Bonnies non-conference schedule includes five home games, neutral site game with Maryland and visit to Syracuse

Idris Taqqee (1) averaged 6.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game for St. Bonaventure in 2016-17. (Photo courtesy of St. Bonaventure University Athletic Communications)

Courtesy of GoBonnies.com

Five home games, and a neutral site game against Maryland and a visit to Syracuse highlight a very challenging 2017 non-conference men’s basketball schedule for St. Bonaventure.

The Bonnies will play 12 games prior to Atlantic 10 Conference action – five at the Reilly Center, four at road sites and three on neutral courts. Of the 11 set opponents, two reached the NCAA Tournament last season, Maryland and Vermont, while Syracuse reached the NIT.

St. Bonaventure’s games against Syracuse, Vermont, Buffalo, Canisius and Niagara as well as the Bonnies’ participation in the Emerald Coast Classic had been announced previously. The Bonnies’ Big 4 game dates against Buffalo (Dec. 2), Canisius (Dec. 6) and Niagara were announced Monday.

Following the Nov. 10 season opener against Niagara, the Bonnies will remain at home for two more games, hosting Maryland Eastern Shore on Nov. 15 and Jackson State on Nov. 18. Those two games are part of the Emerald Coast Classic, which then moves to Niceland, Fla., Nov. 24-25.

In Florida, St. Bonaventure will face Maryland Nov. 24, then play either TCU or New Mexico the following day. Maryland reached the NCAA Tournament last season, finishing 24-9 with an RPI of 38. Coach Mark Turgeon’s Terrapins are expected to again compete in the upper echelon of the Big Ten Conference. The Nov. 24-25 Emerald Coast Classic games will be played at The Arena at Northwest Florida State College.

After returning from Florida, the Bonnies will play Siena in the annual Franciscan Cup game on Nov. 29 in Albany, N.Y. Last season, St. Bonaventure won the Franciscan Cup for the first time since 2013.

Two more road games follow, at Buffalo and Canisius, before St. Bonaventure returns home Dec. 9 to face Yale. Last season, the Bulldogs reached the Ivy League’s first-ever championship game before falling to Princeton. Yale ended with 18 wins and returns its two leading scorers from that team.

The Bonnies will then face Vermont in Rochester’s Blue Cross Arena on Dec. 16 in the Alesco Advisors Roc City Hoops Classic. That game will be followed by their last non-conference home game Dec. 20 against Northeastern.

“This is the most challenging non-conference schedule we’ve had since I’ve been here,” said St. Bonaventure head coach Mark Schmidt, who is starting his 11th season. “It will be good to open with three straight home games, especially since we’ll be away for five in row after that. We’ll see a lot of veteran teams who will give us great tests. Overall, this schedule will really push us to perform at a high level.”

The Atlantic 10 Conference schedule will be announced in early September.

Last season, St. Bonaventure finished 20-12, its second year in a row of 20 or more wins. Two-time All-Atlantic 10 Conference senior point guard Jaylen Adams will lead the Bonnies. Last season, Adams averaged 20.6 points per game – second-best in the A-10 – and finished seventh nationally in assists (6.5 per game). Adams is joined by senior guards Matt Mobley and Idris Taqqee. Mobley was a third team All-Conference selection last season, when he averaged 18.5 points per game. Sophomore Josh Ayeni returns as the starter at power forward.

For information on purchasing season tickets, contact the SBU Ticket Office at (716) 375-2500 or visit GoBonnies.com/tickets. Single game tickets go on sale in October.

A quick look at the Bonnies’ 2017 non-conference opponents:

Date Team 2016-17 Record (Conf.) Postseason Last Year Result or Notable
Nov. 10 Niagara 10-23 (6-14 MAAC) MAAC qtrs. St. Bonaventure 79-69
Nov. 15 Md. Eastern Shore 14-20 (9-7 MEAC) MEAC semis Bona leads series 2-1
Nov. 18 Jackson State 14-18 (10-8 SWAC) SWAC first round Second meeting in four years
Nov. 24 Maryland 24-9 (12-6 Big Ten) NCAA first round Maryland: 38 RPI in 2016-17
Nov. 25 New Mexico or TCU Emerald Coast Classic
TCU: 2017 NIT champions
New Mexico: 17-14 in 2016-17
Nov. 29 Siena 17-17 (12-8 MAAC) MAAC finals St. Bonaventure 81-74
Dec. 2 Buffalo 17-15 (11-7 MAC) MAC quarters St. Bonaventure 90-84
Dec. 6 Canisius 18-16 (10-10 MAAC) CIT 1st round Canisius 106-101 (OT)
Dec. 9 Yale 18-11 (9-5 Ivy League) Ivy League final First meeting
Dec. 16 Vermont 29-6 (16-0 America East) NCAA first round Vermont 45th in RPI last season
Dec. 20 Northeastern 15-16 (8-10 CAA) CAA first round First meeting
Dec. 22 Syracuse 19-15 (10-8 ACC) NIT second round Second meeting in three years

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