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St. Bonaventure Returns To The Road For Challenge at VCU

St. Bonaventure Returns To The Road For Challenge at VCU

ST. BONAVENTURE (12-5, 4-0 A-10) at VCU (12-5, 2-2 A-10)
Saturday, Jan. 18 - 2:00 p.m.
Richmond, Va.
Online Coverage - Live Stats | Live Video | Live Audio
TV: CBS Sports Network | Radio: Bonnies Basketball Network
Complete Game Notes (PDF)

OPENING TIP

  • St. Bonaventure has matched the school record for best start in Atlantic 10 play by winning its first four conference games - and its reward is facing three of the league's best teams over the next week. The Bonnies start that guantlet this Saturday at VCU before traveling to nationally-ranked Dayton Wednesday and then finally returning home to face Rhode Island Jan. 25.
  • The Bonnies are one of the nation's hottest teams, having won 11 of their last 12 games since starting the year 1-4 down two starters as Osun Osunniyi and Jaren English were both sidelined by injury.
  • Bona has been a group of road warriors as of late - the Bonnies are in the midst of a stretch of just one game on home court between Dec. 18 and Jan. 25. Included in the 4-0 A-10 start are two road wins (at GW, at George Mason) and another on a neutral court over UMass this past Wednesday in Rochester, approximately two hours from campus.
  • Kyle Lofton ranks sixth in the league by averaging 17.5 ppg in A-10 play thus far, adding 6.5 apg.
  • Four Bonnies are averaging in double figures in A-10 play - along with Lofton, Jaren English (14.0 ppg), Bobby Planutis (10.0 ppg) and Osun Osunniyi (10.0 ppg, 11.0 rpg). 
SERIES HISTORY
Saturday marks the 10th meeting all-time between St. Bonaventure and VCU - it is the eighth since the Rams joined the Atlantic 10 in 2013. After winning last year's game, VCU took a 5-4 series lead.
 
St. Bonaventure came out on top in the last meeting in Richmond, though, stealing a 68-63 victory behind 21 points apiece from Courtney Stockard and Jaylen Adams. 
 
VCU NOTES
- The Rams are looking to bounce back from setbacks vs. Rhode Island at home last week and No. 13 Dayton this past Tuesday in their last two games.
- Ranked as high as No. 20 in the national polls earlier this year, VCU returned nearly 90 percent of its scoring from a club that won 25 games last year.
- VCU leads the A-10 in turnover margin this year (+5.3), forcing opponents on average into over 18 turnovers per game. St. Bonaventure is committing just over 10 miscues per game in A-10 play thus far.
- The Rams rank seventh in the league in scoring (70.8 ppg) and fourth in defense, allowing just 62.0 ppg. 
- Despite Marcus Santos-Silva's 9.0 rpg, VCU is -1.7 in rebounding margin on the year while St. Bonaventure is +9.5 in A-10 play. 
 
TRENDING NUMBERS
2 - Dominick Welch had his second career double-double Wednesday vs. UMass (11 points, 10 rebounds).
7 - SBU committed just seven turnovers in Wednesday's win over UMass, a season-low. Bona is averaging only 10.5 turnovers in A-10 play.
17 - Kyle Lofton has scored at least 17 points in five straight games.
38.4% - St. Bonaventure's 38.4% shooting percentage from beyond the arc in four league games is an A-10 best.
53.1% - Bobby Planutis has shot over 53 percent from the floor in four A-10 games, ranking him eighth among all conference players.
 
BONNIES BEST A-10 STARTS
St. Bonaventure has opened Atlantic 10 play with four consecutive wins, giving the Bonnies their third 4-0 start in program history. Here's how this year's start stacks up with the other best starts in Bona A-10 history (the Bonnies joined the A-10, then known as the Eastern 8, for the 1979-80 season). With this year's start, the Bonnies now have a .691 winning percentage (65-29) since 2014-15.
 
Season  Start   Finish  Postseason
2019-20 4-0 ? ?
2015-16 4-0 14-4 NIT (A-10 regular season co-champs)
1999-2000 4-0 11-5 NCAA 1st Round (2nd A-10 East)
 
POWER IN THE PAINT
St. Bonaventure has outscored its opponents by a +99 margin in the paint over the past seven games. Last Saturday vs. Fordham, the Bonnies put up 34 paint points with a season-best +26 margin. Since Osun Osunniyi returned to the lineup Nov. 26 vs. Mercer, the Bonnies have not been outscored in the paint. 
 
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
The Bonnies have enjoyed much of their success this year away from home. Since Dec. 1, St. Bonaventure is 6-1 in games away from the Reilly Center. Two of those wins are on neutral courts (vs. San Diego, vs. UMass) while four are in true road games (at FAU, at Middle Tennessee, at GW, at George Mason). 
 
TERRIFIC TRIO
St. Bonaventure's sophomore trio of Kyle Lofton, Osun Osunniyi and Dominick Welch have been special since Day 1 in the Brown and White. When all three have been available for a full game, the Bonnies are 20-3 dating back to Feb. 12, 2019. 
 
BONA'S STINGY DEFENSE
Bona allowed under 50 points in back-to-back games to start A-10 play (49 at George Mason, 44 vs. Fordham) for the first time since the opening two games of the 2013-14 season (46 vs. South Dakota, 47 vs. Abilene Christian). The Bonnies have surrendered 50 points or fewer four times this year, allowing 45 vs. Hofstra and 50 vs. Gannon. 
 
In conference play, St. Bonaventure has been the A-10's top defense, allowing just 55.0 ppg - next best is Duquesne at 60.0 ppg. SBU also has a large lead in best rebounding margin. While St. Bonaventure is +9.5 on the boards in A-10 play the next best team is Dayton at +5.8. Below is a look at how St. Bonaventure has locked down opponents on the defensive end while controlling the glass:
 
Category  Avg./Stat   A-10 Rank 
Scoring defense 55.0 ppg 1st
Opp. FG. Pct .354 1st
Rebound margin +9.5 1st
Blocks 5.0 bpg 4th

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