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Bonnies Host Rhode Island Saturday Afternoon at 3 p.m.

Photo: Erik Schelkun, Elsestar Images
Photo: Erik Schelkun, Elsestar Images
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ST. BONAVENTURE (12-7, 4-2 A-10) vs. RHODE ISLAND (13-5, 5-1 A-10)
Saturday, Jan. 25 - 3:00 p.m.
Reilly Center
Online Coverage - Live Stats | Live Video | Live Audio
TV: Stadium | Radio: Bonnies Basketball Radio Network
Complete Game Notes (PDF)

Please note: Saturday's game time is 3:00 p.m., NOT 4:00 p.m. as listed in some preseason materials. The game time was adjusted to accomodate national TV. 

OPENING TIP

  • St. Bonaventure matched its school record for best start in Atlantic 10 play by winning its first four conference games and had won 11 of 12 games before setbacks in perhaps the toughest back-to-back road swing the A-10 can offer with dates at VCU and No. 7 Dayton.
  • Bona is playing its first game on home court since Jan. 11 and the Bonnies are at the Reilly Center for just the second time since Dec. 18. The Bonnies went 6-3 in nine games away from home between Dec. 1-Jan. 22.
  • A near capacity crowd is expected Saturday. A sell out would be Bona's second of the season along with the Dec. 7 win over Hofstra.
  • The Bonnies are looking to extend a five-game home win streak and improve what is a 30-6 home record in A-10 play since 2015-16.
  • St. Bonaventure is hosting Rhode Island for the first time since a memorable 77-74 win over the then-No.14/16 ranked Rams on Feb. 16, 2018 - a win that snapped what was at the time the longest active win streak in the nation by URI and gave the Bonnies a signature win on the way to an NCAA Tournament at-large bid. 

TV COVERAGE
Saturday's game will air through Stadium TV on affiliates nationwide. CLICK HERE for the full list of affiliates. The game will also be streamed free online by clicking the link above.

BONNIES HOST COACHES VS. CANCER GAME
The St. Bonaventure men's basketball coaching staff is taking part in this week's Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers initiative.

The Bonnies have taken part in the cause for several years and continue to take a larger role in the fight with head coach Mark Schmidt taking a spot on the national board for Coaches vs. Cancer this year.

In addition to Bonnies coaches wearing sneakers today, Bona players will have shooting shirts provided by Coaches vs. Cancer. Fans can contribute to the cause by purchasing customized bracelets at arena entrances for donations beginning at $1. There will also be a "Miracle Minute" during a media timeout of today's game where buckets will be passed through the crowd by St. Bonaventure cheerleaders for fans to donate toward Coaches vs. Cancer. All proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society for cancer research.

Coaches vs. Cancer is a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

This initiative leverages the personal experiences, community leadership, and professional excellence of coaches nationwide to increase cancer awareness and promote healthy living through year-round awareness efforts, fundraising activities, and advocacy programs. Since 1993, coaches have raised over $125 million for the American Cancer Society.

TRENDING NUMBERS

2 - Bona's #2, freshman Robert Carpenter posted career highs of 7 points and 12 minutes Wednesday at #7 Dayton.
6.4 - Kyle Lofton is averaging 6.4 assists per game this year and is the only A-10 player averaging better than six assists per contest.
10 - Bona is leading the A-10 by committing a conference-low 10 turnovers per game during conference play. 
St. Bonaventure has committed single digit turnovers in each of the past three games.
11-0 - St. Bonaventure is 11-0 this season when Osun Osunniyi plays at least 18 minutes. Osunniyi remains day-to-day due to concussion protocol. 
15 - Jaren English is averaging a team-best 15.0 points per game in Atlantic 10 play, though he has been limited to four A-10 contests due to a concussion suffered earlier this month. He matched his Division I career high with 17 points at Dayton.
90 - Prior to this past Saturday at VCU, the Bonnies had not surrendered 90 points in regulation since a 90-74 setback vs. Dayton Jan. 3, 2017. 
 
PREVIOUS MEETING
St. Bonaventure 68, URI 51 (3/16/19 - A-10 Semis)
Down 15 points in the first half, St. Bonaventure never blinked. In fact, the Bonnies not only came back but eventually won with relative ease, topping Rhode Island 68-51 at Barclays Center in the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 Tournament.
 
