Similar to the past couple of seasons, the Bonnies began their 2019-2020 campaign facing another injury bug. Jaren English missed the first five games of the season, a stretch in which the Brown and White went 1-4. Additionally, Osun Osunniyi, perhaps the most impactful player for Mark Schmidt’s squad, played only 11 minutes in the opener against Ohio before going down with an ankle injury. He went on to miss the next four contests before returning against Mercer. Since that point, St. Bonaventure is 7-1. With the non-conference portion of the season now in the books, let us now look at how St. Bonaventure fared during non-conference play.
Florida Atlantic – December 2
St. Bonaventure found themselves down 17 early on against the Florida Atlantic Owls, but the Brown and White clawed back to win 71 to 64. In doing so, the Bonnies found themselves crowned as champions of the Boca Raton Beach Classic and the legend of “Boca Bobby” Planutis was born. Welch had 15, Lofton added 14, and “Boca Bobby” also contributed 14 points.
Hofstra – December 7
Hofstra currently sits at 11-4 at the beginning of the new decade. The Pride went to Pauley Pavilion and defeated UCLA 88-78 on November 21; Hofstra will make some noise in the CAA. However, when Hofstra played the Bonnies in Olean, St. Bonaventure silenced the Pride winning by a score of 73 to 45. The Bonnies dominated the entire game with both Dom Welch and Jaren English scoring 17 a piece and Kyle Lofton dishing out 11 assists.
Canisius – November 16
The Bonnies traveled up Route 219 to face Little Three Rival Canisius at the Key Bank Center in Downtown Buffalo. Unfortunately for the Bonnies, they played their worst game all year as the Griffs out rebounded Bona 40-24. Although Kyle Lofton scored 18, the Bonnies shot a putrid 38% from the field and an abysmal 25% from downtown. The Bonnies could not get anything to fall that afternoon. Canisius now has a 5-7 record and finds themselves with a NET ranking of 216.
Going into Conference Play
Before the loss to Buffalo on December 30, the Bonnies were riding high on a seven game win streak. Now fully healthy, the Brown and White should make some noise in the Atlantic 10. Do not be surprised if Bona finds itself in the Top 4 in Brooklyn: the talent is there, but it now comes down to execution. Hopefully the experience that this team gained in last year’s run to the Atlantic 10 Championship game will help Bonaventure over the next couple of months.