Friday, January 3, 2014

St. Bonaventure Athletics Game Notes for Cornell

Opponent: Cornell Big Red
Date: Saturday, January 4
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: Bob Lanier Court at the Reilly Center
St. Bonaventure Record: 9-4   |   Cornell Record: 0-12
Bonnies Statistics   |   Cornell Statistics
TV: NBC Sports Network  |  Channel Finder
Listen (WPIG 95.7 FM, Olean, NY)

Due to NBC Sports Network restrictions, this game cannot be streamed.
Twitter: @BonniesMBB 
Opening Tip: Saturday afternoon at the Reilly Center, St. Bonaventure closes out its non-conference schedule hosting Cornell on NBC Sports Network. The Bonnies, who have won three of their last four games, are 3-0 against the Big Red the past three seasons. St. Bonaventure looks for its 10th non-conference win of the year, which would be the most for the program since 1997.

The Series:
Cornell leads, 8-6, but Bona has won the last three meetings (2010-12).
The Last Meeting: Nov. 14, 2012 at Cornell: St. Bonaventure 72, Cornell 68
Chris Johnson scored 19 points and Marquise Simmons had 14 points and six rebounds to pace the Bonnies, who shot 42 free throws. 
Coaches Comparison:
St. Bonaventure Coach Mark Schmidt
  At SBU: 97-99 (7th season)
  Overall: 179-189 (13th season)
  Vs. Cornell: 3-0
Cornell Head Coach Bill Courtney
  At Cornell: 96-137 (fourth season)
  Overall: same
Cornell Scouting Report:
• The Big Red are still looking for their first win of the season and, in fact, enter this game with an 18-game losing streak dating back to last season, the longest in school history and the longest skid in Division I. Cornell has played a fairly challenging schedule this season, with three losses coming to Syracuse, Louisville and Notre Dame.
• Cornell's last game was Dec. 28, a 67-59 loss at St. Peter's. Devin Cherry and Nolan Cressler each scored 21 points to lead the Big Red in that contest.
• The Big Red average just 66 points per game and are allowing 83; Cornell is outrebounded by 5.6 boards per game. Expect plenty of three-point shots taken by the Big Red - they average 25 attempts and make 8.0 per game.
• Four of the team's top eight scorers are freshmen or sophomores, and the Big Red backcourt has been its strength, with the three starting guards all averaging double figures. Cressler, a sophomore, leads the team at 16.7 points per game, freshman Robert Hatter is next at 11.3 points per game followed by Cherry at 10.4 ppg. Forward Dwight Tarwater averages 7.2 points and a team-high 6.5 rebounds per game.

