Game Preview: Rhode Island Rams
Radio: WPIG 95.7 FM with Gary Nease and Don Scholla
This game is sold out
Game Promotions: WHITE OUT THE RC. All fans are asked to wear white in a show of unity and support.
Complete Game Notes (PDF)
Friday night brings a showdown of the first and second place teams in the Atlantic 10. Both teams are on long win streaks – the Bonnies at seven games and the Rams at 16, which is tied for the longest in Division I. This is the second meeting of the teams this season. URI prevailed 87-73 on Jan. 13.
• St. Bonaventure has its longest winning streak in program history in Atlantic 10 play. The Bonnies' seven straight A-10 wins topped the prior high of six set in 1982-83. With one more win, the Bonnies will earn their fourth consecutive season of 10 or more conference wins.
• The Reilly Center has been a great home court for the Bonnies again this season, as they have won 10 straight at home. This game is the second straight sellout at the Reilly Center.
• St. Bonaventure has won its last four games against ranked teams, although the last time the Bonnies faced a ranked opponent was Feb. 20, 2016 at Dayton. Rhode Island, which is 14th in the USA Today Coaches Poll and 16th in the Associated Press top 25, is the highest ranked team to play in the Reilly Center since No. 13/15 Xavier in 2009.
• The Bonnies now have their 20th win in sight, which would give the program three straight 20-win seasons. The last time St. Bonaventure posted three 20-win seasons in a row was 1958-61, when the Stith-brothers led teams won 20 games or more four straight years.
• All-America candidate Jaylen Adams continued his recent hot streak Tuesday, scoring 26 points at La Salle. Over his last four games, Adams averaged 33.5 points per game and made 26 of 43 (.604) three-point shots. For the season, he ranks second in the nation in three-point percentage at .508 and is second in the A-10 in scoring at 20.5 points per game.
• Senior Matt Mobley scored 30 points at La Salle on Tuesday, which was his second game of 30-plus points this season and 12th game of better than 20 points. He ranks sixth in the A-10 in scoring at 18.5 points per game, and his 73 three-pointers are second most among A-10 players.
• Junior forward Courtney Stockard's story is much more than his 11 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. His career was in doubt after he sat out the past two years with the same broken foot. He persevered, though, and is now a key contributor for this surging team.
Rhode Island Notes:
• Rhode Island is ranked 14th in the USA Today Coaches poll and 16th in the Associated Press top 25 poll.
• The Rams, whose last loss came on Dec. 6 at Alabama, hold a four-game lead over St. Bonaventure in the A-10 standings.
• Rhode Island's depth, experience and size are evident in their rotation, which goes at least nine players deep and includes only one freshman. Senior guard Jared Terrell leads URI at 17.5 points per game and he has a team-best 50 three-pointers. Point guard Jeff Dowtin is among the A-10's best distributors with 136 assists and only 31 turnovers.
• Senior small forward E.C. Matthews, who went down with a knee injury in Tuesday's win over Richmond, averages 12.9 points per game.
This will be the 69th meeting between the Atlantic 10 rivals. Rhode Island has a 41-27 lead in the series and won the last three meetings.
St. Bonaventure vs. Rhode Island: The Last Meeting
Jan. 13, 2018 at the Ryan Center: Rams 87, Bonnies 73
A slow start to the second half cost St. Bonaventure.Playing on the home floor of the Atlantic 10's lone unbeaten team in conference play, the Bonnies trailed 42-39 after an evenly played first half. But the Rams seized control with a fast start to the second half. Rhode Island scored 16 of the first 18 points of the half to open a 58-42 lead with less than four minutes played. From there, the Bonnies were never able to get closer than 11 points. Adams and Mobley combined for 38 points as both scored 19. Stockard scored 14 points and tied his season high of nine rebounds. LaDarien Griffin finished with eight points and two blocked shots. In the second half, St. Bonaventure made only 10 of 35 field goals and did not connect on a three-pointer. The Rams, conversely, were 13-26 from the field and 18-20 at the free throw line.
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 Season Combined Stats:
PPG Assists Steals 3-PT% FT%
39.0 8.0 2.8 .429 .844
Adams Becomes Highest Scoring Guard In School History
With his 24 points against Richmond Feb. 10, Jaylen Adams became the highest scoring guard in St. Bonaventure history. He moved past guards J.R. Bremer (1,732) and Marques Green (1,734). Adams now has 1,767 career points, which ranks seventh all-time at Bona's. All of the top six leading scorers in school history were forwards: Greg Sanders, Andrew Nicholson, Earl Belcher, Bob Lanier, Tom Stith and Essie Hollis.
A-10 High In Three-Point Efficiency
The Bonnies lead the Atlantic 10 Conference in three-point percentage at .404, which ranks 17th nationally. Jaylen Adams is at .508, which leads the A-10 and ranks second nationally. Led by Adams and Matt Mobley, the Bonnies made 55-113 (.486) of their three-pointers over the past five games.
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 sixth in the Atlantic 10 in scoring at 18.5 points per game, with 12 games of 20-plus points. He has 27 games of 20 points or more in 57 career games at St. Bonaventure. Mobley also leads the Bonnies in three-pointers (73), free throws (106) and steals (32). 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.
St. Bonaventure Vs. Ranked Teams
Over Mark Schmidt's 11 years as St. Bonaventure's coach, the Bonnies are 4-12 against ranked teams including a mark iof 2-3 at the Reilly Center. All-time, St. Bonaventure is 13-59 against top 25 teams, with 10 of those wins (in 35 games total) coming at the Reilly Center. The Bonnies have won their last four games vs. ranked opponents:
Opponent Date Ranks Site Score
UMass 1/29/14 21/19 H 78-65
St. Louis 3/14/14 18/17 N 71-68
VCU 2/7/15 18/18 H 73-71
Dayton 2/20/16 13/15 A 79-72
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.