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Bonnies Look To Make It Three Straight Over Rhody Saturday

Bonnies Look To Make It Three Straight Over Rhody Saturday

Game Notes: St. Bonaventure | Rhode Island | Atlantic 10
St. Bonaventure (12-7, 2-2 A-10) vs. Rhode Island (6-12, 0-4 A-10)
Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011 | 1 p.m. | Reilly Center (5,480)

The women's basketball team enters Saturday afternoon's matchup looking to bounce back from a 76-56 loss at No. 7 Xavier Wednesday night. That 20-point loss represents the first time in nearly two years an opponent has beaten the Bonnies by 20 points, dating back to a Feb. 27, 2008 loss at Massachusetts, 70-50. Rhode Island enters Saturday's matchup mired in a four-game losing streak, all Atlantic 10 Conference games, and have been outscored in those games by an average of 21.2 points. The Rams lead the all-time series against the Bonnies, 23-21, but St. Bonaventure has won each of the last two meetings, including two years ago when the always-potent Bonaventure defense held Rhody to its fewest point total in series history in a 54-48 decision.

Last Time Out
Twenty-seven second-half points from junior Jessica Jenkins and sophomore Chelsea Bowker wasn't enough for St. Bonaventure to overcome No. 7 Xavier Wednesday, as the Musketeers (15-2, 4-0 A-10) rode a 53.6-percent shooting night to a 76-56 win at the Cintas Center.

Number Crunching
St. Bonaventure enters Saturday's game 8-0 on the year against teams with losing records. This will be just the fifth time this year the Bonnies come into a matchup averaging more points per game than their opponent, as the Brown and White is currently averaging 59.6 and the Rams score 58.7 a game. In each of the previous four meetings against such opponents, Bonaventure has won each game, and has done so emphatically as the smallest winning margin in those games has been 19 points (Quinnipiac, 66-47; Niagara, 68-47; Canisius, 74-41; George Washington, 72-48). While St. Bonaventure has not played an overtime game since its season opener, the same can't be said for Rhode Island. The Rams are nearing in on a historical season as it relates to overtime periods as they have already played five overtime games and 10 overtime periods, including a stretch earlier this year when they played four straight overtime games (OT, 2 OT, 3 OT, 2 OT). With two more overtime games, Rhode Island will match the all-time NCAA record for overtime games in a season, set by Wisconsin in 1999.

Scouting Rhode Island
-- The Rams are led offensively by Rochester native Megan Shoniker who averages team highs of 19.8 points and 3.8 assists per game; the Greece Arcadia native also leads the A-10 playing 39.7 minutes per game
-- Shoniker has attempted 303 shots already this year; no other Ram has attempted more than 185
-- URI was picked to finish 12th in the 14-team A-10 in the preseason
-- Rhody returns seven letterwinners and three starters from a team which finished 9-20 a season ago, including losing its last 12 games of the year
-- The Rams are 0-4 this year when scoring fewer than 50 points; the Bonnies are 7-0 when holding their opponents to fewer than 50 points

St. Bonaventure vs. Rhode Island
Series Quick Facts
Overall: Rhode Island Leads, 23-21
At St. Bonaventure: St. Bonaventure Leads, 14-7
At Rhode Island: Rhode Island Leads, 14-7
At Neutral Site: Rhode Island Leads, 2-0
Most St. Bonaventure Points: 95 (Feb. 16, 1998: 95-67)
Most Rhode Island Points: 120 (Mar. 10, 1994: 120-62)
Fewest St. Bonaventure Points: 47 (Jan. 16, 2003: 63-47)
Fewest Rhode Island Points: 48 (Feb. 10, 2009: 54-48)
Largest St. Bonaventure Margin: 28 (Feb. 16, 1998: 95-67)
Largest Rhode Island Margin: 58 (Mar. 10, 1994: 120-62)

Cathy Inglese, who reached the 400-win milestone at Albany on Jan. 2, 2010, was introduced as head coach of the University of Rhode Island women's basketball program on April 14, 2009.

Inglese came to Rhode Island from Boston College, where she served as head coach from 1993-2008. There, the Wallingford, Conn. native registered a 273-179 (.604) record and led the Eagles to 20-or-more wins in eight of her 15 seasons in Chestnut Hill. She also guided Boston College to seven NCAA Tournament appearances and one trip to the WNIT. Under her direction, the Eagles made three NCAA Sweet 16 appearances (2003, 2004 and 2006) and posted a program-high national ranking of No. 14 (USA Today) at the end of the 2003-04 season.

Prior to her stint at Boston College, Inglese served as head coach at the University of Vermont for seven seasons, posting a 120-74 (.619) record. During that time, her Catamounts registered some of the best regular season performances in NCAA women's basketball history. From 1991-93, Inglese's UVM teams set an NCAA record for consecutive regular season wins. The 1991-92 team posted a 29-0 regular season record, while the 1992-93 squad finished the regular season with a 28-0 mark. It was the first time in NCAA history that a women's basketball team had consecutive undefeated regular seasons.

