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Bonnies, Griffs Rivalry Enters 100th Season Saturday at KeyBank Center

Bonnies, Griffs Rivalry Enters 100th Season Saturday at KeyBank Center

ST. BONAVENTURE vs. CANISIUS
Saturday, Nov. 23 - 2:30 p.m.
KeyBank Center - Buffalo, N.Y.
Online Coverage: Live Stats | Live Video | Live Audio
Complete Game Notes (PDF)
TV: Webstream only | Radio: 95.7 WPIG / affiliates

OPENING TIP
The Bonnies return to downtown Buffalo to take on Canisius in the KeyBank Center Saturday afternoon. St. Bonaventure, fresh off a win last week in Toronto at the Naismith Classic at Scotiabank Arena, will play its second consecutive game in a pro arena as part of the 100th season of its rivalry with Canisius.

TICKETS
Saturday's game will be the conclusion of a basketball doubleheader at KeyBank Center. The Bonnies and Griffs are slated to tip-off at 2:30 p.m. after Daemen and Wilmington play at noon. Tickets for the doubleheader are on sale now and cost $25, with a limited number of courtside seats available for $35. Groups of 20 or more will be able to purchase a block of discounted tickets, with each ticket being priced at $20. To purchase group tickets, please call (716) 888-8286. To purchase tickets online, CLICK HERE.

PRE-GAME MEETING
St. Bonaventure's official pre-game meeting spot is at Cobblestone at 130 South Park Ave. in Buffalo near the arena.

THROWBACK JERSEYS
The St. Bonaventure men's basketball team will have a familiar look when it takes the court at KeyBank Center vs. Canisius this Saturday.

As part of the Bonnies Centennial Season and Final Four 50th Anniversary celebration, St. Bonaventure will wear special throwback uniforms honoring the program's most famous team. The throwback uniforms pay homage to the St. Bonaventure uniforms worn during the late 1960s and early 1970s – the same look adorned during the unforgettable 1970 Final Four season.

When many people think of St. Bonaventure basketball, it is the 1969-70 jersey that comes to mind - and for good reason. The Bob Lanier-led Bonnies employed this brown, white and gold look through a dream season that led to the program's only Final Four appearance. When the calendar turned to 1970, Bona jumped to No. 5 in the national polls and never fell out of the top five the rest of the season, climbing to No. 3. Wins over Davidson, N.C. State and Villanova captured the nation's attention, but left Bona fans with unfinished dreams following an injury to Lanier. Still, the 1969-70 team gave a generation of Bonnies fans a season that will never be forgotten. A season later, following Lanier's move to the NBA, SBU used a similar style jersey to return to the NIT with another 20-win season when once again Bona rose to No. 10 in the national rankings. Ultimately, the Bonnies finished at 21-6 in 1970-71 including NIT wins over Purdue and Hawaii. 

To see the throwback jerseys, click here.

ONE BUFFALO
St. Bonaventure has a definitive Western New York flavor to its roster, featuring two WNY natives who have been receiving starter's minutes - senior Amadi Ikpeze and sophomore Dominick Welch.

Ikpeze helped Amherst to the Section VI, Class A-2 title after averaging 13.2 ppg, 10.1 rpg as a senior. Welch became WNY's all-time leading scorer with 2,376 career points at Cheektowaga including his senior year of 2016-17 when he averaged better than 30 points per contest and was USA Today First Team All-State.

WELCOME, WINSTON
Freshman Justin Winston showed last week why so many around the program were excited about his arrival when he committed to the Bonnies last season. In a pair of games, he averaged 14.5 points and shot 47.6 percent from the floor as well as 62.5 percent from beyond the arc. He shined Nov. 16 against Rutgers in Toronto as part of the Naismith Classic: Picking up his first career start, he set season highs across the board with 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting, including 4-of-5 from distance, in 34 minutes of action as the Bonnies scored a win over their Big Ten opponent.

AJ BRINGS HIS A-GAME
Against Rutgers, the Bonnies employed a starting lineup including two freshmen for the first time – Winston and Alejandro Vasquez. Vasquez, a native of Queens who represented Puerto Rico at the FIBA U-18 Americas Championship Tournament prior to his Bonaventure commitment, poured home 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting. He earned Naismith Classic Player of the Game honors from the Basketball Hall of Fame for his efforts.

