Coach Fleming and crew take on rival Niagara in first test

By Isaiah Blakely

St. Bonaventure women’s basketball opens the season by playing host against Niagara University as the Bonnies look to bounce back from its 9-20 campaign last year.

Niagara, coached by Jada Pierce, finished 8-22 last season. In the last meeting however, Niagara came out victorious at home 65-43 for the first time since 2006 leaving Bonaventure with a 36-24 series lead.

Second-year coach Jesse Fleming has four new players along with five returners lead by Atlantic 10 preseason All-Conference second team selection Mariah Ruff. Ruff averaged 13.9 points, 4 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game last season.

Also headlining the offense is fellow captain Mckenna Maycock, who only started six games last season but was second on the team in minutes. Maycock averaged 7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game.

Sophomore point guard Jalisha Terry will look for a larger impact this season after she led Bonaventure with 18 points in their scrimmage against Edinboro. Terry averaged 7.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2 assists last season.

Junior college transfer forwards Arielle Harvey and Bree Paulson are about to play their first official game for Bonaventure, while freshman Emily Calabrese looks to get action immediately after starting against Edinboro in an exhibition last Saturday.

With these new players Fleming mentioned the need “to speed up the chemistry curve.” “He was hoping that in the non-conference to have some games that really test us.” Fleming also wanted to “have games that we have a chance to win and we can just grow and learn”.

“These games are a learning experience,” Fleming said. “We need to use these so we’re hitting on all cylinders once A-10 play starts”.

Niagara is the first test and the Purple Eagles are returning three of their top scorers and nine players overall from last season led by redshirt-senior forward Victoria Rampado who lead the MAAC conference in points and was fourth in rebounds averaged 16.8 points and 7.9 rebounds. Rampado finished All-MAAC Second Team last season. Rampado lead the Purple Eagles to the victory over Bonaventure last season scoring 17 points. The 2017 MAAC Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll ranked the Purple Eagles to finish ninth in the conference.

St. Bonaventure was selected 12th in the Atlantic 10 preseason coaches poll.

St. Bonaventure is 25-4 against Niagara at home and will look to keep up that impressive record on Friday, at 5 p.m. at Reilly Center.

This Day in Bonaventure History

By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93

September 21, 1957

It was on this day that SBU received its classic “Brown Indian” statue that still resides at the school.

In 1957, Camp Turner at Chautauqua Lake was determining who to donate a Native American statue to. Friars from St. Bonaventure University, Canisius College and Niagara University all wanted the statue for their respective schools. Eventually, Camp Turner decided Bonaventure was the best recipient because of its mascot (the Brown Indian) and also its close proximity to an Indian reservation. The statue was placed on top of Butler Gym in 1958 where it would remain for 12 years.

By 1969, the statue‘s weight became too much for the roof of the gym, and it was moved to the Rathskeller, which had been recently opened. But this location was even easier for students to vandalize or toy with the statue.

The “Brown Indian” statue was removed from the Skeller in 1972 and moved to the office of the chief of security, Wilber Hoffman, for a year. It would then be moved to Campus Ministries in 1973. Sometime between then and now, the statue was moved to its current home in the Quick Center.

The rivalry of western New York

By Kevin Smith, Staff Writer, @KevSmith88 

The Little Three.

Those three words need no explanation to western New Yorkers.

This rivalry goes back 60 years, involving St. Bonaventure University, Canisius College and Niagara University.

The three schools have 101 miles separating one another, but on the court, it has been nothing but fierce. 

“Many former athletes and alumni here at Bona’s can tell you what they experience from this rivalry and how important it is for them to win every time out,” Senior guard Michael Davenport said. “It is as rich a tradition like anything I’ve witnessed in my college basketball career.”

St. Bonaventure won easily over Canisius (2-9) on Dec. 10, 81-62, but face Niagara (4-8) Friday night at The Gallagher Center.

The Bonnies (6-5) have not defeated the Purple Eagles since 2001, a 10-year drought too much for the Bona faithful and players to endure.

Senior forward Andrew Nicholson said after the 69-61 loss at home last season that he has “no respect” for Canisius’ program after the coach and players took unsportsmanship to another level. 

“(Niagara’s) coach was harping on us during the game — you don’t really see that — but, I mean, I just think as a program, that was disrespectful. I have no respect for what they did that time,” said Nicholson, who had 17 points, 12 rebounds, five turnovers and a technical foul on that Dec. 11 game.

Davenport said the players remember their losing record against their rivals.

“We were 1-2 going into this season against our rival teams,” he said. “We don’t want to leave Bona’s with a losing record against them. If we win our game against Niagara, it would give us bragging rights for the rest of the season.”

