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St. Bonaventure Completes Virginia Trip Against Richmond

Photo via GoBonnies

The Bonnies captured a massive road win at VCU earlier this week and now complete the Virginia swing with a matchup with Richmond. The Spiders lead the all-time series with the Bonnies 18-14. However, Bonas has won nine of the last 11 meetings. Richmond was better at home than on the road last season, but the Bonnies won last season’s and three of the last four games at the Robins Center. Here’s everything you need to know about this afternoon’s matchup.

The Bonnies

St. Bonaventure comes into today’s game with an overall record of 10-3 and a record of 1-0 Atlantic 10 play. The Bonnies are winners of three straight and eight of the last nine games. Bonas saw five players score in double figures Wednesday night while the team went 12/22 (54.55%) from beyond the arc and 21/27 (77.8%) from the free throw line. Chad Venning proved most valuable to the Bonnies in that win as his 19-point, 11-rebound double-double led the team in both categories. Venning raised his season averages to 13.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.

Mika Adams-Woods continues to lead the Bonnies in scoring. The Cincinnati transfer is tops on the team averaging 14.8 points per game. Adams-Woods also leads Bonaventure in free throws made (30), three-point percentage (50.0%) and assists (51). Charles Pride and Moses Flowers have also kept their scoring averages in double figures, scoring 11.8 and 10.1 points per game. Pride also leads the team in rebounding as he grabs 6.7 boards per contest.

Daryl Banks looked like his 2022-23 self against the Rams has he grabbed 10 points including a pair of threes. This raised his scoring average to 8.5 points per game. Assa Essamvous also had a big day Wednesday as his four triples contributed to 14 total points. Assa now averages 7.2 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. Noel Brown and Kyrell Luc also notched solid minutes as Brown now averages 6.5 points and Luc is up to 4.0 points per game. Barry Evans continues to grow and improve as he played arguably his most complete game as a Bonnie. The sophomore only scored two points in 17 minutes of play but hauled in three rebounds, an assist, played lockdown defense and hustled for every second he was on the floor. Evans is up to a 5.9 rebounds per game average.

The Bonnies enter this afternoon’s contest ranked 58th in the Net Rankings while being rated as the 67th best team in the country according to the Kenpom Ratings. The Bonnies give Richmond an opportunity to capture a quadrant two win.

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

The Opponent

The Spiders enter this afternoon’s game at 8-5. Richmond has won three straight games and are a perfect 7-0 at home. Some notable results for the Spiders are losses at Boston College, at Colorado and at Wichita State while some notable wins have come over Sienna (90-48), Buffalo (72-66) and UNLV.

Head Coach Chris Mooney is in his 19th season as the man in charge for the Spiders but has lost his best player from last season. Tyler Burton and his 19.0 points and 7.4 rebounds per game graduated and exhausted his eligibility which left a big hole to be filled. Jordan King has become that player for Mooney. The graduate transfer from Eastern Tennessee State University averages a team-high 17.8 points per game along with 4.6 rebounds and a Spider-most 29 three pointers.

Neal Quinn and Isaiah Bigelow are both averaging double figures as well. Quinn stands at 7-foot tall and averages 13.8 points and a team-high 6.1 rebounds. Bigelow is a 6-foot-7 graduate student with a 11.9 point and 5.8 rebound average. The guard duo of Dji Bailey and Mikkel Tyne will also factor into today’s game. Bailey averages 8.9 points and 3.9 rebounds per game while Tyne scores 6.1 points per contest.

The Spiders will be without senior guard Delonnie Hunt who suffered a wrist injury at the end of November. Hunt was averaging 9.3 points over his four games this season. Richmond currently sits 101st in the Net Rankings and 104th in the Kenpom Ratings. The Spiders present the Bonnies with an opportunity to capture another quadrant two win.

Projected Starting Lineup: King, Bailey, Tyne, Bigelow, Quinn

Players to Watch

Assa Essamvous – It was just a matter of time before Assa had his breakout game from beyond the arc. Last season’s trip to the Richmond area did wonders for Assa as he hit nine triples in the two games against VCU and Richmond. This season, the sophomore cashed in four threes and 16 total points. Once most shooters get hot, they stay hot. I expect another high-scoring day from the sophomore.

Jordan King – King has been the go-to- guy for the Spiders this season. The 6-foot guard’s 17.8-point average is impressive on its own, but to throw a 4.6 rebounding average on top make it all the more. It will once again be interesting to see who Schmidt matches up with King as all three starting guards are solid defenders. My guess would be Banks will be tasked with guarding King.

Previous Meeting

The Bonnies took down the Spiders 66-62 in Richmond last season. Assa led the team with 18 points while Venning trailed close behind with 17. Flowers was also in double figures with 10 points with Luc totaling eight and Banks scoring seven. Tyler Burton led the Spiders with 22 points while Neal had 10 points. No other Spider was in double figures. Bonas made eight shots from beyond the arc while Richmond hit 21/22 free throws.

Prediction and Keys to the Game

After the performance at VCU, the Bonnies have put themselves into a higher category in terms of expectation from both the fanbase and the national ranking systems. With those expectations, Bonaventure should beat this Richmond team by near double digits. However, this game is a stereotypical letdown spot.

Even with the potential of a trap game, I think the Bonnies will show up from the jump this afternoon. The guard play of Mark Schmidt’s team is going to be too much for Richmond and that will ultimately be the difference in this game. If the Bonnies can get Venning going in addition to the guards, this game could get ugly quick for Richmond. It’s always tough to consistently grab conference road wins, but the Bonnies will do just that. St. Bonaventure wins this game by 8-12 points.


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