We're Number One
St. Bonaventure is the only school in the nation that has decreased its loss total every single year since the 2004-05 season: 2004-05: 19; 2005-06: 18; 2006-07: 15; 2007-08: 12; 2008-09: 11; 2009-10: 10. Going back even further, the Bonnies have not increased their loss total since the 2002-03 campaign. In that year they lost 22 games, and the following year in 2003-04 finished with 19 losses, a total they tied the next season to start the streak.

Seeing Double
Jessica Jenkins scored a team-high 19 points in St. Bonaventure's game at Xavier Wednesday night, and she has now been in double-figure points in seven of her last eight games. The junior sharpshooter connected on 5-of-10 3-point attempts, marking the sixth time this year she has hit five 3's in a game. Those long-range shots have helped her rapidly move up the program's all-time 3-point list, where she currently sits in 4th with 184 made 3's, just 14 shy of moving into sole possession of 3rd.

Van Tatenhove En Fuego
After scoring season lows of six and four points against No. 6/7 West Virginia and Kent State, respectively, to close the non-conference schedule, no one on the Bona roster has been hotter than Megan Van Tatenhove. The junior is averaging 17 points per game, three above her season average, in St. Bonaventure's first four A-10 games, including leading the team in scoring twice. She's also getting her teammates in on the act as the 6-foot-1 forward has issued at least one assist in five straight games, tying the longest stretch of games in her career she's had at least one helper in.

Rookie of the Week
Doris Ortega was named the A-10 Rookie of the Week this week, the first honor in her young career. Ortega opened the week with her first double-figure scoring outing, netting a career-high 12 points against La Salle, while adding two blocks and one assist. The Harlem, N.Y., native once again served as a key reserve at GW, scoring eight points as part of a season-high 35 SBU bench points. She also corralled four rebounds, collected one steal and distributed one assist against the Colonials. Ortega closed out the week shooting 46 percent (6-13) from the floor and 88 percent (7-8) at the line.

Turnover Duplication
After finishing 2009-10 as the 7th-best ball-protecting team in the country with just 13.6 turnovers per game, the Bonnies are nearly equaling that total so far this year as they are giving the ball away just 14.2 times per contest, good for 12th in the nation. However, the more symbolic figure from that statistic is that St. Bonaventure is 4-5 when it turns the ball over more times than its opponent, and 8-2 when it has fewer. Unfortunately for the Bonnies, the second of those losses came on Wednesday at Xavier when they committed 15 turnovers to the Musketeers' 16.

Mirror Image
After finishing in the top 10 in the nation in four different statistical categories last year, the Bonnies are looking at repeating those finishes in exactly the same categories again this year. St. Bonaventure is 9th in the nation in free throw shooting (76.8 percent), 10th in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage (38.7), 13th in the nation in scoring defense (53.9 points per game) and 12th in the nation in turnovers per game (14.2).

Leaders In The Clubhouse
With the season two-thirds of the way over, St. Bonaventure is leading the A-10 in several statistical categories, including scoring defense (53.9), free throw percentage (76.8) and rebounding defense (31.5). The Bonnies are also ranked in the top three in three other statistical categories, including 3-point percentage (38.7/3rd), defensive rebound percentage (70.3/2nd) and 3-pointers made per game (6.8/3rd).

It's Kinda Bitter Sweet
Sophomore Chelsea Bowker's first four double-figure point totals of the year each represented a career high, establishing those landmarks against Quinnipiac (16), Lafayette (16), Marist (17) and Buffalo (21). In her last four double-figure point games – most recently an 11-point performance against Xavier Wednesday – she has not broken a career high. However, in the process she set a different career high by scoring in double figures in three straight games, starting with the Kent State game.

Finally Got Rid Of That Monkey
Last Saturday, for the first time in 17 tries, St. Bonaventure defeated George Washington at the Charles E. Smith Center. The Bonnies entered the game 0-16 all-time at the Smith Center, and held the Colonials to 48 points in their win – the lowest scoring output by GW in 36 meetings between the two schools.

The Pine Is Fine
The St. Bonaventure bench was vital in each of the last two Bonaventure wins, as nine players logged double-figure minutes in each game, and for the first time this year all 12 players who dressed saw game action in back-to-back contests. Against La Salle, Doris Ortega came off the bench to score a career-high 12 points en route to earning Rookie of the Week honors this week. Against GW, Cara Gustafson came off the bench to tally a career-high 14 points as part of a season-high 35 St. Bonaventure bench points.

Unfortunately, It Ain't Horseshoes
Close has been the story of the Bonaventure season to this point. Currently at 12-7, five of the seven losses have come by fewer than 10 points, with the only double-digit losses being by 11 and 20 points, respectively, to nationally ranked St. John's and Xavier.

For more game notes, click here.