St. Bonaventure Men's Basketball Game Preview: Saint Joseph's Hawks
Saturday night in Philadelphia, the Bonnies will look to bounce back from a loss at Dayton when they take on Saint Joseph's in the first of a home-and-home series with the Hawks.
• St. Bonaventure's 11-3 start is its best mark to open a season since 1999-00, when Jim Baron's club started with 12 wins in its first 14 games. The Bonnies' 11 wins are tied for fifth-most in NCAA Division I.
• A program which prides itself on toughness has a 4-1 record in true road games. The Bonnies are in a stretch that has them on the road for four out of five A-10 games.
• After playing the first six games this season without senior point guard Jaylen Adams, the Bonnies got him back on Dec. 2 at Buffalo. He shook of the rust quickly and is averaging 19.5 points and 5.5 assists per game. He has already earned A-10 Player of the Week honors three times. 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.
• Adams' backcourt partner Matt Mobley is averaging 18.7 points per game; combined, the duo average 38.2 points per game and are shooting .406 from three-point range.
• Defense and turnovers have been critical to early-season success. The Bonnies lead the A-10 in field goal percentage defense (.411) and three-point defense (.295) and rank second in scoring defense (67.4 ppg). In addition, their +4.4 turnover margin is 18th 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 10.4 points per game off the bench. He drew a charge in the waning seconds of OT to preserve the win at Syracuse Dec. 22.
• Prior to the Dayton loss, the Bonnies' eight-game winning streak was the program's longest since since the 1970-71 team opened the year 8-0.
Saint Joseph's Notes:
• Wednesday in Philadelphia, the Hawks topped VCU in overtime, 87-81, behind 19 points from freshman Taylor Funk. The win evening Saint Joseph's A-10 record at 1-1; the Hawks opened conference action with a 70-64 loss at George Washington.
• Senior wing James Demery (16.9) and junior guard Shavar Newkirk (16.7) lead the Hawks in scoring, while Funk averages 14 points per game. Funk has made 41 three-pointers and shoots 45 percent from deep.
• For the second year in a row, injuries have impacted Saint Joseph's as starting guard Lamarr Kimble and forward Charlie Brown are both out.
St. Bonaventure vs. SJU: The Last Meeting
Feb. 22, 2017 at Hagan Arena: Bonnies 83, Hawks 77
Matt Mobley scored 31 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead St. Bonaventure to an 83-77 win. The win completed a sweep of the season series but, more importantly, kept the Bonnies (17-10/9-6) in fifth place in the Atlantic 10 with three games remaining in the regular season. Mobley's backcourt mate, Jaylen Adams, scored 17 points and handed out nine assists. The Bonnies led 40-36 at halftime before the Hawks took a one point lead early in the second half. St. Bonaventure, however, took control with a 9-5 run that ended with the visitors ahead 72-62 with 4:32 left. Mobley's third 30-point game of the season was highlighted by 20 points in the first half. Denzel Gregg scored 12 points and David Andoh added 11 for St. Bonaventure.
This will be the 73rd meeting between these long time Atlantic 10 rivals. The Hawks hold a 47-25 lead in the series, but the Bonnies have won the last seven meetings. The first-ever meeting between the schools was in 1958.
All-America candidate Jaylen Adams missed the first six games of the season due to a sprained left ankle which he suffered in the exhibition game against Alfred (N.Y.) on Nov. 4. That meant the Bonnies' dynamic backcourt duo had to wait until Dec. 2 to be reunited. As Adams has worked his way back to 100 percent, the Adams-Matt Mobley pairing has started to look and perform like they did last season. Dec. 30, they combined for 60 points -- the most they have scored in one game together -- in a win over UMass.
Adams & Mobley Statistics:
PPG Assists Steals 3-PT% FT%
38.2 8.5 3.1 .406 .850
Adams Named A-10 Player of Week Three Times
It has not taken very long for Jaylen Adams to return to form. He has been named the Atlantic 10 Conference basketball Player of the Week three times (Dec. 10, Dec. 26 and Jan. 2). Most recently, he earned the award after scoring 32 points with seven assists in the Dec. 30 win over UMass.
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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