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Bonnies Welcome Miami (OH) for Saturday Tilt

St. Bonaventure (3-2) hosts the Miami (OH) University Red Hawks (2-2) this afternoon. The Bonnies are coming off a 67-61 victory against Bucknell Wednesday night, while the Red Hawks have won their last two games after an 0-2 start. St. Bonaventure is an all-time 47-29 against the Mid-American Conference, but have never matched up against the Red Hawks. Here is everything you need to know about this afternoon’s game.

The Bonnies

Offense has been at a premium for this team so far. The Bonnies have only eclipsed the 70-point threshold once this season, which came on opening night with a 73-69 win over Longwood. St. Bonaventure tallied 67 in its mid-week win over Bucknell. Mika Adams-Woods and Moses Flowers led the offense with 16 points apiece, while Charles Pride was the only other Bonnie in double figures with 11. Pride also led the team in rebounds Wednesday with seven, while both Assa Essamvous and Barry Evans grabbed six boards each.

Adams-Woods has taken over the team-lead in points per game as he is up to an even 13.0. Pride and Venning are the only other Bonnies averaging double figures through the first five games, at 11.8 and 10.8, respectively. Pride continues to lead St. Bonaventure in rebounding (6.8 RPG), while Assa ranks second on the team averaging 5.0.

The defense has been there for head coach Mark Schmidt’s team, but their search for offense continues. An uptick in scoring can come from multiple different areas. Adams-Woods and Pride have become the main contributors for this team, but there are still multiple players that can carry the load on this roster. Daryl Banks III has struggled to open the season, as he is 3-21 from beyond the arc through five games. Venning is also another source of scoring that could see a bump. The issue there comes with the redshirt junior continuously finding himself in foul trouble. It is also worth noting that Kyrell Luc has missed the previous three games with a lower-body injury.

Projected Starting Five: Assa, Adams-Woods, Banks III, Pride, Venning

The Opponent

Miami finished the 2022-23 season with a 12-20 record and an 8th place finish in the MAC. The Red Hawks only lost one major contributor in Mekhi Lairy, who averaged 17.3 points, 3.9 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game. Second-year head coach Travis Steele brought in a trio of transfers including a pair of division-two standouts from a year ago. Bradley Dean averaged 21.4 points per game at UVA-Wise, while Bryson Bultman averaged 16.4 points per game at McKendree.

The 2023-24 Red Hawks are led by graduate student Darweshi Hunter. The 6-foot-5 guard is averaging 16.0 points per game and is the only player on Miami to average double figures thus far. Bultman and Evan Ipsaro have been the main secondary scorers this season, as both players are averaging 9.8 points per game. The duo brings experience and youth as Bultman is a grad student while Ipsaro is a freshman.

Miami has three other players scoring at least five points per game. Jaquel Morris leads that group at 8.5, while also leading the Red Hawks in rebounding. The 6-foot-8, 220-pound center averages 6.3 rebounds and has totaled eight blocks this season. Hunter will be this afternoon’s player to stop for St. Bonaventure as he makes Miami tick on the offensive side of the ball. The status of big men Reece Potter (finger) and Anderson Mirambeaux (undisclosed) remains questionable.

Projected Starting Five: Ipsaro, Hunter, Cooper, Morris, Bultman

Players to Watch

Charles Pride – The Bonnies are going to turn to arguably their best player this afternoon. The graduate transfer always seems to come through when needed most. Look for Pride to get hot from beyond the arc while being able to get down low to grab some crucial offensive rebounds. The ball always seems to find Charles Pride.

Darweshi Hunter – As usual, the best player for Bonaventure’s opponent will be the one to watch. Hunter’s 16.0 points per game are 6.2 points better than anyone else on the roster. Hunter also shoots the three well, as his 11 three-point field goals (11/23, 47.8%) lead the team. Expect Bona's best defender, Pride, to shadow Hunter most of the afternoon.

Prediction and Keys to the Game

This is yet another situation where the Bonnies should crush a lower-level opponent at home. However, that has yet to happen this season. St. Bonaventure should matchup well with the guard-heavy Red Hawks. Venning staying out of foul trouble could be the difference between a close game and a blowout victory. Another sound defensive effort should once again be enough to pick up a sluggish offense, but the Bonnies are due for an offensive breakout. Bonnies win by 8-12 this afternoon.


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