Saturday afternoon brings a Homecoming weekend showdown of the third place teams in the Atlantic 10. Led by its red-hot backcourt, St. Bonaventure has won its last five games and has a nine-game winning streak in the Reilly Center. Also a guard-driven team, Richmond has surprised the A-10 with a 7-4 mark.
• Thanks to its second-longest win streak of the season, St. Bonaventure stands in a tie for third place in the conference with today’s opponent, Richmond. The Bonnies’ five straight A-10 wins are tied for their longest such streak under Mark Schmidt.
• Senior point guard Jaylen Adams became the first Division I player to post back-to-back 40 point games since 2014 with his 40 points at Duquesne Feb. 3 and 44 against Saint Louis Feb. 7. He set the school record with 10 three-pointers (in 13 attempts) against the Billikens. Over the two games, Adams made 18 of 26 (.692) three-point shots. He is the first Bonnies player to record back-to-back 40 point games since Bob Lanier in February 1969.
• Adams and Matt Mobley form one of the top backcourts in the country. The seniors combine to average 37.8 points per game and shoot .425 from three-point range.
• Mobley was named A-10 Player of the Week last week after he averaged 27 points over two wins, topped by a career high 35 points Jan. 31 at George Mason. Feb. 7, Mobley went over the 1,000 point mark for his St. Bonaventure career; he now has 1,002 in 55 games.
• He may not score often, but do not underestimate the contributions of senior swingman Idris Taqqee. A veteran of 113 career games, he is averaging nearly five rebounds a game after he grabbed nine (7 offensive) at Duquesne. Taqqee also guards the opponent’s top scorer.
• One of the most improved players in the Atlantic 10 is junior forward LaDarien Griffin. Last season, he averaged 2.7 points and 2.2 rebounds; this year, Griffin has started every game and is at 8.8 points and 6.5 rebounds. He has four double-doubles.
• Courtney Stockard missed the last two seasons due injuries, leaving his career in doubt. He persevered, though, and the redshirt junior is averaging 11 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.
• This game is sold out, the first sellout of the season at the Reilly Center.
• Richmond is the surprise of the A-10, as the Spiders went 2-10 in non-conference action but enter today’s game in third place at 7-4. Wednesday, Richmond completed a season sweep of VCU with a 77-76 home win. The Spiders have won five of their last six including an impressive, 66-63 decision at Davidson.
• Redshirt freshman Grant Golden, a 6-10 forward, leads Richmond in scoring (15.6) and is second in rebounding (6.4).
• Four other Spiders average in double figures led by sophomores Nick Sherrod (12.8) and De’Monte Buckingham (12.4). Freshman point guard Jacob Gilyard has been one of the best rookies in the A-10, averaging 10.7 points and leading the conference in steals.
This will be the 24th meeting in a series that Richmond leads 17-6. The Bonnies, however, won the past three meetings contested at the Reilly Center. The first meeting in the series was in 2002.
St. Bonaventure vs. Richmond: The Last Meeting
Jan. 11, 2017 at Reilly Center: Spiders 78, Bonnies 61
St. Bonaventure started strong, led for nearly the entire first half and took a three-point edge to intermission, but foul trouble and a second half surge sent Richmond to the win. Leading scorer Jaylen Adams didn’t dress due to an injury but Bona started hot from the floor, leading by 12 after connecting on seven of its first 12 attempts from the floor. The Bonnies held a 37-32 advantage early in the second half, but from there it was all Spiders. With 13:45 remaining, Richmond took its first lead since the 18:13 mark of the first half, 40-39. That came as part of a 14-2 run from the Spiders as the hosts took a lead they would not relinquish. Four Richmond players scored 14 or more points. Matt Mobley paced the Bonnies with 17 points, adding five rebounds and three assists in 39 minutes of action. Nelson Kaputo earned his first start of the season and finished with 12 points while Denzel Gregg finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Adams To Become Highest Scoring Guard In School History
Jaylen Adams needs 18 points to become the highest scoring guard in St. Bonaventure history. He has 1,717 career points, which ranks 10th all-time at Bona’s, and is 15 points short of J.R. Bremer (1,732) and 17 points short of Marques Green (1,734). All of the top six leading scorers in school history were forwards or centers: Greg Sanders, Andrew Nicholson, Earl Belcher, Bob Lanier, Tom Stith and Essie Hollis.
Backcourt One Of Nation’s Best
Despite the intense defensive attention they are getting this season, the Jaylen Adams – Matt Mobley pairing remains one of the nation’s best backcourts. The week of Jan. 29, they proved it again by combining for 109 points in two wins. Adams set a career high with 40 points at Duquesne while Mobley scored 19; at George Mason, Mobley shone with a career best 35. Incredibly, their combined 59 points at Duquesne was not even their top scoring game of the season, as they combined for 60 against UMass Dec. 30.
Adams & Mobley Combined Statistics:
PPG Assists Steals 3-PT% FT%
37.8 7.9 2.7 .425 .858
A-10 High In Three-Point Efficiency
The Bonnies lead the Atlantic 10 Conference in three-point percentage at .400, which ranks 22nd nationally. Jaylen Adams is at .514, which would lead the A-10 and rank second nationally if he had played in enough games (75%) to qualify. Matt Mobley is at .372. Led by those two players, the Bonnies made 35-68 (.515) of their three-pointers over the past three games.
• Matt Mobley is 261 points away from 2,000 for his college career.
• Idris Taqqee has played in 113 career games; with three more he will reach the top 10 in program history in games played.
• St. Bonaventure is three wins from its third consecutive 20-win season.
Mobley’s Scoring Prowess
Slowing down senior shooting guard Matt Mobley is a high priority for opposing defenders. Even with the added defensive attention, Mobley has continued to perform at a high level. He ranks sixth in the Atlantic 10 in scoring at 17.8 points per game, with 10 games of 20-plus points. He has 25 games of 20 points or more in 55 career games at St. Bonaventure. Mobley also leads the Bonnies in three-pointers (64), free throws (99) and steals (31). Last season, which was his first at St. Bonaventure after transferring from Central Connecuticut State, Mobley went from a virtual unknown to a star, All-Conference player. Mobley’s 18.5 ppg average ranked fourth-best in the A-10.