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Atlantic 10 Play Opens In D.C. Sunday as Bonnies Take on Colonials

ST. BONAVENTURE (8-5) at GEORGE WASHINGTON (6-7)
Sunday, Jan. 5 - 4:00 p.m.
Washington, D.C.
Online Coverage: Live Stats | Live Video | Live Audio
TV: ESPN+ | Radio: Bonnies Basketball Radio Network
Complete Game Notes (PDF)

BONNIES OPEN A-10 PLAY WITH D.C. AREA ROAD SWING

  • St. Bonaventure begins the "second season" with a trip to the nation's capital and a date with George Washington Sunday afternoon in the first of back-to-back games on the road to open A-10 play. The Bonnies stay in the area to face George Mason in Fairfax, Va. Wednesday.
  • The Colonials and the Patriots are home-and-home partners with the Bonnies this season.
  • The Bonnies have won the previous two meetings with GW - last season Osun Osunniyi finished with 18 points and 16 rebounds in a March 2, 2019 win at the Charles E. Smith Center. It was the sixth win in a row overall for the Bonnies as they rose to a top-four finishing spot in the final 2018-19 A-10 standings on the way to a place in the conference Championship Game.
  • Sunday is the first game of the new decade for the Bonnies - the 2010s were great to the program. The Bonnies went 187-125 (a .599 winning percentage), winning the Atlantic 10 title in 2012 and reaching the title game again in 2019. SBU earned an at-large NCAA Tournament bid and First Four win in 2018 following a share of the A-10 regular season league crown and NIT spot in 2016. In all, the Bonnies had four 20-win seasons and six straight years of 18+ victories.
SERIES HISTORY
This will be the 63rd meeting between the Bonnies and Colonials with GW owning a 35-27 lead all-time in the series. Last year's Bona win snapped a long streak of
success for the Colonials in the nation's capital as GW has taken 22 of the 29 meetings on its home floor. In recent years, though, Bona has had the best of the series, winning three of the last four games.
 
LAST MEETING
St. Bonaventure 64, GW 58 (3/2/19)
The Bonnies looked to freshman center Osun Osunniyi for a lift -- and he delivered in dramatic fashion. Osunniyi scored a career high 18 points and grabbed 16 rebounds (career high 40 minutes) to lead the Bonnies to a 64-58 win over George Washington at the Smith Center. St. Bonaventure trailed by 10 points early in the second half before rallying to earn its sixth win in a row. The Bonnies also set a program record with their sixth straight Atlantic 10 road win.
 
GW NOTES
Under first year head coach Jamion Christian, who was at Siena last season, GW went 6-7 in non-conference play and finished with a setback at a common
opponent, Vermont, 76-51 on Tuesday. Vermont is the only common opponent for the Bonnies and Colonials in non-conference.
 
• GW ranks 13th in the league in scoring at 67 points per game and 11th in scoring defense, allowing 69 points per contest.
• GW averages just over 12 turnovers per game, not a high number, but they force on average just over 10 leaving the Colonials with the worst turnover margin in the A-10 thus far (-1.4).
• Armel Potter stands eighth in league scoring (14.3 ppg), leading a set of five players averaging double- figure scoring. Arnoldo Toro has played in only nine games, but averages nearly 10 rebounds.
 
NON-CONFERENCE WRAP UP
  • St. Bonaventure finished non-conference play with an 8-5 record.
  • Bona's seven-game winning streak from Nov. 26-Dec. 21 tied a program record for consecutive non-conference wins since SBU joined the Atlantic 10 in 1979-80. St. Bonaventure also had a seven-game non-conference winning streak in 2017-18 when the Bonnies reached the NCAA Tournament with an at-large bid.
  • Before having their win streak snapped Dec. 30 in a hard-fought battle at defending MAC champion Buffalo, the Bonnies had the fifth-longest active winning streak in the nation.
  • SBU played the first five games without starter Jaren English (hand injury in preseason) and all but 11 minutes of the first five games without last year's Atlantic 10 All-Rookie and All-Defensive Team pick Osun Osunniyi (leg bone bruise suffered in opener). Bona went 1-4 without those two, but won the next seven games once playing with a full roster for the first time.
  • The Bonnies scored a pair of marquee non-conference moments - first, the program traveled to Canada for the first time to take on Rutgers in the James Naismith Classic at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. There, the Bonnies scored a win over their Big Ten foe, 80-74, on Nov. 16. Bona then earned its first in-season tournament title since the 2002 Paradise Jam when it won the Boca Beach Classic in Boca Raton, Fla. by defeating San Diego and FAU.
  • Sophomores Dominick Welch (15.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg) and Kyle Lofton (12.5 ppg, 5.5 apg, 4.0 rpg) were named to the Boca Beach Classic All-Tournament Team.
  • Lofton's 86 total assists during non-conference ranked ninth in the nation while he was also 10th in A-10 scoring at 14.2 ppg.
  • The Bonnies ranked fourth among all A-10 teams during non-conference in both points allowed (63.8 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (40.1%).
  • With Osunniyi in the lineup, the Bonnies are +5.6 in rebounding margin, a total that would rank second in the A-10. 
CAREER NUMBERS
Sophomore Kyle Lofton has served as a facilitator for much of the year, leading the A-10 in assists per game and is one of just two A-10 players averaging over six helpers per contest (6.6 apg, Richmond's Jacob Gilyard averages 6.1 apg). Dec. 30 at Buffalo, though, Lofton matched his career high in scoring with 32 points and a career-best 15 made field goals.
  • He still handed out eight assists, having a hand in 50 of Bona's 79 points.
  • Fellow sophomore Dominick Welch battled injury last season, missing the majority of the non-conference slate. He still led the team with 43 3-pointers on the year, but nearly reached that mark during this year's non-conference slate alone.
  • Welch finished non-conference play with 38 treys, good for second in the A-10. 
YOUTH IS SERVED
This year's team is the youngest in Coach Mark Schmidt's tenure and the Bonnies are all-in with their underclassmen. The team's top seven scorers are all freshmen or sophomores.
  • Only one upperclassman - the team's lone senior, Amadi Ikpeze is averaging more than 15 minutes per game.
  • St. Bonaventure has received over 90 percent of its season scoring from underclassmen and its top seven scorers are all either freshmen or sophomores (counting redshirt sophomore Bobby Planutis). That puts Bona as one of the most youth-dominated rosters in the nation – St. Bonaventure ranks second among all Division I teams in terms of percent of scoring from its underclassmen:
1. USC Upstate – 95 percent
2. St. Bonaventure – 90 percent
3. Belmont – 82 percent
4. Binghamton – 78 percent

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