photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu
By Jeff Uveino
ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — It was bound to happen once. Twice was a coincidence. But after another cancelation, the St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team is facing a non-conference schedule of only two games.
The Bonnies were scheduled to play Buffalo at the Reilly Center on Tuesday, in what would have been their final non-conference game of the 2020-21 season. SBU had previously beaten Akron and Hofstra to earn its first 2-0 start to a season in seven years. After six game cancelations over the past four weeks, however, the program is also looking at the shortest non-conference schedule in its history.
About 30 hours before scheduled tip-off against Buffalo, the Bulls announced that a member of their “Tier 1” personnel, which includes student-athletes, coaches, team managers and support staff, had tested positive for COVID-19. The program was notified of the test result, which came from its regular surveillance testing in accordance with NCAA guidelines, on Sunday.
This comes just nine days after the Bonnies’ scheduled home opener against St. Francis (PA) was canceled due to a positive test within the Red Flash’s program.
Bona was able to christen the RC for the building’s 54th season against Hofstra, which now could end up being the only non-conference game played there this season. SBU was also scheduled to make a trip to the Mohegan Sun Arena bubble in late November, which was canceled due to a positive COVID-19 test within Bona’s program.
Unless SBU adds an opponent to its schedule over the next week, the Bonnies’ next competition will be an Atlantic 10 game. Bona is scheduled to play at Rhode Island on Dec. 30 and at Richmond on Jan. 2, before hosting Saint Joseph’s on Jan. 6 in what will presumably be the team’s A-10 home opener.
If this is indeed how Bona’s non-conference schedule will end, it will be the first time the Bonnies will have gone undefeated in non-conference play. This was the first time since 2013-14 that the team started a season 2-0.