ST. BONAVENTURE (1-3) vs. AUSTIN PEAY (4-1) / RIDER (3-0)
Saturday, Nov. 26 - Noon / Sunday, Nov. 27 - Noon
CFE Arena - Orlando, Fla.
UCF Thanksgiving Classic
Online Coverage - Live Stats | Twitter: @BonniesWBB | Game Notes | UCF Classic Central
OPENING TIP OVERVIEW
The Bonnies play their first of two games at the UCF Thanksgiving Classic in Orlando on Saturday at noon against Austin Peay. AP is off to its best start since 2002 having won four straight. Bona will then play Rider, which is 3-0 on the season entering the weekend, Sunday at noon.
- The Bonnies ran out a new starting lineup in their last time out Saturday at Delaware. Freshmen Jalisha Terry and Sarah Hart each received their first career starts in the outing. It was the first time that the Bonnies have started multiple freshmen since Feb. 27, 2013 when then-freshmen Katie Healy and Emily Michael started for the Bonnies at Fordham. No true freshman had started a game for the Bonnies since Mariah Ruff started 20 games during her freshman campaign of 2014-15.
- St. Bonaventure limited Delaware to just 23.6 percent (13-55) shooting from the floor on Saturday. That's the lowest total for any Bonnies opponent since Buffalo shot 18.6 percent (11-59) on Dec. 9, 2015.
- SBU played in just two neutral court games all of last year, both in the postseason - a loss to VCU in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Tournament, and a victory over Oklahoma State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Saturday's game will be the first regular season neutral court game for Bona since defeating Drexel in the Brown University Classic on Dec. 7, 2014.
BONA VS. AUSTIN PEAY - SERIES HISTORY
- This will mark the first meeting all-time between the Bonnies and Austin Peay.
- St. Bonaventure has not played any current member of the Ohio Valley Conference.
ABOUT AUSTIN PEAY
- Austin Peay comes into this weekend flying high after winning its last four games.
- After a loss to Miami (OH) at home in the season opener, 73-58, the Lady Govs bounced back with three straight home wins before defeating Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 69-55, on Monday night. Two of Austin Peay's wins are against Division II competitors Christian Brothers and Trevecca Nazarene.
- Head coach David Midlick, a former Austin Peay assistant and head coach at Division II Delta State, is in his second season at the helm after the team went 10-20 last season. AP returns four starters and eight letterwinners from that squad including senior center Tearra Banks who led the OVC in field goal percentage (.598) last year, averaging 12 points and 4.2 rebounds. Redshirt sophomore guard Falcon Baker shot over 37 percent from long range and averaged 7.4 points per game.
- Banks scored a career-high 34 points in Monday's win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff on 15-of-18 shooting from the field, adding 11 rebounds. Banks leads the team by averaging 17.4 points and 8.0 rebounds in the early season while Brianne Alexander adds 9.0 points and 4.8 rebounds off the bench.
- AP has made seven NCAA Tournament appearances all-time with the last coming in 2010
ST. BONAVENTURE-RIDER HISTORY
- Sunday will be the fifth meeting all-time between the Bonnies and Broncs, but the programs have not met in nearly a decade with the last game coming on Dec. 30, 2006.
- Bona has won three of the four previous games.
- Two of the previous meetings have come in the Reilly Center – in 1990 and 1998. The Bonnies also traveled to Rider in 1997. The teams met on a neutral court in Staten Island at the Wagner Holiday Tournament in 2006.
- The Bonnies are 88-64 against current members of the MAAC all-time.
- Rider enters the weekend 3-0 for the first time in 34 years after victories over Princeton (70-62), Lafayette (76-58) and Atlantic 10 member La Salle (74-61). The Broncs will play host UCF Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
- Rider finished last year 8-22 overall and 5-15 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), tied with Niagara. The Broncs were selected 10th in this year's Preseason MAAC Poll with senior guard Robin Perkins named to the Preseason All-MAAC Second Team after being named to the All-MAAC team for the second straight season after last year's effort of averaging third in the conference with 15.2 ppg.
- Senior Julia Duggan ranked eighth in the MAAC last year with 8.0 rebounds per game.
- So far this season, Perkins paces the team while averaging 17.7 ppg and Stella Johnson added 12.7 ppg. Four players average in double-figure scoring with Duggan posting 11.0 ppg and Kamila Hoskova putting up 10.7 ppg.
- Rider boasts a high-flying offense, averaging over 73 ppg thus far on the season and come away with over 13 steals per game defensively.
- St. Bonaventure captured the Wagner Holiday Tournament championship on a late December day nearly a decade ago with a 75-59 win over Rider.
- Current head coach Jesse Fleming was an assistant on the St. Bonaventure staff that day and one of his recruits who would go on to change the face of the program, then-freshman and future 2,000-point scorer Dana Mitchell tallied 15 points and nine rebounds to be named the tournament's MVP. Priscilla Edwards, today an assistant on staff at Providence, also was named to the all-tournament team after helping the Bonnies to victory.
- St. Bonaventure improved to 9-5 on the season while a struggling Rider group fell to 1-11.
- Gabby Richmond entered the year with one career double-double. She has two already this year.- Richmond has double-figure rebounds in three of four games this season.
- Richmond posted 20 points and 11 rebounds last Wednesday vs. Canisius. She was just one off her highs in both scoring (21 points vs. Fairfield, Nov. 17, 2013) and rebounding (12, 2x. last at UMass, Jan. 31, 2015).
- Matea Britvar's outing vs. Colgate was a career day across the board. The junior forward tallied her first career double-double and also had highs in scoring (20 points) and rebounding (11) along with field goals made (10).
- Mariah Ruff tied her career high with seven assists in the Colgate win.
- Mckenna Maycock hauled in a career-best eight rebounds vs. Colgate and matched that total vs. Canisius.
- Gabby Richmond swatted a career-high four shots Nov. 11 at Niagara.
- Bona has lost back-to-back games for the first time since doing so at No. 22 DePaul on Nov. 15 and at Drexel on Nov. 21, 2015.
- Bona's loss to Canisius on Nov. 16 snapped what was a 17-game home winning streak spanning over one calendar year in length.
This year marks two important anniversaries - the 50th anniversary of the Reilly Center, and the 30th anniversary of the Bonnies women's basketball program playing at the Division I level. The Bonnies are 425-459 overall since turning D-I for the 1986-87 season (.482), but are 206-120 (.636) over the past 10 seasons.
BONNIES FINDING INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS
A pair of Bonnies alums are finding success playing professionally across the pond. Katie Healy '16 is playing in Greece after finishing one of the finest careers in program history last spring. She has starred for Panionios, posting back-to-back double-double efforts. Entering this weekend, she has averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds per contest through the first five games of her professional career.
Elsewhere, Stef Collins '06 continues a tremendous professional career in Great Britain. The former GB Olympic team member is again on Great Britain's national team, playing in the Euro Basket 2017 qualification rounds.
COACH JESSE FLEMING SHOW DATES SET
Throughout the season, catch head coach Jesse Fleming on the Coach Jesse Fleming Radio Show, hosted live on select Tuesdays at Four Mile Brewing in Olean. Hosted by Chris Russell, the show airs live on WGWE 105.9 FM. Each show will run a half hour in length as Coach Fleming discusses the team and upcoming games. Fans are welcome to attend the live program with food and drink specials available during each show. Special guest appearances from players and other members of the coaching staff are scheduled as well. Currently scheduled dates are as follows: Tuesday, Dec. 13; Tuesday, Dec. 27; Tuesday, Jan. 3; Tuesday, Jan. 24. More dates will be announced later. Every show begins at 6:00 p.m.
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.