DROPPIN' DIMES
Sophomore Kyle Lofton continues to put up impressive assist totals. Nov. 12 at Siena he handed out seven assists and followed that up Nov. 16 with eight assists vs. Rutgers, just one off his career high. He enters the Canisius game averaging 6.0 assists for the young season and 4.0 assists for his career. He has finished with six or more assists 10 times so far during his Bonaventure career.

KYLE'S 100
The number 100 is an all-important one for the Bonnies in this, their Centennial Season. With 17 points vs. Rutgers Nov. 16, Kyle Lofton broke into the program's top 100 all-time scoring list. With that effort, he surpassed Frank Ready (1947-50) who finished his career with 533 points in 83 career games.

NAISMITH CLASSIC LOOK BACK
The Bonnies played their first game north of the border, joining Buffalo, Harvard, Tennessee, Washington and Rutgers in the National Basketball Hall of Fame James Naismith Classic in Scotiabank Arena, home of the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors. The Bonnies have a long history of Canadian players, with no fewer than a dozen Bonnies hailing from Canada including some program greats like NBA first round pick Andrew Nicholson, all-time blocks leader Caswell Cyrus and former Team Canada representatives Barry Mungar and Norman Clarke.

St. Bonaventure had the largest, and loudest, fan representation in Toronto and did not disappoint its faithful as the Bonnies scored an 80-74 win over Rutgers. It marked the program's 34th win all-time over current members of the Big Ten and second in a row. The Bonnies defeated Maryland in Florida in November 2017.

SERIES HISTORY
St. Bonaventure's series with Canisius is longer than with any other opponent in program history - the Bonnies have been playing the Griffs since their inaugural season of 1919-20. The very first game was held in Butler Gym at St. Bonaventure on Jan. 23, 1920 and the Bonnies held off the Griffs by a 31-14 final.

In 167 previous meetings, the Bonnies have scored 101 victories with their 100th win over Canisius coming in Buffalo on Dec. 6, 2017. St. Bonaventure has won seven of the last 10 meetings.

St. Bonaventure vs. Canisius - THE LAST MEETING
Nov. 27, 2018  – St. Bonaventure 70, Canisius 55

Courtney Stockard returned from injury in style, scoring 19 points to go with seven rebounds and three assists to lead the Bonnies to a 70-55 win over the Griffs.

St. Bonaventure extended its lead to 37-20 by the 1:04 mark in the first half. The Bonnies outscored the Griffs 23-6 over the final 7:47 of the opening period to take a 37-23 lead into halftime. Senior guard Nelson Kaputo also sparked the Bonnies with 11 points in the first 20 minutes, going 3-4 from three-point range.

In the second half, Canisius pulled to within 10 points at 41-31, but the Bonnies responded with a 10-0 spurt to take control for good.

ABOUT CANISIUS

  • Canisius was picked to finish seventh in the MAAC in the coaches' annual preseason poll.
  • The Golden Griffins have started the season with a record of 1-2, with their lone win coming against Bucknell this past Saturday (83-81). Their first two games resulted in losses on the road at Brown (75-68) and Albany (83-57).
  • Senior guard Malik Johnson leads the team in scoring for the Griffs with 20.0 ppg through three games. The second-leading scorer, sophomore guard Jordan Henderson, checks in at 12.5 ppg. Johnson was named to the 2019-20 Preseason All-MAAC Second Team.
  • The Griffs finished last season with an overall record of 15-17 and 11-7 in conference play. They advanced to the 2019 MAAC Championship semifinal game for just the fourth time since 2000, and for the first time since 2014.

BONNIES VS. THE MAAC 
St. Bonaventure has played Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) opponents more than any other conference outside of the Atlantic 10. That's not surprising considering Western New York rivals Canisius (167 meetings) and Niagara (159 meetings) are both MAAC members. The Bonnies own a 257-166 all-time record vs. MAAC opponents. There's only one MAAC program Bona has not faced multiple times - that's Rider, who the Bonnies have a 1-0 record against.

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