St. Bonaventure Faces Duquesne Saturday

Winners of seven of its last eight games, St. Bonaventure returns to the Reilly Center on Saturday to host Atlantic 10 rival Duquesne.

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St. Bonaventure (10-4)


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Duquesne (10-4)

GAMEDAY CENTRAL

DATE: Saturday, January 10, 2009
SITE: Bob Lanier Court at the Reilly Center (5,780)
TIP-OFF: 4:00 p.m.
RADIO: WPIG (95.7 FM) & WHDL (1450 AM) - Olean
WXRL (1300 AM) - Buffalo
WHTK (1280 AM) - Rochester
TALENT: Gary Nease (Play-by-Play)
Dr. John Watson (Analyst)
WEB AUDIO & VIDEO: www.GoBonnies.com
SERIES: Duquesne leads, 52-47
LAST MEETING: February 2, 2008
St. Bonaventure 74, Duquesne 59
UP NEXT: Wednesday, January 14, 2009
vs. Saint Joseph's @ 7 p.m.

At A Glance

Winners of seven of its last eight games, St. Bonaventure returns to the Reilly Center on Saturday to host Atlantic 10 rival Duquesne. Both teams enter the 100th meeting in series history with identical 10-4 records that include victories in their A-10 openers. The Bonnies A-10 win at Fordham on Wednesday night improved the Brown and White to a perfect 6-0 on the road and snapped an eight-game losing skid in A-10 road openers. On the flipside, the Dukes picked up their first conference win over Charlotte, upping their current win streak to a season-best five games.

Series History

Duquesne owns a 52-47 edge in the all-time series and has won three of its last four when visiting the Reilly Center. Both teams will be vying for their first 2-0 start in conference play since 2000. The two teams have squared off 31 times in the RC since it opened in 1966, with the Bonnies holding a 20-11 edge. Of those 31 meetings, 22 have been decided by 10 points or less with 13 of them going in the favor of the Brown and White.

Scouting the Dukes

Duquesne sports a youthful, but balanced lineup under third-year head coach Ron Everhart. The Dukes enter the RC riding a season long five-game win streak and have an identical 10-4 record. Duquesne also opened Atlantic 10 play on Wednesday, picking up a 76-71 win over Charlotte. Senior guard Aaron Jackson had a large part in Wednesday's win, scoring 30 points to surpass 1,000 for his career in his 100th game. The reigning A-10 Player of the Week, Jackson is the only player in the league to rank in the top four in scoring (17.9), assists (6.1) and steals (3.2). Sophomore standout Damian Saunders couples his 15.2 points per contest with Jackson to form the A-10's top scoring tandem at a combined 33.1 points. Saunders, an A-10 All-Rookie team choice in 2008, ranks third in the league at 7.9 caroms per game, while his 30 blocks and 25 steals both rank fourth, respectively. Both Jackson and Saunders have been cited as the A-10 Player of the Week this season, making Duquesne the only team to have multiple winners. Sophomore Bill Clark has elevated his play in his second season, averaging 10.9 points and 4.8 rebounds. The Dukes sport one of the most potent offenses in the A-10, as they've scored 80 or more points six times and rank second in the league at 77.7 points per game.

Head Coaching Matchup

ST. BONAVENTURE HEAD COACH
Mark Schmidt
@ St. Bonaventure: 18-26 (2nd Season)
Overall: 100-116 (8th Season)
vs. Duquesne: 3-3

DUQUESNE HEAD COACH
Ron Everhart
@ Duquesne: 37-36 (3rd Season)
Overall: 211-208 (15th Season)
vs. St. Bonaventure: 2-2

Road Warriors

After winning one road game last season and just five over the previous three seasons, St. Bonaventure has posted a perfect 6-0 mark away from the Reilly Center so far this season. The Bonnies have out-rebounded all six road opponents for a +10.5 margin and have finished with three of their top four shooting percentage away from home. St. Bonaventure has taken a lead into the locker room in five of six games, including a trio of double figure advantages. The team's most impressive road stat might be that they've trailed for only 23 minutes and 32 seconds out of a possible 255 minutes played. The team's six consecutive wins on the road to start the season is a school record, besting the start set by the 1967-68 team. The last team to win more than five road games in a season was the 2001-02 club that won seven.

