ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – The St. Bonaventure men's basketball program has announced its 2019-20 non-conference schedule, featuring six home games.
After an exhibition game against Alfred on Wednesday, Oct. 30, the 100th season of St. Bonaventure Basketball officially begins Tuesday, Nov. 5 at the Reilly Center vs. Ohio of the Mid-American Conference. The Bonnies and Bobcats will meet for the 13th time and first since 2015 when St. Bonaventure grabbed its eighth win in the series with a triumph on home court as part of a 22-win campaign.
Three days later, the Bonnies remain at home to host America East champion Vermont on Friday, Nov. 8. This year's meeting marks the third straight year Bona has met the Catamounts with the previous two contests being split in dramatic fashion – SBU grabbed a buzzer-beater to get past Vermont two years ago in Rochester before UVM captured a win last season in double overtime.
The first road game of the year will bring a renewal of the Franciscan Cup rivalry as St. Bonaventure travels to Albany to face Siena on Tuesday, Nov. 12. Bona looks to retain the Cup after winning six of the past nine meetings vs. its sister school. This year's meeting takes on a new meaning as the teams will play for the newly renamed Brother Ed Coughlin Franciscan Cup in honor of the late Br. Ed Coughlin, OFM.
A highly anticipated trip north of the border comes Saturday, Nov. 16 when the Bonnies head to Toronto to face Big Ten foe Rutgers in the James Naismith Classic at Scotiabank Arena, home of the NBA champion Raptors. Bona plays in the nightcap of the day's tripleheader with tipoff slated for 7:30 p.m.
St. Bonaventure makes the first of two Buffalo trips when it heads to Canisius for a Little Three rivalry contest Saturday, Nov. 23 at KeyBank Center in Buffalo. This season's contest brings the 168th game all-time between the rivals – the Bonnies have played no other team more in their 100 seasons.
November concludes on home court when the Bonnies welcome Southern Conference member Mercer to the Reilly Center on Tuesday, Nov. 26.
December begins with a trip to Florida for the Boca Beach Classic in Boca Raton. In their opening game, the Bonnies take on San Diego Sunday, Dec. 1 at 9 p.m. Members of the West Coast Conference, the Toreros won 21 games a season ago, reaching the NIT with a Top 100 NET standing. The winner of that game will face the victor of the Florida Atlantic/Illinois-Chicago matchup on Monday, Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. while the third-place game is slated for 5 p.m.
After returning home, SBU will host one of the most anticipated regular season home game in years when Hofstra visits The RC on Saturday, Dec. 7. A season ago, Hofstra won 26 games and reached the NIT. The centerpiece of the program's Centennial Season celebration, that afternoon features the return of the University's 1970 Final Four team as part of that squad's 50th anniversary.
The Hofstra game begins a three-game homestand. Gannon visits the Reilly Center on Saturday, Dec. 14 - the Bonnies and Golden Knights met 27 times between 1944 and 1977. The final home game before non-conference play comes Wednesday, Dec. 18 when Little Three rival Niagara visits for the first time with new coach Patrick Beilein at the helm, but this year's edition represents the 160th meeting all-time.
The Bonnies finish non-conference play with two road contests bookending the Christmas holiday. First, the Brown and White will trek to Tennessee to face Middle Tennessee State on Dec. 21 in just the second meeting between the programs. St. Bonaventure won the only previous game, also on the road, in 1993.
Finally, non-conference action concludes with the much-anticipated annual date vs. rival Buffalo. The Bonnies make the short trip north to Amherst on Dec. 30 to face the Bulls, who are fresh off a trip to the NCAA Tournament following 32 victories last season.
Last season, a young Bonnies squad won 18 games and reached the Atlantic 10 Championship Game with their sixth consecutive winning season. Head coach Mark Schmidt's team returns one of the nation's top sophomore classes in Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team selections Kyle Lofton and Osun Osunniyi as well as Dominick Welch and Alpha Okoli along with just one scholarship senior, forward Amadi Ikpeze. A highly touted group of newcomers joins as well – redshirt sophomore forward Bobby Planutis, who sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, along with junior transfer guard Matt Johnson, sophomore transfer guard Jaren English and freshmen forwards Robert Carpenter and Justin Winston along with first-year guard Alejandro Vasquez.
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