Bonnies To Host VCU On Homecoming Weekend In Pivotal A-10 Battle

Bonnies To Host VCU On Homecoming Weekend In Pivotal A-10 Battle

Game Preview: VCU Rams

Game Date: Saturday, Feb. 9
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: Reilly Center

Records:
St. Bonaventure 9-13 (5-4)   |    VCU 16-6 (7-2)
Bonnies Stats        |       Rams Stats

TV: CBS Sports Network
Radio: WPIG 95.7 FM with Gary Nease and Don Scholla
Twitter: @BonniesMBB

Full Media Game Notes (PDF)

OPENING TIP
Saturday afternoon, St. Bonaventure hosts VCU in its annual Homecoming game. Both teams are trending up, as the Bonnies have won three of their last four while the Rams have won three straight and stand second in the Atlantic 10. A sellout crowd is expected.

BONA-NOTEWORTHY
• Mark Schmidt is one win from tying Larry Weise for the program's all-time coaching record.
• St. Bonaventure, which dropped its last two home games, is 6-4 at the Reilly Center this season. The Bonnies play three of their next four games at home.
• St. Bonaventure has three freshmen in its starting lineup, the only Atlantic 10 to have that many freshmen starters. They combine to average 28 points per game.
Kyle Lofton is averaging 16.2 points per game in A-10 play. Overall, he is second among all Atlantic 10 freshmen in scoring (14.8 ppg) and assist-to-turnover ratio. Since moving into the starting lineup eight games ago, freshman center Osun Osunniyi is playing the best basketball of his young career. Osunniyi had 22 rebounds at Duquesne and leads the A-10 in blocks (2.2 per game). Both players have won A-10 Rookie of the Week honors once.
• Senior forward Courtney Stockard, who was named to the preseason All-Conference team, is averaging 16.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. Classmate LaDarien Griffin missed 10 games with a knee sprain, but has worked his way back into preseason form and is averaging 10.8 points per game.

St. Bonaventure vs. VCU: The Last Meeting
Feb. 24, 2018 at Siegel Center: Bonnies 68, Rams 63
Courtney Stockard's career night helped propel the visitors in front of a typically boisterous VCU crowd. The junior set career highs of 21 points and 14 re-bounds. His biggest shot of the night came with 57 seconds left and the Bonnies clinging to a 60-59 lead. Stockard drained a three-pointer from the left wing to give St. Bonaventure some breathing room. He added two free throws with 40 seconds remaining to push the lead to 65-59 and VCU could not come closer than three points the rest of the way. St. Bonaventure's 10-game win streak is tied for the second-longest active streak in NCAA Division I. Jaylen Adams finished with 21 points and six assists, while LaDarien Griffin scored 11 points. The Bonnies held VCU to 40 percent shooting overall including 9-33 (27 per-cent) from three-point range.  That defense was especially needed in the sec-ond half, as the Bonnies limited the Rams to 2-14 from long range, enabling the visitors to build a lead and hold on to it.  VCU last led in the game with 16:07 left. An 8-0 spurt by the Bonnies gave them a 42-37 lead with 14:28 to go. The Rams tied the game at 44 but field goals by Stockard and Griffin put the Bonnies back in front. VCU continued to battle, three times cutting the lead down to a single point, but could not retake the advantage.

VCU Notes
• Under second-year coach Mike Rhoades, VCU now has sole possession of second place in the Atlantic 10 standings at 7-2. The Rams have won three straight games, most recently Wednesday night at George Washington. VCU is back to its "havoc" style of play, forcing 361 turnovers and leading the A-10 in scoring defense at 63 points allowed per game. Jun-ior point guard Marcus Evans leads the Rams in scoring (13.5 ppg), assists and steals. Pow-er forward Marcus Santos-Silva has four double-doubles this year and averages 7.1 re-bounds per game. VCU's two A-10 losses both came on the road, at Davidson and at Rhode Island.

Series History
This will be the ninth meeting between the schools and the seventh since VCU joined the Atlantic 10 in 2013. The series is tied, 4-4. St. Bonaventure is 2-4 against the Rams in their meetings as A-10 rivals. Last season, the Bonnies won 68-63 at the Siegel Center.

Schmidt Gets Win #200; Now Two Wins From Record
Mark Schmidt stands second all-time on the program's all-time coaching wins list (see chart) behind only NCAA Final Four coach Larry Weise. With 201 wins, Schmidt needs one win to tie Weise. Now in his 12th season, the Jan. 26 win at Richmond was the 200th of his Bona career. Schmidt is the third-longest tenured coach in the Atlantic 10 behind Saint Joseph's Phil Martelli (now in his 23rd season) and Richmond's Chris Mooney (13th) and he also is the third winningest active coach in terms of conference wins with 100 behind Martelli and Mooney.

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