ST. BONAVENTURE (20-5, 9-3 A-10) vs. GEORGE WASHINGTON (21-4, 11-1)
Wednesday, Feb. 17 - 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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Twitter: @BonniesWBB | Instagram: @GoBonnies
OPENING TIP OVERVIEW
The St. Bonaventure women's basketball team will seek to bounce back from a setback last weekend by hosting Atlantic 10 front-runner George Washington on Wednesday night at the Reilly Center.
The Colonials have been red hot, winning 16 of 17 games since suffering back-to-back losses vs. Wright State and Florida Gulf Coast following Thanksgiving. The preseason favorite to win the Atlantic 10 and defending A-10 champions, GW enters this week leading the conference standings with an 11-1 mark in conference play.
- While GW has been rolling, it has been finding success without the services of leading scorer Jonquel Jones (16.9 ppg, 14.8 rpg). The 2014-15 Atlantic 10 Player and Defensive Player of the Year has not played since Jan. 20 due to injury, but the Colonials have gone 5-1 without her. Jones remains on the Naismith Trophy Midseason 30 as the National Player of the Year despite injury.
- GW went 29-4 last year, setting the program record for wins, and went 15-1 in Atlantic 10 play. The Colonials captured the league championship and reached the NCAA Tournament. Head coach Jonathan Tsipis earned A-10 Coach of the Year honors.
- The Colonials boast a high-powered offense, averaging 72.9 points per game to rank second in the A-10. GW also leads the league in rebounding (49.2 rebounds per game, a +14.9 margin) by a wide margin over the rest of the field. GW has struggled at the free throw line, though, shooting just 68.3 percent as a team.
- Even without Jones, three GW players average double figure scoring in A-10 play so far: Ciara Washington, also a 1,000-point scorer, averages 12.0 ppg in league action while Lauren Chase (11.8 ppg) and Brianna Cummings (10.2 ppg) also have excelled against A-10 competition. Chase makes things go offensively with 151 assists on the year.
THE BONA-GW SERIES
George Washington has owned the all-time series, holding a 34-6 advantage in the previous 40 meetings between the programs. GW won 32 of the first 33 games between 1987 and 2007. The Bonnies have had better luck in recent years, though, taking four of the last six games, including the last meeting at the Reilly Center - the Bonnies came away victorious on Feb. 26, 2014 by a 74-64 score behind 22 points from Nyla Rueter and 18 from Katie Healy. Last year, though, it was all Colonials on the way to a 70-48 win by GW in the nation's capital - Rueter led the way with 15 points, but Ciara Washington paced all scorers with 18 for GW.
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 Tuesday, St. Bonaventure ranked No. 39 in the national RPI. GW ranked No. 27. 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 Wednesday's game:
- Senior Katie Healy can become the fifth player in St. Bonaventure women's basketball history to reach 1,600 points with six more. She is 17 points away from fourth place in the program record books (Jodi Urich - 1,611 between 1989-93).
- Senior Nyla Rueter reached 1,100 career points Saturday at UMass. She is one point away from 16th place all-time (Audrey Latendresse, 2003-07) and 29 away from 15th (Katelyn Murray - 1,129 from 2006-09).
- Healy has scored in double figures in 10 of past 11 games and stands in A-10 top 10 this year in scoring (6th), rebounding (T-10th), field goal percentage (3rd).
- For the season, Nyla Rueter's 65 3's are tied for second in the A-10 along with URI's Charise Wilson. Only Fordham's Hannah Missry has more (70).
- The Bonnies shot a season best 55.3 percent (26-47) vs. Saint Louis last Wednesday.
- St. Bonaventure held a one-point lead with 3:54 to play at UMass Saturday before falling, 69-60. It is the first time this year and just the fourth time since the 2013-14 season that the Bonnies have lost after holding a lead inside of four minutes to play.
DRUMMOND AMONG A-10'S MOST IMPROVED
Sophomore Miranda Drummond was praised 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 (81.0%, fourth), 3's made (46, seventh) and three-point percentage (36.2%, 13th).
HEALY HONORED BY CoSIDA
Katie Healy has earned a spot on the CoSIDA Academic All-District 1 team (NY, CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT) 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).
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 111 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 (97 3's).
The Bonnies lead the Atlantic 10 in scoring defense (54.1 ppg allowed), free throw percentage (75.3 percent), field goal percentage (43.4 percent), field goal percentage defense (34.0 percent).
For the latest news on St. Bonaventure athletics, stay connected on social media. Follow the Bonnies on Twitter @Go_Bonnies and get women's basketball updates @BonniesWBB. Keep up with the Bonnies on Facebook /GoBonnies and on Instagram @GoBonnies.