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Bonnies Take Four-Game Winning Streak into Saturday Matinee vs. Gannon

ST. BONAVENTURE (5-4) vs. GANNON (2-4)
Saturday, Dec. 14 - 4:00 p.m.
Reilly Center
Online Coverage: Live Stats | Live Video | Live Audio
TV: ESPN+ | Radio: Bonnies Basketball Radio Network
Complete Game Notes (PDF)

OPENING TIP 
The St. Bonaventure men's basketball team returns to action after a week off for finals, bringing a four-game winning streak into Saturday afternoon's contest vs. Gannon.

SERIES HISTORY
When the Bonnies and Golden Knights meet on Saturday it will be the first time the programs have faced off in over four decades – but far from the first time St. Bonaventure and Gannon have played on the hardwood. The two campuses are separated by approximately 90 miles and the close proximity led to a long-running series during the early era of Bonaventure basketball.

St. Bonaventure has played Gannon 27 times – but the last meeting occurred during the 1976-77 season. In all, the Bonnies own a 22-5 lead in series history.

The last time the Bonnies played the Golden Knights came back on Feb. 16, 1977, when the Brown and White defeated Gannon, 91-65, at the Reilly Center. That, of course, was a memorable season in program history – the Bonnies would go on to win the NIT championship just over a month later, finishing the year with a 24-6 record.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • 7 – Bobby Planutis in his first Bona season has provided seven or more rebounds in four games already.
  • 12 – The Bonnies drilled a season-high 12 three-pointers in last Saturday's win over Hofstra.
  • 16 – Kyle Lofton ranks 16th in the nation among all Division I players in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.31).
  • 17 – Jaren English poured in a career-high 17 points last Saturday vs. Hofstra in just his fourth career Division I game.
  • 28 – Saturday will mark the 28th meeting all-time between the Bonnies and Gannon – but first since 1977.
  • 64 – St. Bonaventure shot a scorching 64 percent (16-for-25) from the floor during last Saturday's first half.
  • 100 – Wednesday marked the 100th anniversary of the first game as an intercollegiate program for St. Bonaventure which occurred in Butler Gym Dec. 11, 1919.
LAST MEETING
St. Bonaventure 91, Gannon 65 (2/16/77 at Reilly Center)
Essie Hollis and Greg Sanders paced the Bonnies with 21 points apiece as St. Bonaventure won at home over the Golden Knights. Just over a month later the Bonnies would be crowned NIT champions under head coach Jim Satalin. Hollis and Sanders, meanwhile, were two of the top players in program history and today are both on the Bonnies Centennial Season All-Time Team. A third member of the All-Time Team, Glenn Hagan also poured in 17 points on that day.
 
GANNON NOTES
  • The Golden Knights, members of the Division II Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) are in their first season under the direction of head coach Kelvin Jefferson who takes over after spending the past three years as an assistant on the staff at Old Dominion. Gannon returned 10 players with previous playing experience including Michael  Tertsea, a Rhode Island transfer. Junior guard Frank Webb Jr. is the reigning PSAC Western Division Athlete of the Week after scoring 20-plus points in each of his last two games.
  • At 2-4 on the year, Gannon is looking to snap a two-game losing skid with setbacks at Kutztown (92-82, OT) in PSAC play and at home vs. No. 11 Ashland (81-76).
  • Playing at a Division I foe won't lead to the Golden Knights being star-struck – Gannon played an exhibition game at Indiana on Oct. 29, only trailing by eight at the half before falling, 84-54. 
  • Gannon has the 15th-best winning percentage all-time in Division II.
 
 
DROPPIN' DIMES
  • Sophomore Kyle Lofton handed out a career-high 11 assists in the win over Hofstra Dec. 7. It was the first time a Bona player had double digit assists since Jaylen Adams had 12 vs. La Salle Feb. 15, 2017.
  • For the season, he ranks 16th in the nation and second in the A-10 in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.31).
  • Lofton is also first in the league and second in the nation in minutes per game (39.1 mpg) as well as second in the A-10 and 26th in the nation in free throw percentage (90.6 percent).
  • He has finished with six or more assists 12 times so far during his Bonaventure career.
  • Lofton has played 36 or more minutes in 34 of 43 career games played and entered the year with the most minutes played last season of any returning A-10 player.
  • Lofton also became the first freshman to start every game during the Mark Schmidt era.
 
