ST. BONAVENTURE (2-6, 1-4 A-10) at FORDHAM (7-3, 4-2 A-10)
Friday, Jan. 22 – 2:00 p.m.
Rose Hill Gym – Bronx, N.Y.
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Radio: WGWE 105.9 FM
The St. Bonaventure University women's basketball team is set for a double dose of Atlantic 10 basketball playing Fordham and Rhode Island back-to-back this Friday and Saturday. The Bonnies game Friday afternoon in the Bronx is slated to start at 2:00 p.m. while Saturday's matchup against URI in Kingston will begin at 4:00 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT
St. Bonaventure earned its first Atlantic 10 victory over La Salle, 65-60, last Friday afternoon at the Reilly Center. Junior Asianae Johnson led the way for the Bonnies with 15 points, four rebounds and four assists. Sophomore Olivia Brown added 14 points and was 4-for-7 from three-point range. Also scoring in double figures for the Brown and White was Deja Francis with 11 points to go along with six assists and four rebounds.
The Bonnies will have a quick turnaround from Friday to Saturday. St. Bonaventure last played back-to-back contests last season against Wright State and Saint Mary's as part of the UCF Holiday Tournament. Dating back to the 1986-87 season, the Bonnies have never played back-to-back regular season contests against Atlantic 10 programs.
ATLANTIC 10 RANKS
Thanks to a season-high nine made threes by the Bonnies against the Explorers Jan. 15, Bona has shot its way into the top five of the Atlantic 10 three-point shooting percentage ranks, shooting at a 31.7 percent clip from behind the arc. The Bonnies also rank seventh in the A-10 in team defense, allowing just 62.9 points per game to opposing teams.
Asianae Johnson is the Bonnies' leading scorer at 14.3 points per game, which ranks 11th in the Atlantic 10 and her 15.2 points per contest in conference games ranks sixth in the A-10. Sophomore Olivia Brown enters the weekend ranked sixth in the Atlantic 10 in three-point percentage, hitting at a 41.0 percent mark and is shooting 46.2 percent from deep in A-10 games. Tori Harris leads the Brown and White on the boards, hauling in an average of 7.1 per game which ranks 11th in the A-10.
• Head coach Stephanie Gaitley is in her 10th season at the helm of the Fordham women's basketball team and is the program's all-time winningest coach, touting a record of 197-109 with the Rams. In her 35 years as a head coach, Gaitley has 661 wins all-time.
• The Rams are currently 7-3 overall and 4-2 in Atlantic 10 play. Fordham has won five out of its last six games, falling to only UMass, 61-56, Jan. 10. The Rams have taken down A-10 foes Saint Louis (72-63), Rhode Island (64-58), George Washington (53-47) and George Mason (62-32) so far this season. The Ram's only other loss in Atlantic 10 play was to Davidson Dec. 21, 79-64. Fordham was picked to finish fourth in this year's Atlantic 10 preseason poll.
• Atlantic 10 Preseason All-Conference Third Team selection Anna DeWolfe is currently leading the A-10 in scoring, averaging 22.8 points per game and is shooting 44.6 percent from the floor. DeWolfe also ranks seventh in the A-10 in three-point shooting percentage, making 40.3 percent of her shots from distance. Kaitlyn Downey leads the league in rebounding, hauling in an average of 11.4 rebounds per game and is also fourth in the A-10 in three-point percentage, shooting 42.0 percent from beyond the arch. As a team, Fordham ranks first in the A-10 in three-point shooting percentage (39.0%) and rebounding margin (+10.5) while also allowing the second fewest points in the league (56.0 ppg).
SERIES HISTORY VS. FORDHAM
Friday's contest between St. Bonaventure and Fordham will be the 44th meeting all-time between the two schools. The Bonnies lead the all-time series against the Rams, 24-19, but Fordham has won the previous six meetings. St. Bonaventure last defeated Fordham Jan. 7, 2016 when Katie Healy and Nyla Rueter each scored 14 points to lead the Bonnies. The Bonnies last win at Rose Hill Gym was a 62-52 victory Feb. 19, 2011. Chelsea Bowker scored 15 points to lead the Bonnies.
ABOUT RHODE ISLAND
• Tammi Reiss enters her second season as head coach of the Rhode Island women's basketball team in 2020-21. Reiss led the Rams to a 13-16 record in 2019-20, a five-win improvement from the year before. Before going to Rhode Island, Reiss spent four seasons as an assistant coach at Syracuse.
• The Rams enter the week 4-5 overall and 4-2 in Atlantic 10 play. Rhode Island have won four out of its last five games with wins coming over Richmond (56-53), Davidson (62-44), UMass (48-47) and La Salle (72-69). In A-10 play, the Rams have fallen to UMass (79-69) and Fordham (64-58). Rhode Island was picked to finish 11th in the Atlantic 10 preseason poll.
• Emmanuelle Tahane leads the Rams in scoring, averaging 16.0 points per game and that number ranks fifth in the Atlantic 10. Tahane leads the Atlantic 10 in field goal percentage, shooting at a 63.3 percent clip from the floor. She also ranks third in the A-10 in minutes per game (36.4 mpg) and is also fifth in rebounding (9.1 rpg). As a team, Rhode Island ranks second in the A-10 in field goal percentage, making 43.4 percent of its shots from the floor.
SERIES HISTORY VS. RHODE ISLAND
Saturday's game against the Rams will be the 57th meeting between the two teams. The Bonnies lead the all-time series over the Rams, 33-23, as the two teams split their home-and-home series a season ago. The Bonnies got the upper hand at the Reilly Center Jan. 26 with a 64-59 win while the Rams took the matchup at the Ryan Center, 69-67, Feb. 16. Prior to the Feb. 16 loss to Rhode Island, St. Bonaventure won the previous 14 contests between the teams dating back to 2008-09 season. The series between St. Bonaventure and Rhode Island is the fourth longest series in Bonnies program history. The Bonnies have only played UMass (64 games), Duquesne (62) and Niagara (61) more times in program history.
BY THE NUMBERS
2 – Senior Emily Calabrese is two games away from 100 career games for the Bonnies. She is slated to reach that milestone Saturday against Rhode Island.
6 – Six players on the Bonnies roster have five or more steals this season.
9 – The Bonnies made a season-high nine three-pointers en route to victory last Friday against La Salle.
24 – Deja Francis leads the Bonnies with 24 assists this season. Francis passed the 200-career assist mark against La Salle last Friday. Francis is averaging 3.0 assists per game for her career.
45.9% – Asianae Johnson leads the Bonnies in shooting percentage through eight games this season. Johnson is shooting 45.9 percent from the floor and has scored 12 or more points in every game this season.
The Bonnies return home for two Atlantic 10 Conference games. St. Bonaventure is scheduled to host Saint Louis Friday, Jan. 29 at 6:00 p.m., and then host Dayton at the Reilly Center Jan. 31 at noon.
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