Defense and scoring from three freshman starters powered St. Bonaventure past Rhode Island. The Bonnies held the Rams to just 22 points in the second half on 28 percent (7-25) shooting. St. Bonaventure freshman point guard Kyle Lofton led all scorers with 23 points to go with five assists. Classmate Dominick Welch scored 13 points and had nine rebounds and three blocked shots, while fellow freshman Osun Osunniyi had 10 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks.
 
SERIES HISTORY
Saturday marks the 72nd meeting all-time between St. Bonaventure and Rhode Island – the Rams hold a 42-29 lead all-time. A year ago, the teams split a pair of meetings – Rhode Island grabbed a 75-63 win on home court last year, but the Bonnies got revenge in the Atlantic 10 Tournament by taking a convincing 68-51 victory in the A-10 Semifinals. 
 
RHODE ISLAND NOTES
- The Rams have won five of their first six games in conference play, including an impressive 65-56 victory over VCU on the road last weekend. On Wednesday night, the Rams scored a 77-55 win at home over Duquesne which had been receiving votes in the Top 25 rankings.
- URI currently ranks third in the conference offensively, averaging 73.6 points per game.
- On the glass, URI sits in sixth place in the A-10 with a +1.1 rebounding margin compared to SBU in the third spot with +3.1.
- Junior guard Fatts Russell sits atop the stats sheet for the Rams, averaging 19.2 points per game, nearly six points higher than his closest teammate. 
- Senior forward Cyril Langevine, standing at 6'8", has dominated the boards this season, averaging a 
double-double with 10.8 rebounds and 10.1 points.
 
BONNIES BEST A-10 STARTS
St. Bonaventure opened Atlantic 10 play with four consecutive wins, giving the Bonnies their third 4-0 start in program history. With this year's 4-2 start, the Bonnies now have a .677 winning percentage (65-31) since 2014-15.
 
ROOKIE ROB MAKING STRIDES
Freshman Robert Carpenter has taken an increased role in the past two games with Osun Osunniyi out. Carpenter has shown flashes of the promise that made him a strong prospect out of Mt. Zion Prep (MD) where he averaged over 20 points and 10 rebounds. After a mouth 
injury cost him the first three A-10 games, he responded with 12 minutes of action at VCU, then scored a career-best seven points (3-5 FG) in 12 more minutes off the bench at No. 7 Dayton. Mt. Zion also turned out another A-10 gem recently - Dayton's Obi Toppin.
 
LOFTON'S LOFTY NUMBERS
  • Sophomore Kyle Lofton is quickly becoming one of the nation's top point guards. Lofton leads the A-10 in assists per game (6.4 apg - no other player is over 6.0), total assists (122) and minutes per game (38.2 mpg). Nationally, he ranks top 20 in minutes, assists and assist-to-turnover ratio.
  • He handed out a career-high 11 assists in the win over Hofstra Dec. 7 and matched that with 11 more Dec. 14 vs. Gannon and again Dec. 18 vs. Niagara. He's the first Bonnies player to register double-digit assists in three straight games since Marques Green achieved the feat in 2003. Green posted 10 assists vs. both Xavier and Fordham before setting the program record (since tied twice by Jaylen Adams) with 14 assists vs. La Salle. That came as a stretch of five out of six games with double-digit assists for Green that year and seven out of nine contests. Lofton is in good company – Green today ranks as Bona's all-time assists leader (8th in A-10 history) with 657 and was selected to the program's All-Time Team.
  • He has finished with six or more assists 18 times so far during his Bonaventure career.
  • Lofton has played 36 or more minutes in 40 of 53 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.
ENGLISH'S ENTRANCE
  • Sophomore Jaren English has been sidelined for seven games due to injury (hand injury suffered in preseason cost him the first five games, then a concussion forced him out of the first two A-10 games), but the Bonnies have been at their best with him in the lineup.
  • English, who was in line for a potential starting role before his injury, made his Division I debut Nov. 26.
  • In his first three A-10 games, he's averaged 14.3 ppg and shot 48% from the floor.
  • 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. Returning from concussion symptoms, he posted 16 points and a career-best six assists in a win over Fordham Jan. 11.
  • English has a Bonnies' best 15.0 ppg in Atlantic 10 play, matching his Division I-best scoring output with 17 points Jan. 22 at No. 7/7 Dayton. He has shot better than 52% from the floor in A-10 action.
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.