ST. BONAVENTURE (18-3, 7-1 A-10) vs. RICHMOND (9-11, 2-5)
Sunday, Jan. 31, 12:30 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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Twitter: @BonniesWBB | Instagram: @GoBonnies
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OPENING TIP OVERVIEW
St. Bonaventure remains at home to host Richmond on Sunday in a special 12:30 p.m. start time. The Bonnies, fresh off a win Wednesday night vs. Saint Joseph's, enter the weekend looking to defend their perfect record at the Reilly Center.
Richmond, meanwhile, will look to bounce back from a Thursday evening loss at home to Duquesne and move up in the Atlantic 10 standings.
- Richmond started the season hot by winning its first five games of the year, but has scuffled since, going 4-11 over the last 15 games.
- The Spiders stand 2-5 in Atlantic 10 play, with both A-10 wins coming on the road: at La Salle on Jan. 2 (60-43) and at UMass on Jan. 16 (74-68). Richmond has suffered conference setbacks vs. Dayton (60-48), Rhode Island (57-50), Saint Joseph's (64-53) and VCU (53-42) as well as a loss at home to Duquesne, 65-44, on Thursday night.
- A trio of Richmond players average double-figure scoring on the season – junior guard Janelle Hubbard has started all 20 games and leads the way with 15.9 ppg, ranking fourth in the league in scoring. Senior guard Lauren Tolson (13.4 ppg) and sophomore guard Micaela Parson (12.5 ppg) also add scoring threats. Tolson, though, has been out since early December due to injury.
- Richmond ranks 13th in the Atlantic 10 in scoring at 57.0 points per game, but in the upper half of the league in defense at sixth overall while surrendering 60.2 points per contest.
- Richmond has struggled on the boards this season, ranking last in the A-10 with a -6.8 rebounding margin.
- The Spiders were selected sixth in the A-10 Preseason Coaches' Poll.
THE BONA-RICHMOND SERIES
Sunday will mark the 19th all-time meeting between St. Bonaventure and Richmond, and the eighth inside the Reilly Center. The Bonnies played home-and-home with the Spiders in the 2013-14 season, winning both games, but Richmond got the best of SBU a year ago with a 67-61 victory in Virginia. In last year's edition, Richmond built a big early lead and held on behind a game-high 24 points from Janelle Hubbard. For St. Bonaventure, a pair of then-freshmen showed their future promise: Miranda Drummond netted a then-career-best 17 points while Mariah Ruff registered 14 points.
JUST "BONNIES" PLEASE
When referring to the St. Bonaventure University women's basketball team (and all St. Bonaventure women's teams) please refer to us simply as "Bonnies," not "Lady Bonnies."
Statistical odds and ends for Sunday's game:
- Senior Nyla Rueter had a string of 16 games with at least one steal snapped last Saturday at Duquesne. She has at least one steal in 19 of 21 games this year.
- Senior Katie Healy became the sixth player in SBU history to reach 1,500 points with her 22-point effort last Wednesday at Dayton. She's now 44 points away from fifth place all-time in SBU scoring.
- The Bonnies won their first six Atlantic 10 games this season - a feat that they've accomplished only one other time in school history: the 2011-12 campaign when the Brown and White rolled through the regular season undefeated in conference play.
- Katie Healy posted her fourth double-double of the year Jan. 13 at Davidson (14 points, 12 rebounds). She has 14 double-doubles for her career.
- St. Bonaventure has shot 40 percent or better from the floor in 16 of the past 18 games.SBU leads the A-10 at 43.1 percent field goal shooting for the year.
- For the season, Nyla Rueter's 53 3's are second only in the A-10 to Fordham's Hannah Missry (59).
- SBU is shooting 39.5 percent from long range in Atlantic 10 play, best in the conference, and has hit an A-10 best 62 3's since A-10 competition began (7.8 3's per game).
