Game Preview: George Mason
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St. Bonaventure hosts George Mason on Sunday afternoon in the second meeting this season between the teams. The Bonnies are tied for seventh place in the Atlantic 10 at 6-5 while the Patriots are third with a mark of 9-3.
• Mark Schmidt is tied with Larry Weise for St. Bonaventure's all-time coaching record at 202 wins. Weise's mark has stood since 1973. Schmidt is 202-166 in his 12th season.
• The Bonnies, now 5-5 in the Reilly Center, hope to end a streak of three straight home losses.
• St. Bonaventure has three freshmen in its starting lineup, the only Atlantic 10 to have that many freshmen starters. They combine to average 27.2 points per game.
• An A-10 Rookie of the Year candidate, Kyle Lofton is second among all Atlantic 10 freshmen in scoring (14.2 ppg) and leads all A-10 players in minutes. Freshman center Osun Osunniyi, who had 22 rebounds at Duquesne Feb. 6, leads the A-10 in blocks (2.3 per game). Both players have won A-10 Rookie of the Week honors once.
• Multi-talented senior guard/forward Courtney Stockard ranks sixth in the A-10 in scoring, 10th in rebounding and 15th in assists. He has played three different positions (2-3-4) this season.
• Seniors LaDarien Griffin and Nelson Kaputo stepped up in the win at Saint Joseph's. Griffin had 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Kaputo was 3-6 from long range for nine points.
St. Bonaventure vs. George Mason: The Last Meeting
Jan. 6, 2019 at Eagle Bank Arena: Patriots 68, Bonnies 53
George Mason pulled away late in the second half to defeat St. Bonaventure. Playing their first Atlantic 10 Conference game of the season, the Bonnies had a 44-42 lead after a layup by Kyle Lofton with 10:08 remaining. That capped a 14-2 run that started when St. Bonaventure had faced a 40-30 deficit. George Mason, however, answered, draining three straight three-pointers. The Patriots made five of seven shots in a 14-0 surge that ended with the home team in front 56-44 with 5:34 left. St. Bonaventure was 11-28 from the field in the second half and 23-59 (39 percent) for the game. The Bonnies got off to a solid start, leading 9-2 early. They held the lead all the way until the 5:33 mark when the Patriots' all-conference senior guard Otis Livingston tied the score at 19. The game was tied at 25 in the closing seconds when Mason's Ian Boyd drained a three-pointer that gave the home team a 28-25 lead at halftime. In addition to its poor shooting day, St. Bonaventure was outrebounded 44-24 and only attempted three free throws. Lofton led the Bonnies with 17 points and six assists, while senior Courtney Stockard added 16 points and a team-high five rebounds.
George Mason Notes
• The Patriots ground out an overtime win over UMass on Wednesday, as Otis Livingston scored 21 points to lead five players in double figures. That win kept Mason in third place in the Atlantic 10 with a 9-3 mark. George Mason's only A-10 losses were at VCU, at Richmond and at home to Davidson. Led by Livingston and coach Dave Paulsen, the Patriots have already matched their best A-10 win total in school history.
• Livingston averages 13.9 points per game and his backcourt partner, Justin Kier, is at 14.2 points and 6.6 rebounds. Javon Greene (10.0 ppg), Jordan Miller (9.4), Jarred Reuter (8.9) and Ian Boyd (6.2) are all capable scorers.
This will be the 10th meeting in the series that St. Bonaventure leads 6-3. Since George Mason joined the A-10, the Bonnies have won five of the six meetings. Mason's win in January was their first against St. Bonaventure since the Patriots joined the A-10.
Schmidt Tied For Bona Coaching Wins Record
Mark Schmidt needs one more win to become St. Bonaventure's all-time coaching wins leader. He is currently tied with Larry Weise at 202 wins. Weise's mark has stood since 1973. Now in his 12th season, 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 101 behind Martelli and Mooney.
Stockard Shows Versatility
Senior Courtney Stockard underwent a knee procedure which caused him to miss the first six games this season. The Bonnies went 1-5 over those six games. But he has returned and is again showing why he is one of the most versatile, talented players in the A-10. Capable of playing -- and guarding -- at least three positions, Stockard is now sixth in the A-10 in scoring (16.3), 10th in rebounding (6,8) and 15th in assists (3.2). He has 16 games in double figure scoring topped by a career high 36 points against Dayton. Last year, Stockard averaged 13.3 points. Over Stockard's 49 career games in the lineup, the Bonnies are 32-17.
Home / Road Flip
The Reilly Center provides a tremendous home court advantage but the Bonnies' record at home and on the road since January has flipped around from normal expectations. The Bonnies have dropped their last three home games, although those teams have a combined Atlantic 10 record of 26-7: Dayton (8-3), Davidson (9-2) and VCU (9-2). Conversely, St. Bonaventure has won four straight road games (UMass, Richmond, Duquesne and Saint Joseph's).
The Future - And The Present
St. Bonaventure is the only Atlantic 10 team with three freshmen in its starting lineup. Osun Osunniyi, Kyle Lofton and Dominick Welch are combining to average 27.2 points, 12.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game, which is the highest production of any group of freshmen in the A-10. All three players went to a year of prep school before enrolling at St. Bonaventure.
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