Game Preview: Atlantic 10 Tournament Championship - Saint Louis Billikens
Game Date: Sunday, March 17
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: Barclays Center – Brooklyn, NY
St. Bonaventure 18-15 | Saint Louis 22-12
Bonnies Stats | SLU Stats
TV: CBS with Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkle
Radio: WPIG 95.7 FM with Gary Nease and Don Scholla
An automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament will be at stake Sunday afternoon when St. Bonaventure faces Saint Louis in the championship game of the Atlantic 10 Tournament. The Bonnies took the only meeting between the teams just eight days ago, 66-57, at the Reilly Center.
• Playing in its fourth A-10 Championship game, St. Bonaventure is looking for its second title. The Bonnies won in 2012, their last appearance in the final, behind A-10 Tournament MVP Andrew Nicholson. The program also made the final game in 2000 and 1984.
• St. Bonaventure has won nine of its last 10 games thanks mainly to defense. Over that span, the Bonnies held their opponents to an average of 55.4 points per game. That standard has held true so far in the A-10 Tournament, where the Bonnies' defense has allowed only 54 points per game and has defensive field goal percentages of .351 (overall) and .277 (three-pointers).
• Freshman point guard Kyle Lofton has been the Bonnies' leader in Brooklyn, averaging 21.5 points and 5.0 assists over two games. He scored 23 points against Rhode Island in the semis.
• Freshman center Osun Osunniyi and Lofton both made the A-10 All-Rookie team. Osunniyi is No. 1 in the country among freshmen (7th overall) in blocked shots with 88, a team freshman record. In the A-10 Tournament, Osunniyi is averaging 8.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks.
• Freshman guard Dominick Welch has gotten hot in Brooklyn, averaging 16.5 points per game while making 50 percent (9-18) from three-point range. He has also blocked six shots.
How They Got There
St. Bonaventure, the No. 4 seed, topped George Mason in the quarterfinals and then Rhode Island in Saturday's semifinals. Saint Louis has had to win three games to reach the final. The sixth-seeded Billikens beat Richmond, Dayton and Davidson.
Head Coach Mark Schmidt
Overall Record: 292-257 (18th season)
At St. Bonaventure: 210-167 (12th season)
Notable: Will coach in his second A-10 title game (won in 2012)... is all-time winningest St. Bonaventure coach, a mark he reached this season (passed Larry Weise's 202) ... led program to 20-win seasons the past three years
This will be the 24th meeting in a series that the Bonnies lead 13-10. They Bonnies have won the last nine meetings dating back to 2014. Their only previous meeting in the A-10 Tournament was in 2014, an 8 vs. 1 game in which the Bonnies upset the top-seeded Billikens with a last-second three-pointer by Jordan Gathers.
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.