HEALY AGAIN ONE OF A-10'S BEST
Senior Katie Healy is again proving herself to be one of the Atlantic 10's top players. A preseason First Team All-Atlantic 10 selection, Healy ranks seventh in A-10 scoring at 14.9 ppg. Healy is also 12th in rebounding (6.9 rpg) and seventh in field goal percentage (51.1%) as well as fourth in blocks (36). Perhaps as impressive as her scoring is her ability to facilitate the offense of teammates - she ranks 14th in the A-10 in assists at 2.9 apg.
DRUMMOND AMONG A-10'S MOST IMPROVED
Sophomore Miranda Drummond was lauded by the Bonnies coaching staff for her hard work during the offseason and her efforts have paid off this season. Entering this week's games, Drummond has upped her points per game average by 9.1 ppg over her freshman season - only two A-10 players have had a bigger jump season-to-season - Micaela Parson of Richmond (9.8 ppg) and Amy Griffin of La Salle (10.2 ppg). Drummond has been key to the Bonnies' success - along with often defending the opposition's leading scorer, she ranks 19th in the A-10 in scoring, eighth in free throw percentage (79.6%), sixth in 3's made (41) and 12th in three-point percentage (34.2%).
DYNAMIC THREE-POINT DUO
The Bonnies duo of senior Nyla Rueter and sophomore Miranda Drummond is the most prolific three-point shooting combination in the Atlantic 10 this season: the pair have combined for 94 treys this year, the most of any teammate duo in the A-10. The next closest duo is Duquesne's Chassidy Omogrosso and April Robinson (78 3's).
RUFF KEEPS BONNIES RUNNING SMOOTH
Sophomore Mariah Ruff enters Sunday's game with at least one assist in 21 straight games. She's averaging 4.4 assists per game in conference play. Ruff has handed out four or more assists 15 times this year including 10 of the past 11 games. She logged a career-high seven assists vs. Georgetown on Dec. 5 and has five or more assists six times this year. The Oneonta, N.Y. native has assisted 27.8 percent of the team's field goals while on the floor. The Bonnies have outscored opponents by 225 points with Ruff on the floor this season, the largest margin of any player on the team. Ruff has a +/- of +10.7 for the year, also best on the roster.
St. Bonaventure has won its first 12 games at the Reilly Center - its longest winning streak to begin a season in program history. The Bonnies are the only undefeated team at home in the Atlantic 10. SBU's longest home winning streak overall is 16 games between the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons.
Despite last Saturday's loss at Duquesne, St. Bonaventure's RPI is as high as it has been all season - the Bonnies stand No. 29 as of Jan. 29. SBU's RPI is trending upward after playing a pair of RPI Top 40 teams in Dayton and Duquesne last week. Among A-10 teams, only Duquesne ranks higher (25) - George Washington is 33 and Dayton 41. The Bonnies have four wins over RPI Top 100 teams (Dayton, James Madison, Saint Joseph's, Stony Brook) and four additional wins over RPI Top 150 squads (Toledo, Georgetown, Buffalo, Penn State).
CREAM OF THE CROP
Since 2008-09, when the Bonnies made their first-ever postseason appearance, St. Bonaventure has an overall record of 165-85 and 68-44 in Atlantic 10 play. Only two A-10 programs have had more success over that time frame:
Dayton - 179-68, 90-26; Duquesne - 169-78, 73-36; ST. BONA - 165-85, 68-44
MAKING THE GRADE
The members of the St. Bonaventure women's basketball team truly epitomize the true meaning of the term "student-athlete." While the Bonnies have shined on the court this season, they've been equally successful in the classroom. A year ago, the team ranked 23rd among all Division I women's basketball teams in cumulative GPA at 3.41. Currently, five players (Katie Healy, Emily Michael, Gabby Richmond, Nyla Rueter and Kelcie Rombach) are taking graduate courses. Michael (Management) and Rombach (English) each graduated a year early and are working on MBA programs. Richmond (Marketing) and Rueter (Sports Studies), meanwhile, each completed their undergraduate degrees in December. Richmond is currently in the University's MBA program while Rueter is in the Strategic Leadership program. With four student-athletes who have already completed their undergraduate programs, St. Bonaventure has more graduates than any other Division I women's basketball team.
Further, all 12 members of the Bonnies women's basketball team have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
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