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Bonnies Return Home After 2-0 Start To A-10 Play

ST. BONAVENTURE (10-5, 2-0 A-10) vs. FORDHAM (6-8, 0-2 A-10)
Saturday, Jan. 11 - 2:00 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 Bonnies return home to the Reilly Center for their first game on campus at St. Bonaventure in 23 days, hosting Fordham Saturday afternoon. Fresh off a winning road trip where SBU grabbed two victories at George Washington and George Mason to start Atlantic 10 play, the team aims to continue its strong start to the "second season" when the Rams visit Western New York.

TICKET PROMOTIONS
Fans can receive buy one, get one tickets in certain sections courtesy of the Greater Olean Chamber of Commerce. This offer is only available in person at the SBU Ticket Office or by calling (716) 375-2500. Endzone tickets are also available for $18 and come with a FREE Bonnies basketball T-shirt. 

  • The Bonnies are off to their first 2-0 start in A-10 play since 2015-16 (4-0). Prior to that, their last 2-0 A-10 start was in 1999-2000. Bona won two games on the road to begin the A-10 slate with victories at GW and George Mason.
  • Osun Osunniyi is averaging 14.0 points, 13.5 rebounds and 5.0 blocks in the two A-10 wins. Wednesday at Mason, he had eight points, 18 rebounds, five blocks, four assists and three steals.
  • In the past three games, Kyle Lofton is averaging 22.0 ppg, 7.0 apg, 5.0 rpg and shooting 46 percent from the floor.
  • Last week brought the first games 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.
PREVIOUS MEETING
St. Bonaventure 74, Fordham 53 (2/23/19)
St. Bonaventure held Fordham to 36 percent shooting and connected on 11 three-pointers itself en route to a convincing win in the Bronx.
 
The Bonnies led by 10 at halftime and started the second half hot, pushing the lead up to 19 by the 14:23 mark.
 
SERIES HISTORY
Saturday marks the 43rd meeting between the Bonnies and the Rams. St. Bonaventure leads the series 25-17 and has won seven straight over its in-state foe. Stretching further, the Bonnies have won 13 of the last 14 games dating back to 2010. The Bonnies are 14-6 all-time at the Reilly Center vs. the Rams. 
 
Dominick Welch posted 11 points and six rebounds in last year's 74-53 win at Fordham while Osun Osunniyi had eight points and 11 rebounds.
 
FORDHAM NOTES
  • Fordham enters the game with a 6-8 record, 0-2 in the Atlantic 10, and is coming off a 66-60 A-10 loss to La Salle in the Rose Hill Gym last Sunday afternoon.
  • Last week, the Rams played La Salle without the services of three of their top four scorers. Senior guard Antwon Portley was the first to suffer an injury, injuring his leg in the James Madison game and missing the past three contests. Last week against La Salle, senior guard Erten Gazi was ruled out prior to the game with an injury before junior forward Chuba Ohams suffered an injury during pregame warmups.

POWER IN THE PAINT
Bona outscored Mason 28-22 in the paint and owns a +71 margin in the paint over the last four games (vs. Niagara, at Middle Tennessee, at GW, at Mason).

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. 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
 
LOFTON'S LOFTY NUMBERS
For the season, Kyle Lofton ranks 15th in the nation and third in the A-10 in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.91). Lofton leads the A-10 in assists per game (6.6 apg), total assists (99), minutes per game (38.6 mpg) and free throw percentage (86.8%). He ranks in the top 20 nationally in assists, assist-to-turnover ratio and minutes. He has finished with six or more assists 16 times so far during his Bonaventure career.
 
Lofton has played 36 or more minutes in 39 of 49 career games played and entered the year with the most minutes played last season of any returning A-10 player. He's played the full 40 eight times this year.
 
'SHOON SWATS
  • Against Hofstra Dec. 7, Osun Osunniyi hauled in 16 rebounds and a season-high 18 boards Jan. 8 at George Mason. His career-high is 22 boards set last year. The 16 rebounds Dec. 7 were the most by a Bona player in the Reilly Center since Andrew Nicholson had 23 vs. Duquesne Feb. 11, 2012. 
  • Osunniyi is averaging 2.8 blocks per game through the first 45 games of his Bonnies career. That would rank first overall in Bonnies program history – Bona's all-time blocks leader Caswell Cyrus averaged 2.5 blocks per game over his 114-game career between 1996-2000, finishing with 289 swats. 
  • With Osunniyi in the lineup, the Bonnies are +7.1 in rebounding margin, a total that would lead the A-10 over a full season - and by a wide margin. Saint Louis currently leads the A-10 at +5.6. 
  • Despite missing four games and being limited in others while returning from injury, Osunniyi still ranks 24th in the country in total blocks this year (36). If eligible for the national rankings in blocks per game, his 3.1 would rank sixth among all D-I players.
  • Read The Buffalo News article on Osunniyi
BEASTS ON THE BOARDS
  • St. Bonaventure ranks third in the A-10 in rebounding margin (+3.2) this season.
  • The Bonnies are 9-2 when winning the battle of the boards this season - their lone win when losing the rebounding battle came Nov. 16 vs. Rutgers.
  • With Osun Osunniyi in the lineup, the Bonnies are +7.1 on the boards. That would rank tied for 30th nationally this season.
A-10 HONOR ROLL
Kyle Lofton is on this week's Atlantic 10 Honor Roll (Jan. 6) after averaging 24.5 ppg, 8.0 apg, 5.0 rpg and shooting 49 percent from the floor in two games (at Buffalo, at GW). He has been on the weekly honor roll three times.
 
ATLANTIC 10 ACES
In the past five seasons, St. Bonaventure is the only Atlantic 10 team to reach at least 10 victories during conference play each year. During that time, the Bonnies have the third-best winning percentage in the league overall (2014-15 through 2018-19):
 
School        Record  Win Pct.
1. VCU        65-25  .722
2. Dayton    63-27  .700
3. SBU        61-29  .678
4. Davidson 59-31  .656
    URI         59-31  .656
 
In fact, Bona's 74-48 record and .607 winning percentage in A-10 play since the start of the 2012-13 season also ranks third in the league during that time period among schools who were league members that entire span (Davidson did not join the league until 2014-15). 
 
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