Game Preview: Duquesne Dukes
St. Bonaventure looks to keep its momentum going when it hosts Duquesne Wednesday in the second meeting of the teams this season. The Bonnies have won eight in a row, tied for their season high, most recently a 77-74 decision over A-10 leader Rhode Island last Friday. This is the second-to-last home game of the year. Prior to the game, at around the 5:00 mark on the clock, a short video tribute to the Bonnies' three seniors will be played. However, the traditional Senior Night ceremony will be held next week (Feb. 27) because that was the game the seniors' families are able to attend.
• St. Bonaventure is on its longest Atlantic 10 winning streak in program history. The Bonnies' eight straight A-10 wins topped the prior high of six set in 1982-83. St. Bonaventure also has earned its 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 11 straight at home.
• Friday's win over Rhode Island gave the Bonnies 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 ranks third in the nation in three-point percentage at .492 and is second in the A-10 in scoring at 20.5 points per game.
• Senior Matt Mobley was named A-10 Player of the Week for the second time this season after he averaged 28 points and nine rebounds over two wins last week. He scored 26 points in the win over Rhode Island. For the season, Mobley has 13 games of 20 points or more. He ranks sixth in the A-10 in scoring at 18.8 points per game, and his 78 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.
• Junior forward LaDarien Griffin is one of the most improved players in the Atlantic 10. After averaging just 2.7 points and 2.2 rebounds a year ago, he is at 8.8 points and 6.5 rebounds this season. He had 14 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and two assists against Rhode Island.
• The Bonnies coaches will wear green pins as part of the Fight For Literacy initiative.
• Duquesne entered this week on a four-game losing skid. The Dukes are tied for eighth in the A-10 with a 6-8 mark.
• Led by four players who average in double figures, Duquesne is a potent offensive team, averaging 73 points per game. Guard Mike Lewis (14.8 points per game) shoots 36 percent from long range and has made 73 three-pointers. Right behind him is small forward Eric Williams (14.5 ppg), who is one of the best freshmen in the A-10 and averages nine rebounds a game.
• Guards Rene Castro-Caneddy (13.7) and Tarin Smith (12.8) complete the top four scorers. The Dukes are +2.3 on rebound margin with a nine-player rotation.
This will be the 120th meeting between the longtime A-10 rivals. St. Bonaventure leads the series 60-59 and has claimed 10 of the last 12 meetings including a sweep of the series last season.
St. Bonaventure vs. Duquesne: The Last Meeting
Feb. 3, 2018 at the Palumbo Center: Bonnies 84, Duquesne 81
It looked like it would be Jaylen Adams' night from the start, and it was right down to the last second. Adams made a three-pointer with five seconds left to give St. Bonaventure the win. The shot was a fitting end to his career night. Adams scored 40 points, (then) a career high and the most points ever scored by an opposing player at the Palumbo Center. The Bonnies needed every one of Adams' 14 field goals to overcome a vastly-improved Dukes club and earn their fourth straight win. Duquesne led for over 20 minutes including most of the second half. Adams' jumper pulled the Bonnies within 74-73 with 4:41 left, and Courtney Stockard gave the visitors the lead with two free throws. The Bonnies held the lead from there, trading field goals until Tarin Smith tied the game with a three-pointer with 42 seconds left. Matt Mobley scored 19 points while Stockard finished with 10. Idris Taqqee corralled nine rebounds - seven on the offensive end.
Bonnies Receive Votes In Top 25
The Bonnies' eight-game win streak has received attention from the national pollsters as the Bonnies received votes in the Feb. 19 Associated Press Top 25. St. Bonaventure picked up 13 votes, ranking 31st on the latest list. Baylor, Kentucky, Arizona State, Arkansas and UCLA were the teams ahead of St. Bonaventure on the "others receiving votes" list this week. In the Feb. 19 USA Today Coaches top 25, the Bonnies received 11 votes.
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. Not only are they the top scoring teammate tandem in the Atlantic 10, they also are among the A-10 leaders in three-point shooting, assists and steals.
Adams & Mobley Season Combined Stats:
PPG Assists Steals 3-PT% FT%
38.8 8.2 2.8 .427 .852
Adams Is 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 1,777 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.
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 18.8 points per game, with 13 games of 20-plus points. He has 28 games of 20 points or more in 59 career games at St. Bonaventure. Mobley also leads the Bonnies in three-pointers (78), free throws (111) and steals (32). Last season, which was his first at St. Bonaventure after transferring from Central Connecticut 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 lead the Atlantic 10 Conference in three-point percentage at .402, which ranks 18th nationally. Jaylen Adams is at .492, which leads the A-10 and ranks third nationally. Led by Adams and Matt Mobley, the Bonnies made 64-138 (.464) of their three-pointers over the past six games.
• Matt Mobley is 181 points away from 2,000 for his college career.
• Idris Taqqee has played in 116 career games; with one more he will reach the top 10 in program history in games played.
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.