DOWNTOWN DOM
  • Bonnies sophomore Dominick Welch is fourth among all Atlantic 10 players this season with 28 three-pointers, averaging 3.1 per game.
  • His 17 points vs. Hofstra represent the fourth-highest scoring total of his Bona career.
  • During Bona's current four-game winning streak, he has shot better than 53 percent from distance (16-30).
  • In 25 games last year, he hit 43 3-pointers and shot 36 percent from distance. His 43 3's were a team-high during the '17-18 campaign.
  • He finished his high school career as the all-time leading scorer in boys Western New York history (2,376 points at Cheektowaga).
 
 
HITTING THE CENTURY MARK
  • Saturday will be the 100th career game for senior Amadi Ikpeze. The Buffalo native is the lone senior on this year's squad and has helped the Bonnies to 69 wins so far over the past four seasons.
  • During his career, he has started 30 games – including 11 during the 2017-18 NCAA Tournament season in which the Bonnies won a program-record 26 games. He has also played over 1,200 minutes of game action.
 
ENGLISH'S ENTRANCE
  • The Bonnies benefitted from the debut of Jaren English, who was sidelined for the first five games of the year following a hand injury suffered in preseason.
  • English, who was in line for a potential starting role before his injury, played 29 minutes off the bench with six points, four assists and three rebounds in his season debut Nov. 26 vs. Mercer.
  • In the Boca Classic games in Florida, he averaged 36 minutes including his first double-digit scoring effort of 12 points in a win over San Diego Dec. 1. He displayed his ability to shoot from long range, going 4-for-5 from distance Dec. 7 vs. Hofstra. His season shooting percentages are above.
  • Since returning to action, the Bonnies are 4-0 and are shooting 44.4 percent from the floor as a team including 42.5 percent from distance. In five games before English debuted, the Bonnies went 1-4 while shooting just 38.6 percent as a team and only 28.2 percent beyond the arc.
  • A sophomore transfer, English played last season at Ranger CC in Texas under head coach Billy Gillispie. While there, he helped the Rangers to a berth in the NJCAA Division I championship game.
 
 
A-10 HONOR ROLL
  • Dominick Welch is on this week's Atlantic 10 Weekly Honor Roll (Dec. 9) after averaging 16.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg and going 10-for-19 from long range in two wins at FAU and vs. Hofstra.
  • Osun Osunniyi earned a spot A-10 Honor Roll Dec. 2 after back-to-back double-doubles in two wins. For the week he averaged 15 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks.
  • Freshman Justin Winston earned a spot Nov. 26 on the Atlantic 10 Weekly Honor Roll after scoring 14 points with five rebounds vs. Canisius on Nov. 23. It marked the second consecutive week Winston had been on the conference's honor roll. Fellow freshman Alejandro Vasquez earned the honor once and sophomore Kyle Lofton landed on the honor roll for the week ending Nov. 17 as well.
MARQUEE WINS
St. Bonaventure has scored victories in two marquee non-conference events this year – the Bonnies knocked off Big Ten foe Rutgers in Toronto as part of the inaugural James Naismith Classic hosted by the National Basketball Hall of Fame in Toronto last month before capturing the Boca Beach Classic crown.
 
BONNIES TAKE BOCA CLASSIC TITLE
St. Bonaventure claimed the Boca Beach Classic Hall of Fame Bracket championship in Boca Raton, Fla. after wins over San Diego and Florida Atlantic Dec. 1-2. Playing FAU on its home floor, the Bonnies stormed back from a 17-point first half deficit to claim a 71-64 win. With the championship win, the Bonnies earned their first in-season tournament title since 2002 when they won the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands with wins over Michigan and Virginia Tech.
 
Bona sophomores Dominick Welch and Kyle Lofton each were named to the Boca Classic All-Tournament Team for their efforts. Welch paced the Bonnies in scoring in both of their victories during the tournament, averaging 15.5 points and 5.5 rebounds. Lofton filled the stat sheet by averaging 12.5 points, 5.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds in the victories. He played all but one minute during the tournament.
 
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