ST. BONAVENTURE (12-2, 1-0 A-10) vs. FORDHAM (6-8, 1-0)
Thursday, Jan. 7 - 7:00 p.m.
Bob Lanier Court at the Reilly Center – St. Bonaventure, N.Y.
Live Radio: WGWE 105.9 FM (Play-by-play: Mike "Smitty" Smith; Color: Steve McCord)
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OPENING TIP OVERVIEW
St. Bonaventure returns home for its first Atlantic 10 game inside the Reilly Center, hosting Fordham Thursday night at 7 p.m. The Bonnies will look for their 12th straight victory after pushing past Rhode Island with a strong fourth quarter on Sunday. At 8-0 on home court this season, Bona has matched the 2009-10 team for the most consecutive victories at the RC to start a season in the Division I era.
Like the Bonnies, Fordham won its Atlantic 10 opener this past Saturday at home over Davidson, 51-40, after posting a 5-8 record in non-conference action.
- Fordham was selected fourth in the Atlantic 10 Preseason Poll after a fourth place finish in the league standings a year ago, reaching the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 Championship.
- Senior forward Samantha Clark was selected to the A-10 Preseason Third Team and is currently enjoying a career year by averaging 13.1 points and 8.8 rebounds per game while shooting better than 55 percent from the floor. She also possesses range, hitting 10 of 28 three-point attempts this season.
- Points have been at a premium in most of Fordham's games – the Rams rank 13th in the A-10 in scoring (54.8 ppg) and third in points allowed (56.6 ppg).
- The Rams rank second in the conference in free throw percentage (73.8 percent), but have only gotten to the line for 183 shot attempts, ahead of only Rhode Island among A-10 teams.
- Though Fordham has not scored in impressive numbers thus far, the Rams have been very efficient from beyond the arc – Fordham has shot 33.2 percent from long range with only Duquesne averaging better (34.4 percent). Fordham's 88 three-pointers also rank second in the A-10. Junior guard Hannah Missry's 42 treys lead the league.
- Fordham has compiled three straight 20-win seasons and won the A-10 Championship in 2014.
SERIES HISTORY WITH FORDHAM
The Bonnies lead the all-time series, 21-13, but will look to avenge a season sweep by the Rams a year ago. Fordham won at home, 54-51, on Feb. 5 in the last meeting between the two teams. SBU overcame an 11-point deficit to take its first lead with 3:30 remaining, but came up short in the waning moments despite a career-high 14 points from Imani Outlaw and 12 from Nyla Rueter. Hannah Missry posted a game-high 15 points for the Rams. In the first meeting of the season, Fordham seized a 72-62 win at the Reilly Center on Jan. 11 behind 17 points and nine rebounds by Samantha Clark.
QUEENS OF NEW YORK
St. Bonaventure has established dominance over foes from the state of New York. Since the 2006-07 season, the Bonnies are 62-11 against opponents hailing from the Empire State including 6-0 this season. Under head coach Jim Crowley, the Bonnies are 81-29 against New York opponents.
RUETER CLOSING IN ON 1,000 POINTS
- Senior Nyla Rueter enters Thursday's game with 978 career points, needing just 22 points to become the 21st player in Bonnies women's basketball history to reach 1,000.
- When Rueter reaches the milestone, it will make St. Bonaventure one of two Atlantic 10 teams with multiple active 1,000-point scorers (Davidson - Hannah Early and Dakota Dukes).
- With 152 career 3-pointers, Rueter is eighth in SBU history. She needs two more to tie Courtney Mattingly (1999-2003) for seventh.
- Rueter ranks third all-time in SBU free throw percentage at 84.2 percent - only Trisha Raniewicz (87.9 percent - 1999-2001) and Jessica Jenkins (86.9 percent, 2008-12) rank higher.
- Senior Katie Healy is one of four SBU players all-time to net 1,400 points with over 700 rebounds, joining Sue Shay (1,874 points and 952 rebounds), Missy Ward (1,578 points and 856 rebounds) and Dana Mitchell (2,011 points and 706 rebounds).
