@BonniesMBB unveils 2013-14 non-conference schedule

Photo courtesy of St. Bonaventure Athletics
Photo courtesy of St. Bonaventure Athletics

Courtesy of GoBonnies.com

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – The St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team unveiled its 2013-14 non-conference schedule on Wednesday, featuring six rematches from last season and a trip to the inaugural Gulf Coast Showcase, a Thanksgiving week tournament in Naples, Fla.

The Bonnies will kick off the 2013-14 season with four consecutive games at home starting with an exhibition vs. Mansfield at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2.

The regular season gets underway Saturday, Nov. 9, when the Bonnies welcome the University of South Dakota for a 7 p.m. tip-off. The Coyotes went 10-20 in the 2012-13 season and returns their second and third-leading scorers, Trevor Gruis and Brandon Bos, who averaged 12.3 and 11.0 points per game respectively.

Game three of the home stretch to start the season will feature Abilene Christian on Monday, Nov. 11, at 7 p.m. The Wildcats of Abilene, Texas, are new members to Division I this year, as they moved up from Division II where they had a record of 12-14 last season. Fifty years ago, ACU helped found the Southland Conference and this year it re-joins the league it helped to build.

Canisius will make the short trip south from Buffalo to the Reilly Center on Saturday, Nov. 16, to complete the home stand for the Bonnies. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be the 162nd meeting between the two programs. St. Bonaventure has played Canisius more than any other opponent in its history. Neither team has won more than two consecutive games in the series since 1993. Last season, the Golden Griffins defeated the Bonnies 72-69 in Buffalo.

The Brown and White begin a long road trip by heading to Siena to defend the Franciscan Cup on Tuesday, Nov. 19. For the fourth straight year, the schools will compete for the traveling trophy. In 2010, St. Bonaven¬ture president Sr. Margaret Carney and Siena presi¬dent Fr. Kevin Mullen agreed that tradition should be made between the A-10 and MAAC conference foes because of their shared Franciscan heritage and the Franciscan Cup was born. The Saints will try to capture their first taste of this trophy as St. Bonaventure has won the first three games of this matchup. The Bonnies handled the Saints last year with a 58-43 victory at home.

Nov. 25-27, the Bonnies will travel to Naples, Florida, to take part in the 2013 Gulf Coast Showcase. The seven other teams competing in the Showcase are Louisiana Tech, Southern Illinois, UNC-Greensboro, Illinois-Chicago, San Diego, Stetson, and Loyola Chicago. The Showcase bracket will be announced at a later date.

The Bonnies return home on Dec. 3 to play UMass-Lowell at 7 p.m.  The River Hawks are new to NCAA Division I and to the America East Conference this season. The River Hawks went 15-13 last season in Division II, and return Akeem Williams who earned NABC East Region first team honors last season.

St. Bonaventure will then be on the road for four straight contests beginning with a trip to Big Four rival Buffalo on Dec. 7. The tilt in Alumni Arena will be the eighth in the series between these two programs. Last year was a down-to-the-wire game as Matthew Wright stole the ball with 24 seconds left to lift the Bonnies to a last second victory, their fifth in a row over the Bulls.

On Dec. 14, St. Bonaventure will look to redeem itself when it visits Iona; last year, the Bonnies fell to the NCAA-Tournament bound Gaels 93-74.

On Dec. 17, the Bonnies will head south for a matchup with ACC foe Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, N.C. at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Wake Forest struggled last year at 13-18 overall and 6-12 in the ACC, but returns eight scholarship players including four starters.

The long road trip concludes on Dec. 21 with a trip to the familiar Taps Gallagher Center for a tilt with Little Three rival Niagara. This year’s meeting will be the 153rd game in this historic rivalry; St. Bonaventure holds an 84-68 all time series advantage. The Bonnies have defeated the Purple Eagles two years in a row, including last year’s 80-75 victory in Rochester.

Delaware will travel to the Reilly Center to play the Bonnies on Monday, Dec. 30. The Blue Hens are members of the Colonial Athletic Association and finished second in the regular season standings last year with a 13-5 CAA record. The Blue Hens look to continue their success this season as they return their top two scorers, Devon Saddler (19.9 points per game) and Jarvis Threatt (13.0).

The Bonnies ring in the New Year and conclude the non-conference slate by welcoming the Cornell Big Red to campus on Saturday, Jan. 4. St. Bonaventure will look to make it four straight victories against the Big Red as they defeated Cornell last year 72-68. Cornell had a 13-18 overall record last year and has not been over .500 since the 2009-10 season where they advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

The Atlantic 10 schedule will be released in September.

Head Coach Mark Schmidt who is entering his seventh season, returns eight letterwinners and adds six new student-athletes to the roster. The Bonnies posted a 14-15 record last season with a 7-9 mark in Atlantic 10 play.

For information on season tickets, visit gobonnies.com/tickets or contact SBU Ticket Office manager Melissa Curran at 716-375-2500. Single game tickets will not go on sale until later in the fall. Those interested in sponsorship opportunities for the 2013-14 season may contact Aaron Hill, director of sales and marketing, via email at ahill@sbu.edu or at 716-375-2086.

As always be sure to follow @Go_Bonnies and @BonniesMBB on Twitter as well as St. Bonaventure Athletics and St. Bonaventure Men’s Basketball on Facebook for the up-to-the-minute news on St. Bonaventure men’s basketball.

Bona non-conference

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