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Bonnies Go West To Face Two Tough Tests Thanksgiving Weekend

Bonnies Go West To Face Two Tough Tests Thanksgiving Weekend

ST. BONAVENTURE (2-2) vs. OHIO (3-0)
Friday, Nov. 23 - 3:00 p.m. EST (1:00 p.m. MT)
Denver, Co. - Hamilton Gymnasium
Online Coverage - Live Stats | Live Audio (WGWE 105.9 FM) (no video available)

Saturday, Nov. 24 - 5:30 p.m. EST (3:30 p.m. MT)
Denver, Co. - Hamilton Gymnasium
Online Coverage - Live Stats | Live Audio (WGWE 105.9 FM) | Live Video
Complete Game Notes (PDF)

STORYLINE: St. Bonaventure makes the long trip to Denver this weekend to participate in the Denver Thanksgiving Classic hosted by the University of Denver. While there, the Bonnies will face two tough tests in Ohio and host Denver, a pair of teams that have started the season a combined 6-1 with some extremely impressive offensive numbers.

BONNIES HEAD WEST AFTER .500 START: St. Bonaventure makes the trip to the Denver Thanksgiving Classic for a pair of games this weekend after going 2-2 in their first four contests of the 2018-19 season. It's the second long trip of the month for the Bonnies after making the trek to Georgia for a date at No. 14/13 UGA in the first week of the season. St. Bonaventure looks to bounce back after a disappointing 67-59 loss to Hofstra at home this past Saturday as the Bonnies could not overcome 23 turnovers on the day.
NEW PLACES, NEW FACES: The Bonnies are making their first trip West since the 2016 NCAA Tournament when they defeated Oklahoma State as a No. 10 seed in Corvallis, Ore., before falling to second-seeded Oregon State. Prior to that, Bona's last trip West was to New Mexico for a Thanksgiving tournament in 2012 where the Brown and White lost a pair of games vs. Georgia and North Texas. While SBU is making a rare trip to the West, it will also be facing two programs it has never played before in the sport of women's basketball with first-ever meetings against Mid-American Conference member Ohio on Friday before taking on host Denver, a member of the Summit League, on Saturday.
BONNIES IN THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN STATE: St. Bonaventure last played in the state of Colorado during the 2000-01 season, taking part in the Coors Rocky Mountain Invitational hosted by Colorado State. The host squad defeated the Bonnies, 105-82, on Nov. 24, 2000 in the opener and SBU fell to UNC-Wilmington, 71-66, in the finale. 
WELCOME HOME: For one Bonnie, the trip to Colorado is a homecoming. Redshirt junior Bree Paulson is a native of Broomfield, Co., approximately a half hour from Denver. Now in her second season with the program after two years at Western Nebraska, Paulson saw action in eight games last year and redshirted after a season-ending shoulder injury. She enjoyed her best game as a Bonnie last Tuesday in a triple overtime win over Canisius with a career-high 17 points including five three-pointers. Junior Claudia Del Moral also played one season at Lamar CC in Lamar, Co., approximately 200 miles from Denver.
JOHNSON EARNS A-10 ROOKIE OF THE WEEK HONORS: Freshman Asianae Johnson was named Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week on Monday after averaging 14.5 points and four rebounds per game in two contests last week. She tallied a career-high 16 points vs. Hofstra Saturday after having 13 points, six boards and two steals in 43 minutes last Tuesday vs. Canisius.

EMILY ON THE BOARDS: Sophomore Emily Calabrese enters the Denver Thanksgiving Classic on the heels of back-to-back double-digit rebounding efforts. The New Jersey native scored her first career double-double in the win last Tuesday vs. Canisius, then reached 10 rebounds for the second consecutive game Saturday vs. Hofstra. Last year, she reached double digit boards just once - 11 in an overtime contest at VCU. 

...SPEAKING OF BOARD WORK: Junior Amanda Oliver has hauled in at least six rebounds in all four games entering this weekend including eight twice. The last time a Bonnies player did that it was Calabrese who had six or more boards in six straight games Jan. 3 - 20 last season. 
GOBBLE, GOBBLE: St. Bonaventure has played well in Thanksgiving invitationals in recent seasons. Under Jesse Fleming, the Bonnies have traveled to the Navy Classic and UCF Thanksgiving Classic the past two years. A year ago in Annapolis, MD, the Bonnies scored an opening game victory at Navy over UMBC, 63-54, before falling to the hosts in the championship game. During the 2016-17 season, the Bonnies traveled to Orlando, Fla., for the UCF Thanksgiving Classic and won both of their games, defeating both Austin Peay (58-57) and Rider (60-47).
  • The Bobcats are undefeated on the young season after scoring wins over UNC Wilmington (95-72), Binghamton (86-49) and Eastern Kentucky (100-60) all at home.
  • Ohio's offense has been prolific thus far - the Bobcats average 93.7 points per game while shooting 52.7 percent from the floor. In their three games, Ohio has shot nearly 40 percent from long range (39.5 percent) and has limited the miscues, averaging 12.7 turnovers per game. In all, the Bobcats have posted a +33 average scoring margin thus far.
  • Cierra Hooks is averaging 19.0 points per game and shooting 23-for-33 from the floor while Amani Bruke (17.3 ppg) and Erica Johnson (16.3) have been outstanding offensively as well.
  • Ohio finished last season 16-15 and 9-9 in the MAC, but are just a year removed from a WNIT appearance in 2017. This season, the Bobcats were selected third in the MAC East Preseason Poll.
  • Denver enters the weekend at 3-1 overall following wins over UMKC (92-75), Air Force (92-6) and American (83-54) at home, going undefeated thus far on home court. The lone loss for the Pioneers came on the road at Northern Colorado (74-66).
  • Denver, too, has been electric offensively - the Pioneers average 83.3 points per game and are shooting 45.9 percent from the floor through four games.
  • The Pioneers were picked to finish fifth in the Summit League Preseason Poll after finishing 16-14 overall and 7-7 in the league last season.
  • Sophomore guard Claire Gritt was named Preseason Summit League All-Second Team. Thus far, she's averaging 13.5 points per game, behind only junior guard Lauren Loven's 20.5 points per game.
  • The Bonnies have played just two games against current members of the Summit League - both against Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), who Bona owns a 2-0 record against. 

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.