Bonnies Head South For Key Atlantic 10 Matchup With Davidson

Bonnies Head South For Key Atlantic 10 Matchup With Davidson

Game Preview: Davidson Wildcats

Game Date:
Wednesday, March 6
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Belk Arena

Records:
St. Bonaventure 15-14 (11-5)   |     Davidson 21-8 (12-4)
Bonnies Stats       |       Davidson Stats


Video: Stadium Network (Matt Martucci and Dr. John Giannini)
     List of Stadium TV affiliate stations for this game

Radio: WPIG 95.7 FM with Gary Nease
Twitter: @BonniesMBB

Full Media Game Notes (PDF)

OPENING TIP
As the regular season reaches its final week, St. Bonaventure faces Davidson in a matchup of the second (Davidson) and third place teams in the Atlantic 10. Thanks to their six-game winning streak, the Bonnies remain in contention for a double bye in the A-10 Tournament.

BONA-NOTEWORTHY
• The Bonnies' six-game A-10 road winning streak is a program record.
• The Bonnies held seven of their last eight opponents under 61 points and 38 percent shooting. St. Bonaventure is allowing 61.6 points per game in A-10 play, second best in the conference.
• St. Bonaventure now has five seasons in a row of double-digit Atlantic 10 wins, the top active streak among A-10 teams.
• An A-10 Rookie of the Year candidate, Kyle Lofton is second among all Atlantic 10 freshmen in scoring (14.4 ppg) and leads all A-10 players in minutes. A two-time A-10 Rookie of the Week, he is also among the A-10 leaders in assists (3.7 per game) and steals (1.4).
• Another All-Rookie team candidate, freshman center Osun Osunniyi, is No. 1 in the country among freshmen in blocks (2.6 per game) and is fourth in the A-10 in rebounding (7.4).
• Multi-talented senior guard/forward Courtney Stockard ranks eighth in the A-10 in scoring, 16th in rebounding and 13th in assists. He has played three different positions (2-3-4) this year.
• Senior LaDarien Griffin continues to spark his team on both ends of the court. Over the past three games, he was 17-25 (.680) from the field and averaged 12.2 points and 9.8 rebounds.

St. Bonaventure vs. Davidson: The Last Meeting
Feb. 1, 2019 at the Reilly Center: Davidson 75, Bonnies 66
A frustrating second half cost St. Bonaventure. The Bonnies led by 10 at halftime but fell victim to a barrage of Davidson three-pointers in the second half. Davidson went 8-15 from beyond the arc and outscored the Bonnies 41-22 over the final 20 minutes to earn the win. Early in the game, the Wildcats opened a 17-5 lead by the 14:24 mark. Freshman Luke Frampton made two early three-pointers.  Davidson still led by eight, 24-16, at the 9:07 mark when the Bonnies began to climb back in the game. After three-point play by Kyle Lofton, Courtney Stockard drained a jumper. After a Davidson turnover, Lofton added another drive. Alpha Okoli, who came off the bench to provide a defensive spark, then drained a three-pointer to give the Bonnies their first lead at 26-24. St. Bonaventure added five more points, in all going on a 15-0 run to open a 31-24 lead by the 4:08 mark. Davidson cut the Bonnies' lead down to one at 33-32, but again the Bonnies surged, scoring eight straight points to move ahead 41-32. The visitors then began the second half with a 14-4 run to tie the score at 48 by the 14:38 mark. Frampton had two more of his five three-pointers in that spurt.
The game seemed to go into a stalemate, as both teams held the other in check. St. Bonaventure led 57-56 with 6:18 remaining after LaDarien Griffin's score.  Kellen Grady took control from there, making a jumper and then back-to-back three pointers as Davidson went ahead 64-57 with 3:49 remaining.  His backcourt partner Jon Axel Gudmundsson followed suit as he connected on consecutive three-pointers, the second of which put the Wildcats in control with a 70-59 lead with just 1:18 left.
St. Bonaventure went just 8-27 (29 percent) from the field in the second half while Davidson was 13-26. Lofton led the Bonnies with 24 points, tying his season high. Stockard finished with 18 points and Griffin had 10. Osun Osunniyi scored eight points and blocked four shots.

