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Bona's Stockard, UB's Perkins and Caruthers collect hoops awards

Courtney Stockard's senior season at St. Bonaventure started with him sitting out the team's first five games while he recovered from knee surgery.
It was highlighted Tuesday with his selection to the first team All-Atlantic 10 Conference.

Stockard wasn't the only Western New York Big 4 player honored. Senior Nick Perkins of the University at Buffalo was named Mid-American Conference Sixth Man of the Year for an unprecedented third year in a row and UB senior guard Dontay Carruthers was selected MAC Defensive Player of the Year.

Stockard, a senior from St. Louis, leads the Bonnies in scoring at 15. 6 points a gamem which ranks seventh in the conference.

Bona went 1-5 in the early-season games Stockard missed. The team went 15-10 with him in the lineup and finished in fourth place in the A-10.

Also selected to the A-10 first team were: conference Player of the Year Jon Axel Gudmundsson and Kellan Grady of Davidson, freshman Obi Toppin of Dayton and guard Marcus Evans of VCU, the regular season conference champion.

Kyle Lofton and Osun Osunniyi were named to the all-rookie team, the first time St. Bonaventure has had two players named to the team in the same season and the first selection since Andrew Nicholson in 2008-09.

Osunniyi also was named to the All-Defensive team, the first Bona player since Youssou Ndoye in 2015.

A 6-10 center, Osunniyi leads the Atlantic 10 and is seventh in the country in blocked shots with 81 (2.6 per game). He is third in the A-10 in rebounding at 7.5 per game and is averaging 7.6 points per game.

Lofton is the first freshman to start every game for Bona in coach Mark Schmidt's 12 seasons there.

Perkins is the first Division I player to ever earn Sixth Man of the Year three times in his conference. He was named All-MAC first team on Monday. He is averaging 14.9 points per game and a team-high 7.3 rebounds. He scored at least 20 points in 10 games this season, with nine of those coming off the bench.

"Nick is one of the best big men in the league if not, in my opinion the best offensive big in our league," coach Nate Oats said. "For him to agree and be willing to and embrace the role of coming off the bench for three years now to help the team win speaks volumes to his character. He's a great teammate and one of the best cheerleaders for Montell (McRae) at the start of the game and then when comes in, he's focused and ready to go."

Caruthers is the third player in MAC history to win Defensive Player of the Year multiple times during his career. He also won the award in 2017.

He is second on the Bulls in steals and leads the conference in charges drawn with 25 while also having the best offensive season of his career. He is averaging 9.4 points per game.

"Dontay is the definition of Buffalo blue-collar basketball," Oats said. "He plays so hard and he has brought us an edge that we didn't have before he got here. I think the other coaches recognize what he means to us. He enables us to play defense at a high level, which in turn gets us a lot of wins."

The MAC will announce Coach of the Year and Player of the Year on Wednesday.

 

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