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Bonnies To Open Delayed Campaign Tuesday vs. Akron

ST. BONAVENTURE (0-0) vs. AKRON (1-0) 
Tuesday, Dec. 15 - 2:00 p.m.
Cleveland, Ohio - Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
Radio: Bonnies Basketball Radio Network
Live Stats | Live Video | Live Audio
Complete Game Notes (PDF) 


  • The Bonnies have started a season during the month of December just five times since 1975 and since that point have opened a season later just once: Dec. 16, 1975, vs. Georgetown. St. Bonaventure had not opened a campaign in December since 1992.
  • This is Take Three for Bona's opening game: The Bonnies were originally slated to be in the very first game of the NCAA basketball season in "Bubbleville" back on Nov. 25, but a positive COVID-19 test paused team activities for two weeks on Nov. 19, cancelling three games against Stephen F. Austin, Towson and Army (after another was already wiped away when Vermont decided not to play non-conference games). SBU tried again this past Saturday when, less than two hours before tip, a positive COVID test from Saint Francis (PA) canceled that game as well. In all, the Bonnies have had five games taken off the schedule so far because of COVID cancellations.
  • Tuesday's game will take place in Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, home of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Bonnies are looking for another regular season win inside an NBA venue: Last November, St. Bonaventure scored a victory over Rutgers in the Toronto Raptors' ScotiaBank Arena as part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Naismith Classic. On that night, Alejandro Vasquez poured in a game-high 20 points and Justin Winston added 19.

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2 – Dominick Welch is two points away from tying the late Sam Urzetta, '50, for 100th all-time in Bonnies career scoring (556 points). Urzetta was also a golf star, winning the 1950 National Amateur Championship. He was inducted into the SBU Hall of Fame in 1969 as part of the first-ever induction class.
4 – Four SBU players averaged double-figure scoring in A-10 play last year - Kyle Lofton (14.1 ppg), Jaren Holmes (13.2), Osun Osunniyi (11.3) and Dominick Welch (11.2). A fifth, Justin Winston averaged 9.3 ppg in the A-10.
5 – Following Saturday's cancellation, the Bonnies now only have three games on their non-conference schedule. Thus far, five games have been cancelled due to virus concerns either within St. Bonaventure or an opponent (Stephen F. Austin, Towson, Army, Vermont, Saint Francis).
10.9 – The Bonnies posted 10.9 turnovers per game during A-10 play last year, ranking third in the league (Richmond and Davidson, 10.8).
21 – Osun Osunniyi ranked 21st nationally in blocks per game last year.
23 – Entering Monday, St. Bonaventure was one of 23 Division I men's basketball teams yet to have played a game.
38 – Dominick Welch had 38 offensive rebounds during A-10 play, most of any Bona player last year in conference action.
41 – Kyle Lofton shot 41 percent from beyond the arc during A-10 play last year.
283 – Should the Bonnies finally be able to tip off the season Tuesday, it would come 283 days since their last game action (March 7 at Saint Louis in last year's regular season finale).
928 – Kyle Lofton begins the season with 928 career points and has at least one assist in every game he has played during his Bonaventure career.
Akron 61, St. Bonaventure 49 (11/21/18)
Having just seven scholarship players in a three-games-in-three-days tournament is not a recipe for success. That held true as St. Bonaventure dropped its final game in the Cayman Islands Classic to Akron, 61-49, at John Gray Gym.
The Bonnies, who dropped to 1-5 on the season, again played without three injured starters, senior forwards Courtney Stockard and LaDarien Griffin and freshman swingman Dominick Welch.
Nelson Kaputo led the Bonnies with 14 points. Freshman point guard Kyle Lofton finished with 13.
Despite their relative close proximity, the Bonnies and Akron have met in men's basketball just two times previously and only once in the past half century. 
The last time the Bonnies and Zips met, it was outside the continental U.S. when the Zips took a 61-49 decision in the finale of the Cayman Islands Classic. Akron defeated a Bonnies squad decimated by injuries that day, but that game did feature the very early careers of future Atlantic 10 stars Kyle Lofton and Osun Osunniyi. Bona eventually got healthy and made a run to the Atlantic 10 Championship Game that March. 
Previously, Akron visited St. Bonaventure during the 1942-43 season when the Zips held on for a 39-36 victory. That ended up being an 18-4 season for Akron with a trip to the NAIA national tournament. For the Bonnies, it was the opener to a season in which they finished 8-9 in the 15th and final season under legendary head coach Mike Reilly. That was one of just four losing seasons the Bonnies had under Reilly. 
Like the Bonnies, the Zips have had their schedule turned upside down by COVID. Akron went on a two-week pause in late November as well due to cases of the virus within Tier 1 personnel and Tuesday will mark the Zips' first Division I game after opening the season against Division II Cedarville on Saturday at home with a 97-49 win.
Akron returns 10 players from a squad that finished 24-7 last year and captured the Mid-American Conference regular season championship, including reigning MAC Player of the Year Loren Cristian Jackson. Jackson was recently named to the Preseason Lou Henson Player of the Year Award Watch List. 
The Zips were picked to finish third in the MAC Preseason Coaches' Poll, also picking up a pair of first-place votes.
Bona represents Akron's only scheduled Division I non-conference opponent this year. The Zips open MAC play against Kent State Saturday.
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