St. Bonaventure Men's Basketball Game Preview: Saint Louis
Video: A-10 Network (streaming only, both free and pay options)
Radio: WPIG 95.7 FM with Gary Nease and Don Scholla
Game Promotions: Faith Night ($10 tickets which include food voucher are still available at Ticket Office for those participating in 5:30 fellowship service in SBU chapel), $7 kids tickets (ages 12 & under)
Complete Game Notes (PDF)
Winners of four in a row, the Bonnies return home after two road wins last week to host another red-hot team, Saint Louis. The improving Billikens have won three straight and five of their last six. Led by its backcourt, St. Bonaventure has won eight in a row at the Reilly Center. This will be the first of two meetings this year between the teams.
• Thanks to its second-longest win streak of the season, St. Bonaventure has rebounded from a 2-4 start to Atlantic 10 play and now stands in a tie for third place in the conference.
• Senior guards Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley form one of the top backcourts in the country. The seniors combine to average 36.9 points per game and shoot .415 from three-point range.
• Mobley was named A-10 Player of the Week after he averaged 27 points over two wins, topped by a career high 35 points Jan. 31 at George Mason. Over his last three games, Mobley averaged 24 points per game and was 14-25 (.560) from behind the arc. Mobley ranks fourth in the A-10 in scoring at 18.4 points per game and needs two points to reach 1,000 in his Bona career.
• Adams, who has earned A-10 Player of the Week honors three times this year, scored a career high 40 points at Duquesne including the game-winning three-pointer. He is among the A-10 leaders in scoring (18.5), assists (5.2) and three-point percentage (.478). 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.
• He may not score often, but do not underestimate the contributions of senior swingman Idris Taqqee. A veteran of 112 career games, he is averaging nearly five rebounds a game after he grabbed nine (7 offensive) in the win at Duquesne. Taqqee also guards the top opponent scorer.
• 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 9.2 points and 6.6 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, 6.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.
• Saint Louis is one of the hottest teams in the A-10, winning its last three and six of its last seven games. Now in his second season, coach Travis Ford has an improved club that is among the A-10's best defensive teams. The Billikens only allow 65 ppg and have a +4.2 rebound margin.
• Saint Louis averages just 67 points per game, which ranks 12th in the conference, and makes 31% from three-point range.
• The seven-man rotation is led by sophomore small forward Javon Bess, who averages 13.2 points and 6.7 rebounds. Guards Davell Roby (11.3) and Jordan Goodwin (10.9) also produce in double figures. Goodwin has been one of the A-10's best freshmen. The Billikens are 2-3 in Atlantic 10 road games, winning at UMass and Saint Joseph's.
This will be the 21st meeting in a series that is tied 10-10. The Bonnies, however, have won the last six meetings.
St. Bonaventure vs. Saint Louis: The Last Meeting
Feb. 8, 2017 at Reilly Center: Bonnies 70, Billikens 55
After a cold-shooting first half, St. Bonaventure looked like a different team in the second. St. Bonaventure trailed 32-26 at halftime and was behind 43-36 early in the second half before rallying. A 10-2 run gave the Bonnies a 46-45 lead. It remained a close game until the final seven minutes. The Bonnies led by just one at 53-52 with 6:32 remaining but scored six unanswered points – four from freshman center Amadi Ikpeze – to grab control. St. Bonaventure outscored the Billikens 17-4 over the game's final 7:34. In the second half, St. Bonaventure made 18 of 31 shots from the field (58 percent) as compared to 9-24 in the first half. The Bonnies' defense also tightened in the second half as Saint Louis was 1-13 from long range. Jaylen Adams led the Bonnies with 20 points, and backcourt partner Matt Mobley scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half. Senior forward Denzel Gregg notched his seventh double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Backcourt One Of Nation's Best
Despite the intense defensive attention they are getting this season, the Jaylen Adams - Matt Mobley pairing remains one of the nation's best backcourts. The week of Jan. 29, they proved it again by combining for 109 points in two wins. Adams set a career high with 40 points at Duquesne while Mobley scored 19; at George Mason, Mobley shone with a career best 35. Incredibly, their combined 59 points at Duquesne was not even their top scoring game of the season, as they combined for 60 against UMass Dec. 30.
Adams & Mobley Combined Statistics:
PPG Assists Steals 3-PT% FT%
36.9 8.0 2.7 .415 .853
A-10 High In Three-Point Efficiency
The Bonnies lead the Atlantic 10 Conference in three-point percentage at .395, which ranks 29th nationally. Jaylen Adams is at .478, which would lead the A-10 if he had played in enough games (75%) to qualify. Matt Mobley is at .381. Led by those two players, the Bonnies made 24-46 (.521) of their three-pointers over the past two games.
Mobley Two From 1,000
With 998 points over his 54 games, Matt Mobley needs two points to reach 1,000 for his St. Bonaventure career. He will be just the second player in program history who has played only two seasons with the Bonnies to reach the 1,000-point plateau. Marcus Posley was the first in 2014-16. Mobley will also be the 15th player in program history -- and third season in a row a player has done it (Posley and Jaylen Adams) to score 1,000 points (or more) over two seasons. The others were: Greg Sanders, Andrew Nicholson, Earl Belcher, Bob Lanier, Tom Stith, Fred Crawford, Marques Green, J.R. Bremer, Rashaan Palmer, Glenn Price, Harry Moore, and Bill Butler. All of those players did it in back-to-back seasons.
• Jaylen Adams needs 32 points to break into the top 10 all-time leading scorers at St. Bonaventure.
• Matt Mobley is 265 points away from 2,000 for his college career.
•Idris Taqqee has played in 112 career games; with four more he will reach the top 10 in program history in games played.
• St. Bonaventure is four wins from its third consecutive 20-win season.
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. For the latest news on St. Bonaventure athletics, stay connected on social media. Follow the Bonnies on Twitter @Go_Bonnies and get men's basketball updates @BonniesMBB. Keep up with the Bonnies on Facebook /GoBonnies and on Instagram @GoBonnies.