Game Preview: Saint Louis Billikens
Game Date: Saturday, March 9
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: Reilly Center
Video: ESPN+ (Brendan McDaniels and Joe Ceraulo)
Radio: WPIG 95.7 FM with Gary Nease and Don Scholla
Full Media Game Notes (PDF)
Saturday afternoon at the Reilly Center, the final game of the regular season will be a showdown for fourth place in the Atlantic 10 between St. Bonaventure and Saint Louis, as the winner will earn a double-bye in next week's A-10 Tournament.
• St. Bonaventure will honor its three graduating seniors, LaDarien Griffin, Nelson Kaputo and Courtney Stockard, prior to the game in Senior Day ceremonies.
• The Bonnies held eight of their last nine opponents under 61 points and 38 percent shooting. St. Bonaventure is allowing 61.7 points per game in A-10 play, third-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 (14.2 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 (1.5).
• Another All-Rookie team candidate, freshman center Osun Osunniyi, is No. 1 in the country among freshmen (7th overall) in blocked shots and is third in the A-10 in rebounding (7.6).
• Senior LaDarien Griffin continues to spark the Bonnies on both ends of the court. Over the past four games, he was 20-34 (.588) from the field and averaged 11.0 points and 8.0 rebounds.
• Freshman Dominick Welch scored a season high 14 points at Davidson on Wednesday.
St. Bonaventure vs. Saint Louis: The Last Meeting
March 3, 2018 at Chaifetz Center: Bonnies 64, Billikens 56
A record-setting regular season came to a fitting end as St. Bonaventure topped Saint Louis 64-56 to secure second place in the Atlantic 10. The Bonnies' 12th straight win gave them a record of 24-6 overall and 14-4 in the A-10, a game behind Rhode Island and a tie for the most conference wins in the program's history. St. Louis native Courtney Stockard powered the Bonnies with 22 points and 10 rebounds. His jumper with 3:15 left in the game stopped an 11-0 SLU run. From there, the Bonnies held Saint Louis to just five points the rest of the night and went 7-8 at the free throw line to earn the win. St. Bonaventure's defense was superb, limiting the Billikens to 20-58 shooting (34 percent) including 3-23 (13 percent) from behind the arc. The Bonnies had to navigate first half foul troubles as Adams, Mobley and Amadi Ikpeze all were called for two in the opening 17 minutes. Izaiah Brockington came off the bench to provide a spark, scoring the Bonnies' last four points of the half to give the visitors a 31-25 edge. Stockard and Mobley helped St. Bonaventure to a good start to the second half, as they made three-pointers to push the lead to 37-27 by the 16:45 mark. The advantage grew to 14 points at 43-29. The Billikens cut their deficit to 10, but the Bonnies answered right back with a three-point play by Stockard and a put-back dunk from Griffin to make it a 53-38 game with 8:44 remaining. Saint Louis had another surge in it, however, and trimmed the lead to four points at 53-49 with a 11-0 run. Aaron Hines capped the run with a three-pointer at the 4:13 mark. Stockard finally ended the SLU run with a jumper at the 3:15 mark, but the Billikens answered with another Hines three-pointer that cut the game to 55-52.
• The Billikens have won four of their last six games to move up into a tie for fifth place in the A-10. Saint Louis' only losses in that span were at Dayton and at VCU. Wednesday, the Billikens outscored Duquesne 85-75 in St. Louis. Senior guard Tramaine Isabell scored 39 points in that game, a Chaifetz Center record for a SLU player.
• SLU leads the A-10 in rebounding margin (+6.1) and is fourth in the conference in scoring defense (64.8). The Billikens are 10th in offense at 67.6 points per game.
• Senior forward Javon Bess leads SLU at 15.5 points per game. Isabell averages 13.9 points per game, power forward Hasahn French is at 10.7 and guard Jordan Goodwin is at 10.4.
This will be the 23rd meeting in a series that the Bonnies lead 12-10. They Bonnies have won the last eight meetings dating back to 2014.
Saturday will be the final home game in the careers of seniors LaDarien Griffin, Nelson Kaputo and Courtney Stockard. The trio will be honored prior to the game at approximately 12:45. The seniors' four-year record in the Atlantic 10 Conference is 51-25, a winning percentage of 68 percent – a period that is unmatched by any prior St. Bonaventure graduating class. Overall the past four years, the Bonnies were 83-43. The span included three consecutive 20-win seasons and two postseason berths.
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