St. Bonaventure Men's Basketball Game Preview: Duquesne
Date: Saturday, Feb. 3
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa. | Palumbo Center
St. Bonaventure 15-6 (5-4) | Duquesne 15-8 (6-4)
Bonnies Statistics | Dukes Statistics
TV: NBC Sports Network
Radio: WPIG 95.7 FM
Complete Game Notes (PDF)
It's February and the second half of the Atlantic 10 schedule. Winners of three in a row, the Bonnies carry some momentum into Saturday night's game at Duquesne, which will be the first of two meetings between the teams this year. The Dukes are the surprise of the Atlantic 10, sitting in fifth place at 6-4, one half game ahead of St. Bonaventure.
• Senior guard Matt Mobley comes off a career high 35 point game in Wednesday's win at George Mason; he now has 10 games of 20+ points this season. Mobley ranks fourth in the A-10 in scoring at 18.4 points per game and third in three-point field goals (3.0 per game).
• Junior guard Nelson Kaputo has played a much larger role the last three games, highlighted by a career high 20 points at George Mason as he made six three-pointers. Kaputo has scored 28 points over the last three games after scoring only 57 points over first 17 games.
• Over the last three games, the Bonnies held teams to 65-171 (.380) from the field including 15-53 (.283) from three-point range. St. Bonaventure leads the A-10 in field goal percentage defense (.415) and is second in three-point defense (.306).
• Senior point guard Jaylen Adams has earned A-10 Player of the Week honors three times already this year. He is among the A-10 leaders in scoring (17.1), assists (5.1) and three-point percentage (.456). 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.
• Adams and Mobley form one of the top backcourts in the country. The seniors combine to average 35.5 points per game and shoot .408 from three-point range.
• One of the most improved players in the Atlantic 10 is junior forward LaDarien Griffin. Last season, he averaged 2.7 points and 2.2 rebounds; this year, Griffin has started every game and is at 9.5 points and 6.8 rebounds. He has four double-doubles.
• Courtney Stockard missed the last two seasons due to foot injuries, leaving his career in doubt. He persevered, though, and the 22-year old redshirt junior is averaging 11 points per game. Last week, he recorded the first double-double of his career in the win over Saint Joseph's with 15 points and 13 rebounds and then had 12 points and seven boards against GW.
This will be the 119th meeting between the longtime A-10 rivals and the 67th consecutive season they have met. The series is tied at 59-59. St. Bonaventure has claimed nine of the last 11 meetings including a sweep of the series last season.
• Under new coach Keith Dambrot, Duquesne was picked last in the A-10's preseason poll but has been a major surprise, winning 15 games already and bringing a 6-4 conference record into this weekend. The Dukes have knocked off Dayton, GW (twice), Fordham, LaSalle, and George Mason in A-10 contests.
• Mike Lewis scored 17 points to lead a balanced scoring column as Duquesne came from behind to top GW on Wednesday on the road. Lewis leads the Dukes on the season at 15.9 points per game. He's made 69 three-pointers at a 38 percent clip.
• Freshman forward Eric Williams, who stands 6-5, has been another major surprise around the A-10, as he is averaging 15 points and 9.5 rebounds. Guards Rene Castro-Cannedy (13 ppg) and Tarin Smith (12.3) also average in double figures.
• Matt Mobley needs 21 points to reach 1,000 for his St. Bonaventure career.
• Jaylen Adams needs 72 points to break into the top 10 all-time leading scorers at St. Bonaventure.
• Mobley is 284 points away from 2,000 for his college career.
• Idris Taqqee has played in 111 career games; with five more he will reach the top 10 in program history in games played.
• St. Bonaventure is five wins from its third consecutive 20-win season.
Mobley, Kaputo Set Career Highs
Matt Mobley scored 35 points and Nelson Kaputo added 20, both setting career highs, to lead St. Bonaventure to an 85-69 win at George Mason Jan. 31. Mobley and Kaputo led the Bonnies' attack with 13 three-pointers between them. Mobley was 7-9 from long range while Kaputo was 6-9. Kaputo came off the bench to provide a spark, as he made his first three shots from behind the arc in the game. Kaputo's previous career high was 15 points against Md-Eastern Shore Nov. 20.
Mobley's Scoring Prowess
Slowing down senior shooting guard Matt Mobley is a high priority for opposing defenders. Even with the added defensive attention, Mobley has continued to perform at a high level. He ranks fourth in the Atlantic 10 in scoring at 18.4 points per game, with 10 games of 20-plus points. He now has 25 games of 20 points or more in 53 career games at St. Bonaventure. Mobley also leads the Bonnies in three-pointers (62), free throws (94) and steals (31). After averaging 17 points per game with seven assists in the Emerald Coast Classic, he was named to the All-Tournament Team. Last season, which was his first at St. Bonaventure after transferring from Central Connecuticut State, Mobley went from a virtual unknown to a star, All-Conference player. Mobley's 18.5 ppg average ranked fourth-best in the A-10.
A-10 High In Three-Point Efficiency
The Bonnies' three-point percentage for the season is .389, which is the best in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Jaylen Adams is at .456, which woukld be second-best in the A-10 if he had played in enough games (75%) to qualify. Matt Mobley is at .385. In their win at George Mason, the Bonnies made 56 percent (13-23) from long range.
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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