@BonniesMBB hosts Charlotte; postseason position on the line

Courtesy of St. Bonaventure Athletics
Courtesy of St. Bonaventure Athletics

Courtesy of GoBonnies.com

Fan Appreciation Weekend
St. Bonaventure (13-13, 6-7 A-10) vs.
Charlotte (18-9, 6-7 A-10)
Saturday, March 2 | 7 PM | Reilly Center
Game Notes: St. Bona | Charlotte | A-10
A-10 Standings & Tie-Breaking Procedures
Twitter: @BonniesMBB | #Bonnies | #A10MBB
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Opening Tip
Coming off its second bye week of the Atlantic 10 season which coincided with the university’s midterm break, St. Bonaventure faces Charlotte in a pivotal matchup Saturday at the Reilly Center filled with postseason implications. Despite not playing Wednesday, the Bonnies moved from sole possession of 12th place in the A-10 standings into a four-way tie for 9th. One of those three teams the Bonnies are tied with at 6-7 is Charlotte, with the others being George Washington and Saint Joseph’s.

Bonaventure does not have the head-to-head tiebreaker on GW, but does on Saint Joe’s. SBU can add another head-to-head tiebreaker with a victory over the 49ers, who started the A-10 schedule 5-2 but have dropped five of their last six, including three in a row by an average of 19.6 per game. Only the top 12 teams in the 16-team conference qualify for the A-10 Championship March 14-17 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Last Time Out
St. Bonaventure watched a double-digit lead evaporate, but behind a game-high-tying 19 points from Chris Johnson and Demitrius Conger, the Bonnies were able to stave off a feisty Duquesne team to earn a 78-71 win Saturday night in Pittsburgh. Senior Eric Mosley was right behind the pace set by his classmates as he added 16 points in a victory which tied a single-season program record for the Bonnies with their fourth A-10 road win. The victory evened SBU’s overall record at 13-13, and the Brown and White will be aiming to get over .500 for the first time since entering their conference opener at George Washington on Jan. 9 at 7-6.

Déjà vu?
For the second year in a row, St. Bonaventure is looking to end the regular season with great momentum heading into the conference tournament. Last year, the Bonnies won four of their last five games, including four in a row, to storm into the postseason tournament as one of the hottest teams in the league. Bonaventure parlayed that hot finish with an impressive run through the A-10 Championship for its first-ever title. With three games remaining in the regular season this year, the Bonnies enter the stretch already on a two-game winning streak and look to at least equal their performance over the final five games from last year. Additionally, the third win SBU had during its four-game winning streak last year came over Charlotte, 72-56, and a victory over the 49ers Saturday would be the third win in a row during this year’s stretch.

Scouting Charlotte
^ This will be the final meeting between St. Bonaventure and Charlotte as Atlantic 10 Conference members as the 49ers are heading back to Conference USA after this season.
^ Prior to Charlotte joining the A-10 for the 2005-06 season, the Bonnies and 49ers had met on five previous occasions, and each came at a different location: Milwaukee, Wisc., Tuscon, Ariz., Charlotte, N.C., Malibu, Calif. and Rochester, N.Y.
^ Charlotte is the worst free-throw shooting team in the A-10 at 64.5 percent, while Bonaventure leads the conference at 75.9 percent.
^ The 49ers enter Saturday’s game with an RPI of 65; Bonaventure is at 112.
^ Charlotte’s former leading scorer, DeMario Mayfield (11.7 ppg), was suspended on Jan. 30 and dismissed from the team on Feb. 22 for violating athletic department policy.
^ Senior forward Chris Braswell is the only current Charlotte player averaging double figures (11.1 ppg); Braswell has posted more than 1,000 points and 800 rebounds, in addition to 23 double-doubles, over his career.
^ Fellow forward, Willie Clayton, is one of the A-10’s top freshman; Clayton leads the conference in field-goal percentage (58.3) and is 12th in rebounding (6.6 rpg).
^ The 49ers have outscored 21 of 27 opponents in the paint this season, but are last in the conference in 3-point percentage (26.1).

Disciplined From The Free-Throw Line
For the third time in head coach Mark Schmidt’s sixth year at the helm of SBU, the Bonnies are on pace to finish in the top-3 of the Atlantic 10 in free-throw percentage. Bonaventure currently leads the league and is 12th nationally at 75.9 percent. The Brown and White was 3rd last year (76.1) and 1st in 2007-08 (75.2).

Uncommon Road Warriors
With its win at Duquesne Saturday, St. Bonaventure tied a single-season record for most road wins in A-10 play with four, something it has done on five different occasions, but not once since the 1999-2000 campaign. The Bonnies are 4-3 away from the generally friendly confines of the Reilly Center; additionally, St. Bonaventure has never had a better road record than a home record in an A-10 season (2-4 at home this year). Bonaventure will have a chance to set the program record next Wednesday when it travels to Dayton to face the Flyers.

Quick Hitters
# Bonaventure is a perfect 7-0 this season when scoring at least 75 points in regulation.
# St. Bonaventure held a 41-35 halftime lead last Saturday at Duquesne and is now 10-1 when leading at the break this year.
# Bona’s turned the ball over more times than the Dukes Saturday, 14-11, marking just the second time (2-7) that SBU has won a game this year when committing more turnovers than its opponent, and both occasions have come against Duquesne.
# 82 percent of St. Bonaventure’s scoring (64 of 78 points) against Duquesne came from seniors.
# After being out-rebounded by the smaller Dukes in the first half last Saturday, 17-13, the Bonnies dominated Duquesne on the glass in the second half, 22-9.
# Bonaventure’s win over Duquesne was the first for the Bonnies at the Palumbo Center since the 2006-07 season (0-5).

Maxing Him Out
Senior Demitrius Conger ranks second in the A-10 in minutes played per game (36.2). The forward leads the Bonnies in minutes played by a wide margin as he’s logged 940 minutes of action with Chris Johnson second at 761. Additionally, Conger has played five straight complete games, and over the last 10 games the Brooklyn native has played in 404 out of a possible 410 minutes. Furthermore, in conference games he has played 498 of a possible 530 minutes (94 percent). If Conger continues on his average, he will have logged the third-most action by any Bona player in a single season (Tim Winn: 1,112 minutes in 1999-2000 and Ogo Adegboye: 1,209 in 2010-11). Adegboye led the nation in minutes played that season.

Mosley: A-10 Player of the Week
Senior Eric Mosley was named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Week on Monday for the first time in his career by league officials. Mosley scored 39 points last Wednesday against Massachusetts, representing the most points ever by a Bonaventure player in an A-10 game. The guard then added 16 points and a team-best five assists versus Duquesne on Saturday. The 39 point-performance – which efficiently came on 12-18 shooting, 5-8 from 3-point range and 10-10 from the free-throw line – is tied for the most points by an A-10 player in a game this year. Additionally, no Bonaventure player has scored more points in a regulation 40-minute game since Greg Sanders tallied 46 against Detroit in 1977.

The Louisville, Ky. native has been scorching over the last five games, averaging 24.2 points per game and shooting 50 percent (40-80) from the floor, including a 45-percent clip from 3-point range (19-42). During that five-game stretch, Mosley has jumped from 98th on St. Bonaventure’s all-time scoring list to 80th. He’s also increased his scoring average from 10.0 before the stretch to its current 12.7 average.

Next Up
St. Bonaventure heads on the road for its final road contest of the year against Dayton in another vital A-10 matchup Wednesday at UD Arena. Tipoff against the Flyers is set for 7 p.m., and the game will be televised back to New York State by Time Warner Cable Sports.

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