St. Bonaventure (7-9, 0-3 Atlantic 10)
RV/- Temple (12-4, 2-1 Atlantic 10)
Jan. 19 | 1 PM | Liacourus Center (10,206)
National TV: CBS Sports Network
DirectTV: 613 | DISH: 158 | Local: 776
Game Notes: St. Bona | Temple | A-10
Twitter: @BonniesMBB | #Bonnies | #A10MBB
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For the second game in a row the St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team will be showcased nationally when it faces Temple Saturday afternoon on the CBS Sports Network. The Bonnies will be looking to break a six-game losing streak overall, a 14-game losing streak against the Owls and also a dubious 0-31 mark all-time at Temple.
Last Time Out
Semaj Christon converted a driving lay-in with 5.1 seconds remaining Wednesday night to give Xavier a 66-64 win over the Bonnies in an Atlantic 10 Championship game rematch from last year. The loss was the second in as many games for SBU by single digits, as Bonaventure battled current No. 22/19 VCU down to the wire before succumbing to a 72-65 defeat last Saturday. Against Xavier, sophomore Youssou Ndoye posted a career-high 16 points off the bench, and senior Eric Mosleyadded 13 off the bench as well for the Brown and White.
The Toughest Of Sledding To Start
The defending A-10 Champions open their conference slate this year with the most difficult beginning to a season out of any of the other 15 member schools. The matchup with Temple (4th) will represent the second time this year already that SBU will play a team predicted to finish in the top-4 of the league, with the other being VCU (3rd). The schedule doesn’t get any easier for St. Bona as it travels back down to Philadelphia to face preseason league favorite Saint Joseph’s on Wednesday before playing host to preseason 2nd-place Saint Louis on Saturday. Bonaventure is the only team in the A-10 which faces the top-4 teams in the preseason poll through its first six conference games.
Depth Perspective: Edge – St. Bonaventure
The Bonnies have a huge edge against the Owls when it comes to the bench. The Bonaventure bench has scored 399 points, representing 35 percent of its 1,143 points on the year. Meanwhile, Temple has tallied just 233 bench points, accounting for 21 percent of its 1,092 total points. Four times this year already Bonaventure’s leading scorer in a game came off the bench, most recently on Wednesday when Youssou Ndoye tallied 16 against Xavier. Temple has had a bench player score in double figures just five times all year, something Bonaventure has produced 17 times. In last year’s meeting, the Bona bench outscored Temple’s, 32-7. SBU returns a lot of depth and experience from last year as it had 10 players average at least 10 minutes per game in 2011-12, tied for the most by any team in the A-10, and eight of those players come back this year for head coach Mark Schmidt.
^ Temple overcame a 10-point halftime deficit in its most recent victory, 55-53, at George Washington on Wednesday.
^ One of the Atlantic 10’s top guards, Khalif Wyatt is among the conference’s leaders in scoring (16.1 ppg, 5th), assists (3.9 apg, 9th) and free-throw percentage (.837, 8th).
^ Forward Anthony Lee (11.9 ppg) and wing Scootie Randall (11.4 ppg) also average double figures in scoring for Temple; Lee is also among the A-10 leaders in rebounding with a 7.2 average.
^ Among A-10 team statistical leaders, the Owls rank 1st in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3), 2nd in steals per game (8.4) and 3rd in turnover margin (+3.31).
^ Temple has been arguably the most consistent A-10 team over the last few years, having won 26 of its last 30 conference games.
^ The Owls are 7-1 at the Liacouras Center this season.
^ Temple faced one of the most challenging non-conference schedules in the country with meetings against three top-10 teams: Duke (L, 90-67), Syracuse (W, 83-79) and Kansas (L, 69-62).
^ The Owls’ victory over No. 3/3 Syracuse at Madison Square Garden marked the fifth straight season Temple has defeated a top-10 opponent.
^ Temple has been vulnerable on the glass at times, having been outrebounded by an average of 37.4 to 35.1 per game this season.
I See You
As part of Ndoye’s career-high 16 points against Xavier Wednesday night, the 7-footer went 7-8 from the floor and rejected two shots within a span of 13 seconds of each other. The blocks, which came on the same defensive stand for the Bonnies, were featured on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays Wednesday night as play No. 8. The Senegal native played a career-best 29 minutes and hit 1-of-2 free throws with 26 seconds left to tie the game at 64-64.
His point total breaks his previous high of 14, set last month at NC State against a talented Wolfpack frontline. The former soccer player also grabbed a career-best 14 rebounds in that contest. On the year, Ndoye has already surpassed his point total (102 this year-80 last year), rebound total (85-73) and block total (23-17) from his freshman campaign, and is nearing his minutes played total from last season (321-319).
St. Bonaventure head coach Mark Schmidt has never lost seven straight games during his time at the helm of the Bonnies. Schmidt has lost six straight twice, and both of those stretches came during his first season on the Bona sidelines in 2007-08. The last time SBU lost seven in a row came during the 2006-07 season when it dropped eight in a row.
Balanced Attack Once Again
While their offense has remained relatively consistent (74.4 points per game before the six-game losing streak; 71.4 now), what has differed for the Bonnies is the distribution of scoring. That changed on Wednesday against Xavier as Bona put four players in double-figure points for the first time in seven games, dating back to a Dec. 19 contest against The Citadel. Starting with the third game of the year, SBU put four players in double-figure scoring in six of the next eight games, including four in a row.
Striping It From The Stripe
Both St. Bonaventure and Temple are among the Atlantic 10’s best from the free-throw line. Bonaventure ranks fourth in the league at 71.8 percent, while Temple is second at 72.8 percent. However, in conference games only, the Bonnies are leading the A-10 in free-throw percentage, connecting on 79.1 percent of their attempts.
For the first time in its six-game losing streak, St. Bonaventure held an opponent to below 50-percent shooting from the floor against Xavier on Wednesday as the Musketeers connected on 45.6 percent of their attempts. Bonaventure had allowed its previous five opponents to shoot better than 50 percent from the floor.
While the Bonnies rank last in the A-10 in field-goal percentage defense (45.4), Temple is among the worst teams in the A-10 in field-goal percentage. The Owls’ 40.6 percent shooting from the floor is 15th out of 16 A-10 teams. Only once this year has Temple shot better than 50 percent from the floor, and that came in its season opener at Kent State (53 percent).
SportsCenter’s Top 10
Both Youssou Ndoye and Demitrius Conger were featured on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays on Wednesday. Ndoye checked in with the No. 8 play, while Conger had the No. 7 play. Ndoye emphatically rejected two Xavier shots in a span of 13 seconds on the same defensive trip for the Bonnies. Conger threw down a one-handed tomahawk dunk over a Xavier defender just minutes later.
A Change Of Pace
After using just two different starting lineups through the first 11 games of the year, head coach Mark Schmidt has changed his starting rotation in four of the last five games. Most recently against Xavier, Schmidt went back to his most common starting five: Charlon Kloof, Matthew Wright, Demitrius Conger, Chris Johnson and Marquise Simmons. Kloof and Conger are the only Bona players who have started all 16 games this year.
St. Bonaventure heads right back to Philadelphia as it faces preseason league favorite Saint Joseph’s on Wednesday night at 7.