Davidson Notes:
• The Wildcats enter the final week of the regular season in second place in the Atlantic 10, one game ahead of Dayton and St. Bonaventure. Davidson topped Fordham 77-52 last Saturday at home, improving to 13-1 in Belk Arena this year.
• Davidson is strong on both ends of the court, ranking fourth in the A-10 in both scoring offense and scoring defense. As per usual, Davidson is the No. 1 team in the A-10 in three-point field goals and three-point percentage, led by guards Jon-Axel Gundmundsson, Kellan Grady and Luke Frampton.

Series History
This will be the the 13th meeting between the teams and the ninth since Davidson joined the Atlantic 10. The Wildcats hold a 7-5 series lead and have won the last five of the last six meetings.

What A Stretch Of "D"
St. Bonaventure has taken its defense to a different level during its six-game winning streak.  A look at the Bonnies' defensive numbers over the past six games:
Statistic                                       Average/Pct.
Points Allowed Per Game                          54.2
Opponent Field Goal Percentage                .340
Opponent 3-Point Percentage                    .327
Average Margin of Victory                       +16.3
Rebounding Margin                                  +5.5
Steals                                         6.7 per game
Blocked Shots                              4.8 per game

Opponent/Score                                Opp. FG%
Saint Joseph's    W 76-51                          .291
George Mason    W 79-56                          .385
La Salle             W 62-60                           .377
Fordham            W 74-53                           .365
Duquesne          W 68-47                           .283
George Wash.     W 64-58                          .340

What A Turnaround
St. Bonaventure has completely turned  around its season. Once 4-10 after opening A-10 action with a loss at George Mason on Jan. 6, the Bonnies have gone 11-4 since to move their overall record above the .500 mark at 15-14.

Six Straight A-10 Road Wins
Prior to the New Year, St. Bonaventure did not win a true road game, but has turned around its fortunes, winning its last six road games (UMass, Richmond, Duquesne, Saint Joseph's, Fordham and George Washington). The Bonnies are 4-3 at the Reilly Center in A-10 play compared to 6-2 on the road. However, the three home losses came to teams with a combined Atlantic 10 record of 37-11: Dayton (11-5), Davidson (12-4) and VCU (14-2).

Defense Near Top Of A-10
Coach Mark Schmidt often talks about hoping to see his team improve through conference play, and that has been the case this season, most notably on the defensive end. The Bonnies have now held 10 of their 16 Atlantic 10 opponents to 60 points or less.
A look at some of the Bonnies' defensive ranks in A-10 games:

Category                             Avg./#         A-10 Rank
Scoring defense                  61.6 ppg               2nd
Opp. FG Pct.                       .398                     3rd
Rebound Margin                 +3.5                      3rd
Blocked Shots                      4.4                       3rd
Defensive Reb. %                .749                      2nd
Turnover Margin                  +0.8                      6th

Stockard Shows Versatility And Value
A sure-fire All-Conference candidate, senior Courtney Stockard is proving that he is one of the most versatile, talented players in the A-10. Capable of playing -- and guarding -- at least three positions, Stockard is eighth in the A-10 in scoring (16.0), 17th in rebounding (6.0) and 12th in assists (3.6). He has 20 games in double figure scoring topped by a career high 36 points against Dayton. Last year, Stockard averaged 13.3 points. Over Stockard's 54 career games in the lineup, the Bonnies are 37-17. Stockard underwent a knee procedure last summer that forced him to miss the first six games this season. The Bonnies went 1-5 over those six games.

Griffin Playing Like A Senior
St. Bonaventure had to play without one of its senior leaders for a long stretch this season as senior forward LaDarien Griffin was sidelined 10 games by a sprained knee. He suffered the injury in the Nov. 7 season opener against Bucknell. Griffin, who was named the Atlantic 10's Most Improved Player in 2017-18, returned to action Dec. 21 at Northeastern. Understandably, it took him some to regain his form. Over his first three games after returning, Griffin averaged just 4.6 points and 2.2 rebounds. But since Atlantic 10 play started, he has averaged 11.6 points and 6.2 rebounds while converting 54 percent of his shots from the field. That stretch elevated his season averages up to 10.8 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Griffin averaged 8.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game as a junior. His length and athleticism also enables Griffin to be a versatile defender, as his 17 blocks and 22 steals attest. Over the past three games, he went 17-25 from the field and averaged 12.2 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists.

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