- Healy is SBU's active leader in scoring (1,431), rebounds (718), assists (216), blocks (130) and steals (117).
- Healy ranks eighth all-time in Bonnies scoring with 1,431 career points (second among all active A-10 players). She also is among the program's all-time leaders in several other statistical categories:
BONNIES LOCKING DOWN ON DEFENSE
- In Sunday's win at Rhode Island, URI shot 38.2 percent for the game. That's the first time in the last eight games that an SBU opponent has shot better than 35.5 percent.
- For the season, opponents are shooting 33.4 percent against the SBU defense. That total ranks first in the Atlantic 10 and 14th in the nation.
- The Bonnies are holding opponents to 24.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc - that total ranks third in the A-10 and ninth in the nation.
- Opposing teams are averaging 54.7 points per game against the Bona defense - among A-10 teams, only VCU ranks ahead (51.1 ppg). SBU ranks 29th in the nation in scoring defense.
- Bona has held opponents to single digits in a quarter 12 different times this season.
- SBU is averaging 5.0 blocks per game, ranking third in the A-10 and 28th in the country.
- Opponents have scored 59 points or less nine times this season including seven out of the last eight games.
- Senior Katie Healy broke the all-time SBU record for career blocks, surpassing Vachelle Manly's 123. That record had stood since 1992. For the season, Healy stands third in the A-10 with 2.3 blocks per game.
- The SBU defense has held opponents under 40 percent shooting from the floor in 11 of 14 games this season. The Bonnies are 10-1 in those games.
- Opponents shot just 36.2 percent against the St. Bonaventure defense last year. Among A-10 teams, only George Washington (36.1 percent) held opponents to a lower field goal percentage.
WINNING STREAK NOTES
Notes on the Bonnies' 11-game winning streak:
- Only four teams nationwide have longer active winning streaks - UConn (48), South Carolina (13), Texas (13) and Duquesne (12). SBU is tied with Virginia Tech with 11 wins in a row.
- Sunday's win at URI matched the 2009-10 team for the second-longest winning streak in program history. That season, the Bonnies won 11 in a row to begin the year. The longest winning streak in program history is 18 games, set during the 2011-12 Sweet 16 season.
- Opponents are shooting just 25.5 percent from beyond the arc (54-for-212) and 32.7 percent overall from the floor (217-for-664).
- The Bonnies, meanwhile, have shot 45.3 percent from the floor (273-for-603).
- Opponents have shot 35.5 percent or worse from the floor in seven of the past eight games including 25 percent or worse three times.
- Katie Healy leads the team with 16.9 ppg while shooting over 56 percent from the floor.
- Nyla Rueter is shooting 42.5 percent from beyond the arc (31-for-73) and Miranda Drummond is connecting from long range at a 39.4 percent clip (26-for-66).
- St. Bonaventure has recorded wins over teams from the Atlantic 10, Big East, Big Ten, Mid-American (2), Colonial Athletic Association, America East, Horizon League, Patriot League and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (2).
- St. Bonaventure has recorded assists on over 62 percent of their field goals.
- The Bonnies have led for 38 minutes or more in five of the 11 games and 30 minutes or more in seven. St. Bonaventure has not held the lead for less than 20 minutes in any of the victories, and less than 28 in just three - James Madison on Dec. 7 (20:05), Niagara on Dec. 23 (20:05) and at Rhode Island on Jan. 3 (27:17).
BONNIES ON THE ESPN.COM BRACKETOLOGY BOARD
The Bonnies' strong non-conference play and start to the Atlantic 10 schedule has earned Bona some national recognition. In the latest edition of Charlie Creme's Bracketology on ESPN.com, Creme has listed the Bonnies as being on the cusp of an NCAA Tournament bid, listing the Brown and White as one of his "next four out." He has the A-10 getting two bids - George Washington and Duquesne.