Game Preview: VCU Rams
St. Bonaventure takes its nine-game winning streak into one of the most challenging arenas in the Atlantic 10, VCU's Siegel Center, to face the Rams. Both teams are battling for top four spots in the A-10 standings as the season enters the final three-game stretch, and the Bonnies can secure a top-three finish with a win.
• St. Bonaventure is on its longest Atlantic 10 winning streak in program history. The Bonnies' nine 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 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.
• Using the NCAA's new quadrant system of reviewing a team's season, St. Bonaventure is 3-2 in Quadrant 1 with wins over Rhode Island, Syracuse and Buffalo, 4-2 in Quadrant 2 with wins over Maryland, Vermont, Northeastern and Canisius, 4-1 in Quadrant 3 and 10-1 in Quadrant 4.
• All-America candidate Jaylen Adams ranks sixth in the nation in three-point percentage at .485 and is fourth in the A-10 in scoring at 20.2 points per game. He and backcourt partner Matt Mobley combine to average 38.5 points per game.
• Mobley was named the A-10 and USBWA National Player of the Week after he averaged 28 points and nine rebounds over two wins last week. He scored 26 points in the win over RhodeIsland. For the season, Mobley has 13 games of 20 points or more this season. He ranks sixth in the A-10 in scoring (18.3), and his 79 three-pointers are second most among A-10 players.
• Junior forward Courtney Stockard's story is much more than his 11 points and six 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 8.6 points and 6.5 rebounds this season. He had 14 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and two assists against Rhode Island.
• Sophomore center Amadi Ikpeze had 13 points and 10 rebounds Wednesday against Duquesne.
• The Rams earned an 82-78 win at UMass on Wednesday behind 26 points from senior forward Justin Tillman and 17 from sophomore guard De'Riante Jenkins. The Rams moved into a tie for fourth place in the Atlantic 10 with Saint Louis.
• A high-scoring club at 76 points per game, VCU is led by Tillman, who nearly averages a double-double at 19.3 points and 9.6 rebounds. Jenkins averages 13 points per game and is a prolific three-point shooter at 42 percent (66-165). Point guard Jonathan Williams and forward Isaac Vann both average 9.6 points.
• The Rams are 11-5 on their home court and expect their 116th consecutive sellout Saturday night.
This will be the eighth meeting between the schools and the sixth since VCU joined the Atlantic 10 in 2013. The Rams lead the series 4-3.St. Bonaventure is 1-4 against the Rams in their meetings as A-10 rivals. The lone win came at the Reilly Center in 2015 when Marcus Posley beat the buzzer to give the Bonnies a 73-71 decision.
St. Bonaventure vs. VCU: The Last Meeting
Feb. 4, 2017 at the Reilly Center: Rams 83, Bonnies 77 (OT)
St. Bonaventure thought it had a win in regulation, but VCU capitalized on a second chance and outlasted the Bonnies in overtime.Matt Mobley, who set a (then) school record with nine three-pointers in the game, made a go-ahead three-pointer with 0.4 seconds left in regulation to put St. Bonaventure ahead 66-65. But an administrative technical foul was assessed against St. Bonaventure. VCU was awarded one technical free throw and JeQuan Lewis made it to force overtime. In the extra stanza, VCU led 79-77 after Mobley made his ninth three-pointer, but the Rams sealed the game on two free throws by Mo Alie-Cox with 18 seconds left. Mobley finished with a (then) career-high 34 points as he went 10-19 overall and 9-15 from three-point range. Jaylen Adams finished with 21 points and six assists.
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.
Senior Class Breaks Wins Record
The Bonnies' two four-year seniors, Jaylen Adams and Idris Taqqee, have now been a part of 81 wins, which is a new program record. The previous record is 80 wins was held by the class of 1980 seniors Delmar Harrod, Bruno DeGiglio and Jim Elenz.
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%
38.5 8.1 2.8 .422 .854
Adams Is Highest Scoring Guard In School History; Stands 6th All-Time
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 1,801 career points, which ranks sixth all-time at Bona's. All of the top five leading scorers in school history are forwards: Greg Sanders, Andrew Nicholson, Earl Belcher, Bob Lanier and Tom Stith.
The Bonnies have won their last three road games and are 7-4 in true road contests this 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.