Friday's game is part of a doubleheader with the Bonnies men's team. For ticket information, please click here.
St. Bonaventure opens the 2017-18 season at home Friday night with a meeting against Niagara, continuing the longest running series in Bonnies women's basketball history.
- St. Bonaventure leads the all-time series, 36-24, and prior to last season, had won the last nine straight meetings against Niagara. The Niagara series is the longest running in St. Bonaventure women's basketball history as Friday will mark the 61st meeting.
- The Bonnies last defeated the Purple Eagles on Dec. 23, 2015, 67-55, in the last meeting at the Reilly Center.
- Despite losing last year's matchup, the Bonnies are 65-17 against New York state opponents since the 2006-07 season, and have won 26 of their last 30 games against Big 4 rivals (Buffalo, Canisius and Niagara).
- St. Bonaventure is 25-4 against Niagara at home during the series.
- The Purple Eagles defeated the Bonnies, 65-43, at Niagara in last year's season opener. It was Niagara's first win against St. Bonaventure since 2006. The game was somewhat even up until the end of the third quarter, which ended in Niagara leading 49-33. The Purple Eagles went on to be up by as much as 21 in the fourth quarter and quickly closed the game out against the Bonnies.
- Victoria Rampado (17 points) and Tiffany Corselli (11 points) led the way for Niagara, while Gabby Richmond (13 points, 10 rebounds) and Mckenna Maycock (10 points) were the top performers for the Brown and White.
- In the 2017 MAAC Women's Basketball Preseason Poll (based on a vote by the league's 11 head coaches), the Purple Eagles were ranked ninth in the conference.
- Niagara forwards Victoria Rampado and Kaylee Stroemple were named to the Preseason All-MAAC First Team and Preseason All-MAAC Third Team.
- Rampado led the MAAC in scoring last season, averaging 16.8 PPG, as well as ranked fourth in the conference in rebounds with 7.9 rpg.Rampado became the 23rd player in Niagara women's basketball history to surpass 1,000 career points and this is the second straight season she has been named to the Preseason All-MAAC First Team.
The second year of the head coach Jesse Fleming Era begins with the return of five players who saw time a season ago - Mariah Ruff, Mckenna Maycock, Jalisha Terry, Rhianna Council and Danielle Migliore.
Any talk about the Bonnies roster begins with senior Mariah Ruff, who was named to Atlantic 10 preseason All-Conference Second Team after averaging 13.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game a season ago. Ruff enters her senior season with 935 career points and has handed out over 100 assists in each of the past two years. She needs 65 points to become the 22nd member of the Bonnies 1,000-point club.
Junior Mckenna Maycock turned in a breakout sophomore campaign and was one of the league's most improved players in 2016-17. She averaged 7.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game last year after averaging under 2.0 ppg as a freshman.
Sophomore Jalisha Terry returns as well after being one of the Atlantic 10's top freshmen last year. Terry served as the team's starting point guard nearly all of last season, recording 7.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.
Coach Fleming and his staff brought in two junior college transfers with the intention of helping the squad "get older quicker." Both Arielle Harvey and Bree Paulson were stars on the junior college scene the past two years – Harvey at Daytona State and Paulson at Western Nebraska CC. Harvey averaged over 16 points and five rebounds per game while taking first team all-conference honors last year and Paulson started 51 of 60 games the past two seasons at Western Nebraska while shooting 39 percent from long range.
The Bonnies have a quick turnaround with their second game of opening weekend taking part on the road Sunday afternoon at Siena, another non-conference foe from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
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