius more than any other opponent -- 165 times -- and holds a 99-66 advantage in the series. The schools have played at least once per season every year since 1947.

Canisius Notes:
• Canisius enters Wednesday's game winner of three of its last four games and with a 2-0 mark at the Koessler Center. The Griffs' last game was a 73-60 home win over Dartmouth on Saturday.
• The Griffs average almost 74 points per game spread out among its regulars, with four players averaging in double figures led by senior power forwaard Jermaine Crumpton at 15.3 points per game and sophomore guard Isaiah Reese at 15.1  Freshman swingman Takal
Molson (11.5) and guard Spencer Foley (1.5) also average in double figures.
• Almost half of Canisius' field goal attempts have come from three-point range. The Griffs shoot 36 percent as a team from deep led by Foley (48 percent) and Reese (45 percent).

Getting It Done With Defense
The team's motto during the pre-season was "Let's Get To It" -- a reference to the work required in order to meet high expectations. Now six games into the season, that term also applies to the Bonnies' commitment to defense. The Bonnies lead the A-10 in scoring defense (64.3 ppg), field goal percentage defense (.397), and three-point defense (.279). They have helding five of their seven opponents under 63 points including Maryland (61). Four times, St. Bonaventure has limited its opponents to under 40 percent shooting from the field.

Mobley Off To Quick Start
Thanks to an incredibly productive junior season, Matt Mobley went from a virtual unknown to a star, All-Conference player Mobley's 18.5 points per game average ranked fourth-best in the A-10, and he also averaged 5.8 rebounds per game. Mobley made 86 three-pointers at a .379 clip. Even with the added pressure of Jaylen Adams' six-game absence, Mobley has gotten off to a great start to 2017-18. He leads the Atlantic 10 and ranks 19th nationally in scoring at 22.3 points per game, scoring at least 16 points in every game with four 20+ point games. Mobley also leads the Bonnies in assists. He now has 19 games of 20 points or more in 36 career games at St. Bonaventure. After averaging 17 points per game with seven assists in the Emerald Coast Classic, he was named the the All-Tournament Team.

Griffin Making Most Of Opportunity
LaDarien Griffin's journey to becoming a regular contributor is similar to many past St. Bonaventure players. He started his college career as an unfinished product who had to work his way into the rotation. The first part of his maturation was to become stronger, and he's added 15 pounds of muscle to his 6-6 frame, now at 215 lbs. Griffin also worked to improve his shot and ballhandling. His freshman season, Griffin played in only 11 games, scoring six points. Last season, he earned time in 29 games and averaged 2.7 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. This year, Griffin has moved into the starting spot at power forward and leads the Bonnies in rebounding. He already has two double-doubles, most recently Nov. 29 at Siena when he set career highs with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

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St. Bonaventure basketball tickets are available via GoBonnies.com/tickets; by calling (716) 375-2500 or in person at the St. Bonaventure ticket office in the Reilly Center between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. For the latest news on St. Bonaventure athletics, stay connected on social media. Follow the Bonnies on Twitter @Go_Bonnies and get men's basketball updates @BonniesMBB. Keep up with the Bonnies on Facebook /GoBonnies and on Instagram @GoBonnies.