St. Bonaventure Men's Basketball Game Preview: Northeastern Huskies
Date: Wednesday, Dec. 20
Location: Bob Lanier Court at the Reilly Center
Records (RPI ratings)
St. Bonaventure 8-2 (55) | Northeastern 7-4 (118)
Bonnies Statistics | Huskies Statistics
Video (premium only): A-10 Network / GoBonnies.com
* How To Subscribe to the A-10 Network to watch
Radio: WPIG 95.7 FM with Gary Nease and Don Scholla
- Salute to Service Night
- Free Bonnies Basketball (Salute to Service) Adidas T-Shirt w/ticket purchase in student end-zone bleachers
- $7 Kids tickets with a paying adult
Complete Game Notes (PDF)
Two teams on five-game winning streaks collide on Wednesday when St. Bonaventure hosts Northeastern at the Reilly Center. The Bonnies come off a dramatic, last-second win over Vermont while the Huskies topped Kent State on the road Monday night.
• The Bonnies' five game win streak matches their longest streak of last season. A victory over Northeastern would give St. Bonaventure its longest winning streak since 1999-00, when the Bonnies won six in a row between Dec. 30 and Jan. 15.
• St. Bonaventure's 8-2 start is its best under 11th-year coach Mark Schmidt. The last time a Bonnies team opened 8-2 was in 2001-02.
• After playing the first six games this season without senior point guard Jaylen Adams, who sprained his left ankle in the exhibition game Nov. 4, the Bonnies got him back on Dec. 2 at Buffalo. He shook of the rust quickly and is averaging 17.8 points and 6.5 assists per game. He earned A-10 Player of the Week honors Dec. 10. Already one of the most accomplished players in the program's history, Adams was 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 four games of 20+ points already and is averaging 17.9 points per game. He made the game-winning three-pointer as time expired against Vermont. 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 rank second in the A-10 in field goal percentage defense (.412) and third in three-point defense (.305) and scoring defense (66.1 ppg). In addition, their +5.2 turnover margin is 13th best nationally.
• 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 11.6 points per game off the bench.
This is just the third meeting between the schools and the series is tied at 1-1. The first game was on Dec. 29, 1983, at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester as part of the Kodak Classic. The Bonnies lost to the Huskies 87-72 in the title game. The other meeting was the 1999-00 season opener on Nov. 19 at the Reilly Center. Bona's took a 65-61 win.
Adams Back, Three-Point Efficiency Soars
As you would expect, Jaylen Adams' return to the lineup has helped the Bonnies' three-point shooting. The past two games, that efficiency was at its peak, as St. Bonaventure made 15 of 27 (55 percent) from behind the arc. The hot streak improved the team's three-point percentage to .382 for the season, which is second-best in the Atlantic 10.
Winning The Turnover Battle
With an impressive turnover margin of +5.2, St. Bonaventure has been exceptional at creating turnovers as well as taking care of the ball. The Bonnies have committed fewer turnovers than their opponents in eight of their 10 games, and their turnover margin ranks 12th nationally. St. Bonaventure is also 26th in fewest turnovers at 11.4 per game and its forced turnover rate of 16.6 per game ranks 46th nationally.
• The Huskies were picked sixth in the Colonial Athletic Association preseason poll but have performed much better than that already.
• Monday in Ohio, Northeastern topped Kent State 81-69 for its fifth straight win. The Huskies made seven of their 10 three-pointers in the second half to help them pull away. Vasa Pusica scored 21 points while Shawn Occeus added 16 and Brace Bolden and Tomas Murphy scored 14 apiece. Bolden was 4-5 from long range.
• In a 10-day stretch of four straight home games ending Dec. 9, the Huskies won all four, besting Ivy League favorite Harvard 77-61, Patriot League favorite Bucknell by 18 points and finishing with a 71-67 victory over America East favorite Vermont.
• Pusica, a 6-5 guard, has been the leading scorer for the Huskies in five of the team's last seven games highlight by a career-high 27 points against Utah State and 22 against Harvard. He is averaging 15.2 points per game Donnell Gresham is the only other Husky averaging in double figures at 11 points per game, although this is a deep club with nine players averaging better than 12 minutes played per contest. Senior guard Devon Begley and junior forward Jeremy Miller both earned preseason All-Conference honorable mention honors.
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.
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