St. Bonaventure Men's Basketball Game Preview: Delaware State
Video: ESPN+ with Brendan McDaniels and Joe Ceraulo
Radio: WPIG 95.7 FM with Gary Nease and Don Scholla
Full Media Game Notes (PDF)
Feeling much better about itself after Wednesday's win over Canisius, St. Bonaventure opens the month of December with a Saturday afternoon game against Delaware State. As they continue their four-game home stand, the Bonnies hope to extend the momentum from Wednesday.
• Senior forward Courtney Stockard made his season debut in Wednesday's win over Canisius and what an impact he made. Stockard, who was named to the preseason All-Conference team, had missed the first six games due to offseason knee surgery. He quickly shook off and rust, scoring a game-high 19 points with seven rebounds and three assists against the Griffs.
• Stockard's return undoubtedly helped his teammates, most notably freshmen Kyle Lofton and Osun Osunniyi. Against Canisius, Lofton had 13 points and nine assists while Osunniyi recorded the first double-double of his young career with 12 points and 11 rebounds to go with four blocks.
• Senior guard Nelson Kaputo scored 12 points against Canisius, making 3-of-4 shots from three-point range. He is now at 8.4 points per game coming off the bench.
• Even with Stockard back, the Bonnies still only have eight healthy scholarship players. Senior LaDarien Griffin (knee), freshman Dominick Welch (foot) and junior Melkisedek Moreaux (knee) are all out indefinitely. Griffin and Welch are both starters when healthy.
This will be only the second meeting between the Bonnies and Hornets. The first was an 81-57 Bona win on Dec. 29, 1998 in the Reilly Center.
St. Bonaventure vs. Delaware State: The Last Meeting
Dec. 29, 1998 at Reilly Center: Bonnies 81, DSU 57
Tim Winn, Caswell Cyrus and Isaac King all scored 15 points to lead the Bonnies past the Hornets. St. Bonaventure, which shot 52 percent from the field, forced 27 Delaware State turnovers. The Bonnies led 42-27 at halftime. Winn handed out eight assists and had five steals. Terrence Durham came off the bench to record eight points and seven rebounds.
Delaware State Notes:
• The Hornets are 1-6 on the season with their only win over St. Elizabeth, a Division III school. Delaware State fell to Penn on Tuesday at home, 76-48.
• Like the Bonnies, the Hornets have a very young team with four freshmen and four sophomores. New coach Erik Skeeters only took over the program in August.
• Senior guard Saleik Edwards leads the Hornets in scoring (12.3 points per game) and in three-pointers (19). Fahim Jenneto, a freshman forward from Ajax, Ontario, and point guard Pinky Wiley both average 9.3 points per game. Turnovers have been Delaware State's biggest problem as the Hornets are averaging 17 per contest.
Stockard Returns And Picks Up Where He Left Off
Senior Courtney Stockard has endured much more than his fair share of setbacks since he got to St. Bonaventure. The St. Louis, Mo., native missed back-to-back seasons in 2015-16 and 2016-17 with a broken foot. After a breakout season last year in which he averaged 13.3 points, Stockard then had to undergo an offseason knee procedure which caused him to miss the first six games this season. Stockard finally returned to action Nov. 28 against Canisius and showed little rust, scoring a game-high 19 points with seven rebounds and three assists. That performance was similar to the way he ended last year. Stockard's last six games of the 2017-18 campaign were unforgettable. He set career highs in scoring twice and was instrumental in four wins, most notably with his 26 points against UCLA in the NCAA Tournament.
Freshman Lofton Impresses
Freshman Kyle Lofton has taken on the point guard role from day one this season, filling the large shoes of Jaylen Adams. Lofton has shown he is up to the task, averaging 14.3 points per game so far with a team-leading 30 assists and nine steals. He ranks 13th in the A-10 in scoring and fifth in assists. In a win over Canisius Nov. 28, Lofton scored 13 points and handed out nine assists without any turnovers. Lofton also was impressive in the Cayman Islands Classic, averaging 15.3 points per game while playing 112 of a possible 120 minutes over three games. The Hillside, N.J., native had a year of prep school seasoning at Putnam Science Academy, where he ran the point for the national prep champions last year.
Poyser Starts Bona Career Well; Named To All-Tournament Team
Junior guard Jalen Poyser, who sat out last season after transferring from UNLV, has already proven to be ready to take on a leadership role. A top-100 recruit coming out of high school at Orangeville Prep in Toronto, Poyser averaged 10.4 points per game as a sophomore at UNLV. He has begun his St. Bonaventure career with four 20-plus point games in the first seven contests and leads the Bonnies in scoring at 16 points per game on 39 percent shooting overall. Poyser was named to the Cayman Islands Classic All-Tournament team after he averaged 16.3 points and 3.0 rebounds per game over three games. He tied his career high with 23 points against Georgia State.
Double-O Starting To Catch On
Freshman center Osun Osunniyi, who coach Mark Schmidt describes as "oozing with potential" is continuing to develop every practice and every game. He flashed some of that potential on Nov. 28 in a win over Canisius with 12 points and 11 rebounds for his first career double-double. For the years, he is averaging 6.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.8 blocked shots per game (19 blocks total). He ranks second in the A-10 in blocks. Osunniyi's progress is significant, as he only started playing the game seriously as a sophomore at Mainland Regional High in Pleasantville, N.J., when he grew from 6'1' to 6'8".
Ngalakulondi Moves Into Starting Lineup
Like many St. Bonaventure players, Tshiefu Ngalakulondi saw limited action last year as a freshman. He played in 18 games and averaged 2.3 points per contest. This season, with a year of experience, Ngalakulondi is taking on a much larger role. He has started six of the Bonnies' seven games and leads the team in rebounding (6.4 rpg). He also has recorded the first two double-doubles of his career, most recently 11 points and 12 rebounds against Akron. Ngalakulondi had a career high 14 rebounds at Niagara.
For the latest news on St. Bonaventure athletics, stay connected on social media. Follow the Bonnies on Twitter @GoBonnies and get men's basketball updates @BonniesMBB. Keep up with the Bonnies on Facebook /GoBonnies and on Instagram @GoBonnies.