Bonnies clinch 2-seed with 12th straight win

By Isaiah Blakely

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies clinched the 2nd seed in the A-10 tournament with a win over the Saint Louis Billikens (16-15, 9-9 A-10) 64-56, Friday night at Chaifetz Arena.

The Bonnies are now 24-6 and 14-4 in conference, tied for the most conference wins in the program’s history. With a win streak of 12, they are now tied for the second longest win streak in the country only behind Murray State’s 13-game win streak. The Racers clinched the Ohio Valley Conference tournament title on Saturday night.

The Bonnies were led by  redshirt-junior Courtney Stockard. Stockard, a St. Louis native, notched a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Stockard, along with the rest of the team, struggled offensively in the first half. Stockard was 1-8 and the team only shot 39% from the field. Senior Idris Taqqee was a big factor in the first half scoring all seven of his points in that half, including a three pointer that sparked a 9-0 Bonnies run. Freshman Izaiah Brockington scored the last four points of the half to give the Bonnies a 31-25 lead.

The second half was a different story for Stockard. The redshirt-junior shot 7-10 from the field, scoring 16 points at the tail end of the game alone, including a jumper to stop an 11-0 Billikens run with 3:21 to go.

Junior LaDarien Griffin also stepped up, finishing with eight rebounds and scoring all seven of his points in the second half. Sophomore Josh Ayeni also returned to action after missing the last six games due to team suspension for disciplinary reasons .

With that win the Bonnies continue to put themselves in prime position to earn an at-large in the NCAA tournament. With a win or two in the tournament next week there’s a chance the Bonnies could lock up an at-large bid for the first time since 2000 and make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012.

With this win streak and losses by teams in the top 25, the Bonnies could be a top 25 team heading into the conference tournament for the first time since the 1970-1971 season. For all these reasons, plus first seed URI struggling as of late, losing the last three out of five games including a loss to the Bonnies in the Reilly Center, the Bonnies enter next week as one of the favorites to win it all in Washington D.C.

The Bonnies will face off against the winner of Duquesne vs. Richmond. They won both games against Duquesne, and won their only game against Richmond. Both games against Duquesne were decided by a combined nine points and the Bonnies only beat Richmond by single digits. Neither of these teams will be an easy match up on Friday March 9th at 6:00 p.m.

Still, with a possible return to the top 25 and a win streak that matches the best, the Bonnies are in prime position to make noise next at the A-10 Tournament and ultimately make the dream of March Madness a reality.



This Day in Bonaventure History

By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93

November 8, 1873

St. Bonaventure University’s ninth president, Fr. Fidelis Reynolds, was born on this day in Brooklyn, N.Y. The first native-born president of both the college and seminary, he started off his career practicing law in New York City.

After a while, he decided to become a priest and enrolled at Bonaventure in 1896. He graduated in 1901, the same year he would enter the Franciscan order.

Fr. Fidelis completed his novitiate in Paterson, N.J. and then studied theology at the Franciscan College at Mount Saint Sepulchre in Washington, D.C. He was ordained as a priest in 1907 and joined Bonaventure’s faculty as both a friar and as a lecturer of mathematics.

Fr. Alexander Hickey became severely ill in 1911, and Fr. Fidelis was named the interim vice president. Not long afterward, Fr. Joseph Butler, university president, died, and Fr. Fidelis was named president.

Fr. Fidelis is most remembered for the advancements he made in the school’s academic structure. During his tenure, the high school, college and seminary were separated. He also helped add physics, biology and chemistry to the university.

In addition, he helped oversee the construction of Butler Gym, which was built as a memorial to the late president. Fr. Fidelis retired in 1916.

He enjoyed retirement for more than twenty years. However, he passed away in 1937 in Miami Beach, Fla.