    
    Opponent	     Time Trailed   Largest Lead
    at Marist	      2:34	    27 (2nd - 3:05)
    at Rutgers	     12:28	     4 (2nd - 0:36)
    at Eastern Michigan   1:37	    19 (2nd - 14:40)
    at Bucknell	      3:42	    18 (1st - 3:48)
    at Central Arkansas    N/A	    17 (2nd - 6:27)
    at Fordham	      3:11	    17 (2nd - 6:27)
    

John of All Trades

Junior Jonathan Hall may be the most intriguing prospect of Schmidt's eight newcomers. Hall currently leads the Bonnies in scoring at 14.1 points per game, good for 13th in the Atlantic 10. Hall has shown consistency at the offensive end, finishing in double figures in 12 games, including the first nine, while leading the team in scoring on five occasions. The Miami, Fla. native can do more than just score evident by his team-highs of 22 steals and 36 offensive rebounds. Hall also averages 6.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists and has 10 blocks - all of which rank second on the team. Below is a look at the number of games Hall has led the team in each category, including ties.

    
    PTS	REB	AST	STL	BLK
    5	3	5	4	1
    

Bench Points

The increase in overall depth at every position has helped the Bona bench out-score the opposition in every game, resulting in a 346-209 margin. The bench has provided head coach Mark Schmidt with 30 or more points three times and at least 20 points in 11 games, highlighted by a season-high 36 against Canisius. Through 14 games, the Bonnies are receiving 24.7 points, nearly 10 points more than their opponents, and 16.5 rebounds per contest from the bench. Ray Blackburn is fourth on the team in scoring (10.9) and has eight double figure games off the bench. Junior Maurice Thomas' 22-point effort was his last game as a non-starter, in which he also added 12 rebounds against Canisius. The team's leading scorer has come from the bench on four occasions, while it has also supplied a double figure scorer in 12 of the 14 games and three 20-point performances.

Balancing Act

St. Bonaventure's balanced scoring and rebounding attack is sure to give its opponents fits in the film room. The Brown and White have five players averaging nine points or more and six that are averaging at least three boards per game. Through 14 games, a total of seven different players have led St. Bonaventure in either scoring, rebounding or assists in a game. The Bonnies have received seven 20-point efforts from five different players. Those scoring outbursts have come over seven different games.

Record Breaker

Freshman Andrew Nicholson set a pair of program records during non-conference play. The most recent came at Bucknell when Nicholson set a program record with nine blocks breaking the previous mark of eight that he equaled earlier this season against Princeton. The original block record was set by Caswell Cyrus in 1998 against Siena. Nicholson's nine-block night is tied for the most by any Division I player this season. Nicholson was also named Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week three straight times between November and December, making him the first Bona player to win the award three times in a season. His 48 blocks through 14 games are the sixth-best single-season total in program history.

Look Out Below

Freshman Andrew Nicholson has more than lived up to the hype that crossed the Canadian border with him. The 6-foot-9 forward from Mississauga, Ontario is averaging 12.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game. Nicholson leads all A-10 Rookies in rebounding, blocks and field goal percentage (.607). On the season, Nicholson has scored in double figures nine times and has led the team in scoring three times, rebounding six times and blocks 13 times. Nicholson just missed recording a triple-double at Bucknell with 22 points, eight rebounds and a school record nine blocks. He is just one of three Bona players to record a double-double this season, while his 17 dunks are tops on the team. Below is a look at how Nicholson stacks up amongst the league's rookies and leaders.

    
    Category        Stat  A-10 Rookies A-10 Overall
    Scoring	        12.4  2nd	   T-20th
    FG Percentage	.607  1st	   --
    Rebounding	6.0   1st	   T-15th
    Off. Rebounds	2.3   3rd	   T-15th
    Blocks* 	3.4   1st          2nd
    20-Point Games	2     1st	   T-9th
    

* - Ranks 4th nationally and is tops amongst all freshman

The Last Time Since ...

St. Bonaventure's 10-4 start has yielded several impressive stats that haven't been accomplished in recent years.

  • The Brown and White's 6-0 road mark is a program record to start the season and the longest road win streak in a single season.
  • The six road wins are the most since 2001-02 (7)
  • The Bonnies' four-game win streak to start December was the programs first since the 2001-02 campaign.
  • A win against Duquesne would give the Bonnies their second four-game win streak of the season, marking the first time since 2000-01 they've accomplished that feat.
  • Wednesday night's win at Fordham snapped a nine-game losing streak at historic Rose Hill Gymnasium and put an end to the Bonnies eight-game losing streak in A-10 road openers.
  • The team's 10 wins this season are two more than the entire 2007-08 campaign.
  • Second-year head coach Mark Schmidt picked up his 100th career win at Fordham. The most wins by a second year head coach in St. Bonaventure history is 18, set by Eddie Melvin in 1948-49 and Jim O'Brien in 1983-84.


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