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Bona Women Open Up 2018-19 Season Tuesday at Niagara

Tuesday, Nov. 6 - 7:00 p.m.
Online Coverage - Live Stats | Live Video | Live Audio (WGWE, 105.9 FM)
Lewiston, N.Y.

St. Bonaventure renews its longest-running rivalry by beginning the 2018-19 season at Little Three rival Niagara Tuesday night. The 62nd installment of the series features the dawning of a new era of sorts for the Bonnies as they welcome six new players to the roster who will suit up in the Brown and White for the first time. Tuesday's game is the first of two contests during the opening week of the season as the Bonnies will then make the trip to play at No. 14/13 Georgia on Friday night. 

  • St. Bonaventure leads the all-time series, 37-24, and has won nine of the past 10 against Niagara. The Niagara series is the longest running in St. Bonaventure women's basketball history as Tuesday will mark the 62nd meeting.
  • St. Bonaventure's only loss to Niagara in the past 10 years came in the 2016-17 season-opener, the last time the Little Three rivals met at the Gallagher Center.
  • Niagara claimed a convincing 65-43 victory on Nov. 11, 2016 in the last meeting at NU.
  • After last year's win, 76-58, the Bonnies own a 26-4 record over the Purple Eagles at the Reilly Center, but are just 11-19 in true road games during the course of the series.
  • The two teams have opened the season against each other now in three consecutive years.
  • The Bonnies have won 20 of the past 24 meetings in the series since 1995. Niagara owned the early years, winning 13 of 16 games between 1973-1981.
  • Last season's meeting was a tale of two very different halves. Niagara led at halftime by 17 points, but that soon changed as the Bonnies went on a 34-4 blitz, starting with a 6-0 break to end the first half, to roar ahead. In the third quarter alone, the Bonnies outscored Niagara by a 34-8 margin. Danielle Migliore, making her first career start, led all scorers with 21 points including five three-pointers. Bree Paulson poured in 11 points while Mckenna Maycock had seven points and seven rebounds as the Bonnies shot 51 percent from the floor and drained 11 3s. 
WELCOME BACK: Fans at Bonnies games this season will likely need to make good use of the program – at least early in the campaign. Five players return to the active roster this year after seeing time a year ago – but of those returners, only senior Mckenna Maycock (76 career games), junior Danielle Migliore (50 career games) and sophomore Emily Calabrese (started all 30 games last year) have seen extensive playing time. Also returning are redshirt junior Bree Paulson and sophomore Abigail Johnson who were each limited to eight games apiece last year due to injury. Redshirt junior Dajah Logan, a transfer from the College of Charleston, was with the program a year ago but will be seeing her first on-court action in Brown and White due to NCAA transfer rules. Bona will be without the services of senior Arielle Harvey who will miss the season due to a health matter.
WHO'S NEW: A lot is new when it comes to the Bonnies roster. The team welcomes a pair of true freshmen in the backcourt – Asianae Johnson and Deja Francis – and a third freshman, Carrie Jornlin will see minutes in the post. Two junior college transfers in Amanda Oliver and Claudia Del Moral round out the newcomers.
MAYCOCK THE SENIOR: The lone senior on the active roster is hometown product Mckenna Maycock who has become one of the stars of the conference after showing dramatic improvement in each of her seasons with the program. She was clearly the breakout star story in the Atlantic 10 through the first month and a half of last year, averaging 13.6 points and 8.4 rebounds in the opening 10 games of the year before suffering a knee injury that cost her several games and left her less than 100 percent and sporting a brace for the rest of the season. She posted a career high 23 points in a December win over Penn State in the game before suffering her injury vs. Buffalo and had become the first Bonnies player to score at least 20 points in the program's first 10 games of a season since 2008, joining the company of Dana Mitchell – the only player to have her number retired in program history. Also a standout in the classroom, she's a back-to-back selection to both the Atlantic 10 and CoSIDA Academic All-District Team, sporting a 3.98 GPA while graduating a year early in Accounting. She is currently taking courses toward her MBA.
