ST. BONAVENTURE (20-4, 9-2 A-10) at UMASS (6-17, 0-11)
Saturday, Feb. 13 - 2:00 p.m.
Mullin Center - Amherst, Mass.
Live Radio: WGWE 105.9 FM (Play-by-play: Mike "Smitty" Smith)
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Twitter: @BonniesWBB | Instagram: @GoBonnies
ST. BONAVENTURE: Roster | Schedule | Stats
UMASS: Roster | Schedule | Stats
OPENING TIP OVERVIEW
St. Bonaventure hits the road to face UMass in the second of a home-and-home series with a Saturday afternoon date at the Mullin Center.
The Minutewomen are the first team the Bonnies have faced twice this year – St. Bonaventure also has home-and-home series with Fordham and Duquesne – after winning the first date of the year, 66-41 on Jan. 10 at the Reilly Center. While the Bonnies look to secure their positioning in the Atlantic 10 standings, entering the weekend alone in third place close on the heels of front-running George Washington and Duquesne, UMass aims to seize its first Atlantic 10 victory of the year.
- It has been tough sledding for the Minutewomen this season, having lost all 11 A-10 games thus far after finishing non-conference play at 6-6.
- Cierra Dillard leads the way at 13.6 points per game, also hitting team-high 35 three-pointers. Freshman Bria Stallworth adds 12.8 points per game while Rashida Timbilla is one of the league's elite rebounders with 9.3 rebounds per game. With George Washington's Jonquel Jones currently sidelined due to injury (14.3 rpg), Timbilla is the league's leader in rebounding. Dillard's 2.0 steals per game ranks fourth in the A-10.
- Stallworth is a four-time Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week, last earning the award on Feb. 1.- Despite Timbilla's presence, UMass ranks 12th in the league in rebounding margin at -3.4 ahead of only La Salle and Richmond.
- Though winless in league play, UMass has proven to be a tough out already for some of the A-10's front-runners: The Minutewomen took Duquesne to overtime before falling, 74-63, on the road on Feb. 3 and also lost a heartbreaker at home vs. Fordham, 60-55, on Feb. 6. Eight of UMass' 11 league losses are by single digits.
THE BONA-UMASS SERIES
UMass leads the all-time series with the Bonnies, 31-26. The Minutewomen won last year at the Atlantic 10 Championship 55-49, but St. Bonaventure had gotten the best of the series in recent years prior to that matchup. The UMass win last March snapped what was an eight-game Bonnies winning streak dating to 2009 including a pair of regular season victories a year ago - 77-57 on the road on Jan. 31, 2015, and a 65-54 triumph at the RC on Jan. 3, 2015.
In last month's meeting, Mariah Ruff netted a season-high 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting, adding five rebounds and four assists. Miranda Drummond posted 18 points, five rebounds and three steals while Katie Healy finished with 12 points and seven rebounds. The Bonnies never trailed and led for over 39 minutes of game time.
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."
As of Thursday, St. Bonaventure ranked No. 30 in the national RPI. Among A-10 teams, only Duquesne (25) ranks higher. The Bonnies have five wins over RPI Top 100 teams (Dayton, James Madison, Saint Joseph's, Georgetown, Stony Brook) and three additional wins over RPI Top 150 squads (Toledo, Buffalo, Penn State).
The Atlantic 10 ranks seventh among all conferences according to RealTime RPI. Only the SEC, Pac 12, Big 12, ACC, Big Ten, American and Big East rank higher.
Statistical odds and ends for Saturday's game:
- Senior Katie Healy became the sixth player in SBU history to reach 1,500 points with her 22-point effort Jan. 20 at Dayton. On Wednesday vs. Saint Louis, she matched Missy Ward for fifth place all-time in Bonnies scoring with 1,578 points. She is 33 points away from fourth (Jodi Urich - 1,611).
- Senior Nyla Rueter is four points away from 17th all-time in SBU scoring (Amy Rooks, 1,089 points).
- Katie Healy posted her fifth double-double of the year Feb. 3 at VCU (19 points, 10 rebounds). She has 15 double-doubles for her career.
- For the season, Nyla Rueter's 62 3's are second only in the A-10 to Fordham's Hannah Missry (68). In conference play, Rueter's 32 3's lead all A-10 players.
- The Bonnies shot a season best 55.3 percent (26-47) vs. Saint Louis on Wednesday.
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. Drummond has upped her points per game average by 9.4 ppg over her freshman season - only one A-10 player has a bigger jump season-to-season - Amy Griffin of La Salle. Drummond has been key to the Bonnies' success - along with often defending the opposition's leading scorer, she ranks among the A-10's leaders in scoring (12.7 ppg, 17th), free throw percentage (78.9%, eighth), 3's made (46, fifth) and three-point percentage (36.2%, 11th).
BONNIES BACK IN BRACKETOLOGY
The Bonnies remain in ESPNW's Bracketology presented by bracketologist Charlie Creme. In Creme's latest bracket, he has the Bonnies as one of his "First Four Out" with Rutgers as "team 65" followed by Vanderbilt and St. Bonaventure. He projects George Washington as an 8 seed and Duquesne as a 9 seed.
HEALY HONORED BY COSIDA
Katie Healy has earned a spot on the CoSIDA Academic All-District 1 team for her success in the classroom and on the court. A marketing major with a 3.46 cumulative GPA, she is one of just two Atlantic 10 players to be honored along with Saint Louis' Jackie Kemph (District 6).
HAPPY NEW YEAR
The Bonnies finished January with an 8-1 record, tying the program record for wins during the month. St. Bonaventure also won eight games in January of 2012, the Sweet 16 season.
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 108 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 (94 3's).
St. Bonaventure has won its first 14 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.
The Bonnies drew a season-high 2,011 fans to the Jan. 31 win over Richmond, the largest crowd since 2012, continuing a trend of strong attendance for the Bonnies. In conference play, SBU is averaging 1,262 fans per game which ranks third in the Atlantic 10 behind only Dayton and Saint Louis.