Coach Mark Schmidt said it’s important to win each game, regardless of a rivalry.

“There’s a lot that comes out of this rivalry even though it’s not as popular as it used to be back in the day,” he said. “But we still have to make a difference and show we’re the better team come game time.”

Matthew Wright said he is determined to change the outcome from previous seasons.

“I hope for a better outcome when we play these guys every season, especially after last season,” the sophomore said. “The atmosphere is crazy, and I have another couple seasons in which to leave Bona’s with a winning record.”

I’m on Facebook. What about you, St. Bonaventure?

[St. Bonaventure has more followers on Facebook than Niagara has on its Facebook and Twitter combined – Graphic composed of various Web images]

Survey reveals current students say SBU does a mediocre job informing students via social media 

By Tony Lee, Editor In Chief, @sHecKii

ST. BONAVENTURE (March 21) — Kelley Burke sits in a library, typing up an English paper on her laptop, her earphone buds blasting music.

The strategic placement of her Apple iPod, iPhone and MacBook looks like a college student’s war zone command center. A Word document fills up two-thirds of the screen while the other third shows an all-too-familiar website called Facebook.

The sophomore journalism and mass communication major is the modern St. Bonaventure University student — heavily integrated with technology and social media. 

“I think just because I like to know what’s going on,” Burke said about her technology and social-media dependence. “You don’t necessarily hear everything from the campus.”

Students like Burke have changed how St. Bonaventure allocates funds and hires faculty. Social media outlets like Facebook and LinkedIn have become one of the top news sources for prospective students, current students and alumni.

Emily Sinsabaugh, vice president of university relations, said St. Bonaventure recognized that change and has adjusted its marketing plan.

She said social media allows a small university in western New York an opportunity to reach alumni and potential students in ways never before done.

“It wasn’t difficult to figure out that (social media) would be the next big thing,” Sinsabaugh said, “and we did not want to be behind the curve.”

She hired Mark Inman, an assistant director of print and electronic publications, specifically for that task.

Inman in his three years has created the university’s official Facebook and Twitter pages and maintained them. As of March 21, St. Bonaventure’s Facebook page has more than 5,400 Likes and 1,300 Twitter followers. 

In comparison, Canisius College’s Facebook page has more than 3,200 Likes and 1,600 Twitter followers; Niagara University has more than 4,500 Likes and 340 followers.

Inman said social media allowed the alumni, especially on LinkedIn, to interact back with the university. However, he said reaching students is a different story.

In a survey of 30 current Bona students, 30 said they use Facebook, but 13 Liked St. Bonaventure’s official Facebook, nine for the Twitter.

However, Inman said students have picked up Twitter usage from when he started the job three years ago.

“And it’s not just from Shelley Jack’s social media class,” he said.

Shelley Jack, a visiting professor, teaches IMC 506, New Media: Digital Communications, for graduate students and JMC 401, Special Studies: Digital Media, for undergraduates. 

Jack said Sinsabaugh has impressed her because from a resource standpoint, a lot of universities do not make social-media presence a financial priority. 

She added Inman impressed her, too, because he makes an effort to not only interact with followers but also have a consistent conversation with them.

“He understands it’s not just marketing the university but also there are opportunities with admissions,” said Jack, who said examples of when Inman retweeted a student who got accepted into St. Bonaventure.

However, Joe Bucher, a sophomore who follows St. Bonaventure on Facebook and Twitter, said the university has done a sub-par job for current students.

“I feel like Bonaventure could do more to inform the people (about) who is visiting, who is doing what, what options do we have for things to do,” the journalism and mass communication major said.

Bucher said the university does that well in the Notice Board emails but not on social media.

“I definitely check my Twitter and Facebook more often than my e-mail,” he said. 

Burke agreed.

“As soon as something happens, let us know,” she said. “Don’t let us hear through the grapevines.”

Sinsabaugh agreed and said she wants shift more university funding to web-based sites and social media from traditional marketing like TV commercials and newspaper ads.  

“It’s been a really wonderful tool in our marketing tool box,” she said. “And really trying to find the right way to use those social media tools — not that we have the answer — has become a priority.”

Sinsabaugh said the university has improved its social-media presence, but it still needs work. Whatever that work may be, she said she feels confident St. Bonaventure now has the staff and marketing strategy to improve it. 

“Frankly, I didn’t know exactly what he would be doing,” Sinsabaugh said of Inman. “But I’m really happy with what Mark has done, not that there always can’t be improvements, but that’s the paradigm. There is always something changing.”