St. Bonaventure Men's Basketball Game Preview: Buffalo Bulls
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Complete Game Notes (PDF)
St. Bonaventure plays its second rivalry game of the week Saturday afternoon when it visits Buffalo for a Big 4 game. The Bonnies and Bulls are both 4-2 coming off wins on Wednesday, and both are high-scoring teams.
• The Bonnies are 4-2 despite Jaylen Adams not playing yet due to a sprained left ankle. 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 to fill the void. Mobley ranks 27th nationally in scoring at 21.8 points per game; he led the Bonnies with 22 points in the win at Siena Wednesday. Like Adams, Mobley was named to the Atlantic 10's preseason first team All-Conference.
• With Adams out, defense and ball control have been critical to early-season success. The Bonnies lead the A-10 in scoring defense (64.7 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (.408), and are 11th nationally with a +6.2 turnover margin.
• Last weekend in Niceville, Fla., the Bonnies went 1-1 in the Emerald Coast Classic, falling to unbeaten TCU in the championship game. St. Bonaventure reached the final with a win over Maryland, handing the highly-regarded Terps their first loss. Both Matt Mobley and Izaiah Brockington were named to the All-Tournament Team.
• 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 170.
St. Bonaventure vs. Buffalo: The Last Meeting
Dec. 3, 2016 at Reilly Center: Bonnies 90, Bulls 84
Jaylen Adams led St. Bonaventure to the win, scoring 28 points and adding eight assists, four rebounds and four steals as the Bonnies won their fourth in a row. St. Bonaventure had to sweat out this win, however. The Bonnies led 48-35 at halftime and were up 83-72 with 2:16 left before Buffalo began to rally. With a flurry of three-point shots, the Bulls closed to within 86-84 on a Blake Hamilton long range jumper with 25 seconds left. Idris Taqqee made two free throws with 22 seconds remaining to give the Bonnies breathing room, and the Bulls then turned the ball over on their final possession. Adams had plenty of help in this one as four of his teammates scored in double figures. Idris Taqqee scored 16 points, Denzel Gregg finished with 14, David Andoh 12 and Josh Ayeni 10. Matt Mobley finished with nine points and six assists.
This is the eighth straight year the Big 4 rivals have met. The Bonnies have won the past three meetings and six of the seven games played since 2010, and hold a 9-2 lead in the series.
• Buffalo is 4-2 with its only two losses to high-caliber opponents, Cincinnati (73-67) and South Dakota State (94-80). The Bulls' scoring average of 85 points per game ranks 40th nationally, and their attack is balanced with five players averaging in double figures led by guard CJ Massinburg at 18.8 points per game at forward Nick Perkins at 17.2.
• Wednesday, UB demolished Niagara 106-87 in Lewiston.behind 25 points from Massinburg and 23 points apiece from Jeremy Harris and Dontay Caruthers. The Bulls shot 58 percent from the field including 12-28 from long range.
• The three-point shot is a primary focus, as UB is averaging better than 10 per game and shooting 35 percent from long range as a team. Massinburg shots 42 percent from deep.
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 has applied to the Bonnies' commitment to defense. The Bonnies lead the A-10 in scoring defense (64.7 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (.408), holding four of their six opponents under 62 points including Maryland (61). St. Bonaventure has also limited three opponents under 40 percent from the field.
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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