BREE'S BACK: One of the players Bona head coach Jesse Fleming was excited about heading into the 2017-18 season was Western Nebraska CC transfer Bree Paulson, a 6-0 sharpshooter who added a skillset the Bonnies sorely lacked in the previous season. Paulson was showing some of those skills early in the season, shooting nearly 37 percent from long range while starting the first eight games of the year. She was lost for the season, however, following a shoulder injury vs. Delaware on Nov. 29, but with eight games played she was just at the maximum for receiving an injury redshirt from the NCAA. With still two seasons of eligibility remaining, the Colorado native enters this season healthy and figuring to earn solid minutes in her return to the court.
JUCO DUO JOINS THE BONNIES: While the Bonnies don't return a wealth of players with experience in the program, two of the new faces bring two years of college experience with them. Amanda Oliver, a native of Orlando, Fla., spent the past two seasons at Florida Southwestern where she was a two-time all-conference selection and started 57 of 63 career games while averaging 6.7 points and a team-best 8.4 rebounds. She helped Florida Southwestern to a Top 20 national ranking and 26-6 record last year and was also an All-Academic Team pick in her conference. Claudia Del Moral figures to see a lot of minutes at the point guard position after playing a season each at Jacksonville (TX) CC and Lamar (Co.) CC, averaging 10.2 points and 4.1 assists at Lamar to earn All-Region honors. While at Jacksonville, she also helped her team to a Top 25 national ranking. One of two international players on the Bona roster, the native of 
Barcelona, Spain joins teammate Abigail Johnson, who hails from London, England, as Bonnies to join the program from across the pond.
CITY CONNECTION: Two of Bona's newcomers in the backcourt hail from the New York City area - freshmen Asianae Johnson (Brooklyn) and Deja Francis (Queens). They continue a long tradition the program has had with recruiting guards from the Big Apple. Both are combo guards. During some of the team's best seasons, NYC guards have played a big role. Francis comes to the Bonnies from the storied Murry Bergtraum program which also produced Armelia Horton who played for Bona from 2008-12 and was a key component to the Bonnies' 2012 Sweet 16 team. Priscilla Edwards '09, a Harlem product, was also one of the best Bona guards in recent history. Johnson, meanwhile, played her high school ball at Brooklyn's Grand St. Campus. "We have a tradition of tough New York City area guards propelling us to success," Bona head coach Jesse Fleming said. "We think Deja and Asianae have a chance to continue that legacy."
LOGAN POISED TO MAKE A SPLASH: While not officially considered a "returner" on this year's roster, redshirt junor Dajah Logan will bring a year of experience with the program despite never playing a minute of official action in Brown and White prior to this season. Logan transfered to the Bonnies in July 2017 after playing two seasons with the College of the Charleston. The 5-11 wing started 27 of 30 games during her sophomore season with the Cougars, averaging 7.5 points and 3.9 rebounds in nearly 23 minutes per game. A 1,200-point scorer at McDonogh High in Randallstown, Md., she played 61 games at College of Charleston before making the decision to transfer. She spent the entire 2017-18 with the Bonnies, sitting out of games due to NCAA transfer rules.
SEASON OPENS WITH EXHIBITION WIN OVER ALFRED: Four players scored in double figures in the first home action of the season for the St. Bonaventure women's basketball team, an 88-43 exhibition win over Alfred Friday night at the Reilly Center. Emily Calabrese and Danielle Migliore each poured in 14 points apiece while newcomers Asianae Johnson and Dajah Logan finished with 13 points each. Friday's contest was never in doubt as the Bonnies led for 39:31 of game time and never trailed in their dress rehearsal for Tuesday's season opener. "We have a lot to get better on. We have to find a way to defend better. We need to keep getting better defensively," head coach Jesse Fleming said. "We have some nice pieces offensively - some of our young players are good and will only get better. There are things to be excited about, but there are a lot of things to work on." Bona shot 47 percent from the floor (32-for-68) and sank nine threes on the night. Defensively, the hosts limited Alfred to 27 percent from the field (14-for-52) including just six second half field goals.
MAYCOCK, MIGLIORE NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-BIG 4 TEAMS: Senior Mckenna Maycock and junior Danielle Migliore were members of the preseason All-Big 4 teams announced Nov. 2. Maycock earned a spot on the first team while Migliore was named to the second team, as voted upon by members of the Western New York Media. The Big 4 teams are comprised of players from St. Bonaventure, Buffalo, Canisius and Niagara. 
For the latest news on St. Bonaventure athletics, stay connected on social media. Follow the Bonnies on Twitter @GoBonnies and get women's basketball updates @BonniesWBB. Keep up with the Bonnies on Facebook /GoBonnies and on Instagram @GoBonnies.