Quick Hitters on The Bonnies:
  • Seven Bonnies average 7.9 points per game or more.
  • St. Bonaventure ranks second in the A-10 in rebounding margin (+6.2), fifth in field goal percentage defense (.425) and seventh in scoring defense (68.5 ppg).
  • Charlon Kloof has increased his scoring average by almost eight points per game over last season (5.3 to 13.2).
  • Matthew Wright ranks 6th in the Atlantic 10 in scoring (16.3); he has increased his scoring average 9.0 ppg from last season.
  • Andell Cumberbatch averaged 15.3 points and 7.3 rebounds over the past six games.  He led St. Bonaventure in scoring both at Iona (career high 25) and Wake Forest (19), and posted double-doubles against Buffalo and UMass-Lowell.
  • Mark Schmidt, now in his seventh year as head coach, leads a program that has become a consistent winner; he is three wins away from 100 for his SBU tenure. Schmidt led St. Bonaventure to the A-10 Championship and NCAA Tournament in 2012.
  • Only 15% (55) of the Bonnies' 353 field goals are 3-pointers.
Last Time Out: Defense Propels Bonnies By Delaware: Monday, St. Bonaventure played in the Reilly Center for the first time since Dec. 3 and used a strong all-around game to knock off Delaware, 80-73. The Bonnies limited the Blue Hens to 38 percent shooting and held them 10 points under their season scoring average. St. Bonaventure jumped out to a 40-28 lead by halftime and was in control throughout the second half. The Bonnies got 23 points from Matthew Wright, 15 points and a career-high six blocks from Youssou Ndoye, nine points, seven assists and five rebounds from Charlon Kloof, and eight points apiece from Jordan Gathers, Dion Wright and Andell Cumberbatch. St. Bonaventure set a season high with 23 assists.
Scoring Options Increase: With the emergence of Dion Wright, Marquise Simmons and Jordan Gathers as capable scorers this season, St. Bonaventure has more offensive options than it did last year, when Demitrius Conger, Chris Johnson and Eric Mosely accounted for nearly half of the team's scoring. The Bonnies now have seven players averaging 7.9 points or better: Matthew Wright (16.3), Charlon Kloof (12.8), Andell Cumberbatch (12.3), Simmons (9.1), Dion Wright (9.0), Youssou Ndoye (8.6) and Gathers (7.9). Of those seven players, all but Dion Wright and Gathers have led the Bonnies in scoring least one game this season.
Looking To End Non-Conference Strong: At 9-4 going into the Cornell game, this Bonnies club has a chance to record the most non-conference wins in a season by a St. Bonaventure team since 1997. That team was 10-3 in non-conference games (17-15 overall) and wound up making the NIT. The Bonnies have already tied their best non-conference win total under head coach Mark Schmidt – 9-4 in 2008.

Road Swing Ends; Six of Nine at Home: St. Bonaventure is now enjoying both a three-game homestand (this is game #2) and a stretch where it plays six out of nine games at home, where it is 5-0 to date. The Delaware game started a three-game homestand, which is tied for the longest of the season. Prior to Christmas, St. Bonaventure played eight out of nine games on the road or at a neutral site. UMass-Lowell was the Bonnies' only home game in a span of 45 days (Nov. 16-Dec. 30). The Bonnies went 4-4 over the eight-game road/neutral stretch. 
Bonnies Versus Ivy League Opponents: All-time, St. Bonaventure is 14-11 against current Ivy League members.
Kloof Leads The Pack: To say that senior point guard Charlon Kloof's role has increased this season is a vast understatement. He is a leader on and off the court, and the Bonnies rely heavily on his production. Start with playing time: he's on the court 35.2 minutes per game and really only been out when he's had foul trouble, playing 36 minutes or more eight times with three games playing all 40 minutes. His offensive production is up this season by almost eight points and two assists per game; nine of his 22 career games scoring in double figures have been this season. Kloof also helps key the Bonnies' improved defense, averaging 1.5 steals. He also has proven to be a clutch player, scoring the winning basket on a buzzer-beating, length of the court drive at Niagara Dec. 21.
Reilly Center Advantage: Under Coach Mark Schmidt, the Reilly Center has returned to a feared venue for opponents. In addition to being 5-0 at home this season, the Bonnies have been at their best defensively on their home court, holding all five of their opponents under 40 percent shooting.
St. Bonaventure has won 27 of its last 33 home games against non-conference opponents dating to the beginning of the 2008-09 season.
The "Other Wright": After a freshman season spent in a role typical for most freshmen, Dion Wright has emerged as a key player for the Bonnies this year as a sophomore. The 6'7" small forward from Carson, Calif., played in only 13 games last year, but this season he has become the Bonnies' most reliable player off the bench. He has played in every game and is averaging 9.0 points (fifth on the team) in 21.6 minutes per outing. Wright, who is not related to teammate Matthew Wright, has five games of 12 points or more capped by a career-high 22 in the win at Iona. Wright has come on strong lately, averaging 13 points and 8.5 rebounds over the last four games.  He was a key to the win at Niagara when he recorded the first double-double of his career, 14 points and 11 rebounds (8 on the offensive end). Known for his ability to rebound and score in traffic, Wright also averages 4.6 rebounds, which ranks fourth on the team.

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