The St. Bonaventure University women's basketball team returns home to the Reilly Center to host Big 4 rival Buffalo, Saturday afternoon. Tip is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. and is the first game of a doubleheader with the men's team.
LAST TIME OUT
The St. Bonaventure University women's basketball team fell to Kent State, 81-58, Tuesday afternoon. The Bonnies were led by Jurnee President who posted 15 points. Reigning Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week Olivia Brown added 12 points while fellow freshman Olivia Tucker tallied 10.
BROWN TAKES TOP A-10 ROOKIE HONORS
Following her performance at Binghamton last week, Brown received Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week honors on Monday. Through the first seven games of the year, she is shooting nearly 43 percent from the floor and 44 percent from long range.
Head coach Felisha Legette-Jack enters her eighth season at the helm of the Buffalo women's basketball program. She has led the Bulls to their second MAC Championship and third NCAA Tournament appearance after finishing with a 24-10 overall record. Dyaisha Fair and Theresa Onwuka lead the Bulls in scoring, both averaging over 20 points per game. Fair leads the team with 24.3 ppg and Onwuka adds 20.0 points per contest. On the boards, Onwuka hauls in a team high 7.5 rebounds a game. The Bulls enter Saturday's contest with a 6-2 record. Buffalo started the season with four straight victories before losing a pair of games to San Jose State and No. 1 Stanford. The Bulls rebounded by picking up wins in their last two contests over Drexel and American. Buffalo was picked to finish second in the MAC East Preseason poll. Senior Summer Hemphill was named to the All-MAC East Team as well as being selected as the Big 4 Preseason Player of the Year. However, she has yet to play this season due to injury.
The Bonnies and the Bulls will meet for the 29th time Saturday afternoon. St. Bonaventure holds the edge in the all-time series, 17-11. The last time the Bonnies and Buffalo met was at Alumni Arena in Amherst, where the Bulls defeated the Bonnies, 90-43. The Bonnies last won against the Bulls Dec. 9, 2015 at the Reilly Center, 59-32.
BIG 4 HONORS
Preseason honors continued to come in for Deja Francis as she was selected to the Preseason All-Big 4 Second Team along with teammate Asianae Johnson. Preseason All-Big 4 Teams and individual awards are voted on by media and athletics communication staffs that cover St. Bonaventure, Niagara, Canisius and Buffalo.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Johnson was second on the team in scoring as a freshman, averaging 9.7 points per contest. She was also one of the team's best rebounders as she hauled in a total of 117 rebounds and averaged 3.9 a game. Johnson was also the only Bonnies player to start in all 30 games last season.
BONNIES FROM DISTANCE
The Bonnies shot well from beyond the arc last season, averaging 6.4 made three-point field goals per game, to rank fifth in the Atlantic 10. Senior Dajah Logan helped contribute to this shooting 32 percent from deep. The Bonnies made a program-record 241 three-pointers in the 2017-18 season.
This season is no different as the Bonnies have made 60 threes through their first eight games, ranking eighth in the A-10 and 50th in the NCAA. Bona's average of 8.0 made threes per game ranks fourth in the Atlantic 10.
TOUGH ROAD AHEAD
The final five non-conference matchups for the Bonnies will not be easy as the five teams have combined for 21 wins so far this season. Four out of the five remaining opponents for the Bonnies have a .500 record or better – Buffalo (6-2), Oakland (4-3), Wright State (3-3) and Cornell (5-3).
Freshman Olivia Tucker had a game to remember against Bucknell on Nov. 13. She poured in a career-high 20 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the floor and sunk six threes, falling just short of the freshman program record which is held by Mariah Ruff who converted seven threes against Rhode Island in 2015.
Tucker's 20 points were the most by a Bonnies freshman in a game since Ruff scored 25 points in that game against the Rams in 2015. That's good company for Tucker: Ruff went on to finish her career with the Bonnies ranking eighth in all-time scoring (1,446), fourth in all-time assists (427) and fifth in three-point shots (202) while scoring in double figures 72 times in her four-year tenure with the Bonnies.
Fellow freshman Olivia Brown made her first career start last Wednesday on the road at Binghamton and made the most of her opportunity, scoring a career-high 20 points. A native of East Grand Rapids, Mich., Brown was 7-of-11 from the floor and a perfect 4-for-4 from three-point range. She also hauled in five rebounds on the afternoon.
BY THE NUMBERS
3 – The Bonnies rank third in the Atlantic 10 in three-point percentage, shooting 35.9 percent.
4 – Freshman Olivia Brown was a perfect 4-for-4 from three against Binghamton Nov. 27. She was named Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week on Monday.
7.5 – As a team, the Bonnies are making 7.5 threes per game, ranking fifth in the Atlantic 10.
15 – Emily Calabrese's 15 rebounds against Cleveland State Nov. 23 were the most by a Bonnies player since 2015 when Katie Healy grabbed
21 - The Bonnies remaining non-conference opponents have combined for 21 wins so far this season.
75.6 – The Bonnies are shooting 75.6 percent as a team from the charity stripe this season. Last year, the Bonnies shot a combined 68.1 percent from the line.
The Bonnies get a six-day break from action and host Oakland Sunday, December 15 at the Reilly Center. Tip is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.
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