After a 10-2 start to the season, best since 1999-2000, St. Bonaventure has slipped due to a 1-4 record in the month of January.
A major factor: only one of the five games this month have been at the Reilly Center.
The Bonnies return to their cozy confines and passionate home crowd tonight against Saint Joseph's in a game that will be televised by the CBs Sports Network.
Bona has won its last six games at the Reilly Center since an opening loss to Niagara. They were 10-4 on their home floor last season and 456-206 at the Reilly since it opened for the 1966-67 season.
A hopeful fact for the Bonnies: The four conference losses were on the road, three of them to Rhode Island, Davidson and Saint Joseph's, who are a combined 16-4 in Atlantic-10 play. Seven of the last 12 regular season games will be at home. The five remaining road opponents are a combined 16-19.
Bona trailed almost the entire game and had to rally from 17 points down in the second half before losing to Saint Joseph's in Philadelphia, 85-78, on Jan. 6. James Demery had 24 points and guard Shavar Newkirk had 23 to lead the Hawks. Bona's Matt Mobley was limited to just two points in 36 minutes, 14 under his season's average.
Manhattan at Niagara: After its four-game win streak ended against Fairfield on Saturday, Niagara (12-9, 5-3 MAAC) returns to Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference wars with a home game against the Jaspers (10-10, 5-3 MAAC). Manhattan was picked to finish second behind Iona in the MAAC coaches preseason poll, but find themselves tied with Niagara. That's two games behind first-place Canisius.
Niagara has lost its last three games agaisnt the Jaspers, including a 70-69 defeat at the Gallagher Center last season.
Manhattan has two double-figure scorers. Senior forward Zane Waterman, who was a preseason first team All-MAAC selection is at 10.2. Rich Williams leads with 14.1.
Niagara is all over the MAAC stat board. Most significantly, the Purple Eagles lead in points per game (83.1), free throws made (380) and fewest turnovers (11.2). Also, they have shot more free throws than any team in NCAA Division 1. Kahlil Dukes is first in three-point field goal percentage (.451) and is averaging 20.0 points, Matt Scott is first in the country in free throws made and attempted. Marvin Prochet leads the MAAC in rebounds (8.1).
Hilbert at Medaille: It's an Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference men-women doubleheader at the Sulliven Center. The Medaille men (10-7, 7-3 AMCC) will face the Hawks (11-6, 8-3 AMCC) in the men's game at 6 p.m. Medaille lost to Hilbert, 84-80, in Hamburg last month.
The women's game will follow at 8 p.m. The Hilbert women (12-5, 10-1 AMCC) defeated Medaille, 72-48, in their first meeting desipte 17 points and 16 rebounds by senior Dani Reinwald (Clymer) of the Mavericks (9-8, 6-4 AMCC).