Bonnies Host Exhibition Against Edinboro Friday
St. Bonaventure vs. Edinboro (Exhibition)
Friday, Nov. 4, 2011 | 5 P.M. | Reilly Center (5,480)
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. - For the second year in a row, St. Bonaventure tips off its season by hosting an exhibition contest against Division II Edinboro Friday at 5 p.m.
The Bonnies defeated the Fighting Scots last season, 79-49, but Edinboro went on to close the year with a 26-4 record, a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship and a trip to the Division II NCAA playoffs. Additionally, Edinboro opens this season ranked No. 23 in the USA TODAY/ESPN Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll, and as the unanimous favorite to win the PSAC West division.
In last year's meeting, then-freshman CeCe Dixon led a trio of Bona double-figure scorers with 12 points, while Jessica Jenkins tallied 11 and Chelsea Bowker added 10. Micki Cerchiaro paced Edinboro with 19 points, the only Boro player to reach double figures. Senior Renee' Brown – a First Team All-PSAC West selection last year after averaging 11.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game – missed last season's exhibition against the Bonnies.
The all-time series between the two schools is tied at 2-2 after last year's win by the Brown and White.
St. Bonaventure returns all five starters and 92 percent of its offense from a team which went 21-12 and finished 9-5 in the Atlantic 10, advancing to its third straight Women's National Invitation Tournament. The Bonnies finished tied for 3rd in the conference – their best-ever showing in the A-10 – and won 20+ games for the third consecutive season. Bonaventure is now one of just five A-10 schools which has won 20 or more games three straight years, joining Temple, Xavier, Dayton and Duquesne.
Despite returning nearly all its scoring, St. Bonaventure was picked to finish 6th in the A-10 in preseason voting conducted by the league's 14 head coaches. Senior Megan Van Tatenhove – who enters the year as the A-10's second-leading returning scorer – was named to the preseason First Team. Classmate Jessica Jenkins – who begins the campaign just 64 made 3-pointers shy of the conference record – was tabbed to the preseason Third Team.
A challenging non-conference slate precludes the always-difficult A-10 docket as the Bonnies will face at least eight teams – possibly nine depending on tournament outcomes – which made postseason appearances last year, including three which advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.
The first test comes next Saturday, Nov. 12, as the Bonnies open the regular season by facing No. 25/RV St. John's in a rematch of a game the Red Storm won at the Reilly Center last year, 55-44.