Only twice in this century has a St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team opened its Atlantic 10 Conference schedule with a 2-0 record.
It goes for a third when the Bonnies complete a road trip to the Washington, D.C., area against George Mason in Fairfax, Va., at 7 p.m. It’s one of three games on the Big 4 basketball schedule for Wednesday night.
The University at Buffalo women (10-2, 1-0 MAC) will put their six-game win streak on the line in a 7 p.m. Mid-American Conference road game at Toledo (5-7, 0-1).
The St. Bonaventure women (3-11, 0-1 A-10) take on Massachusetts, which has not lost since November, at 5 p.m. in the Reilly Center. UMass (11-3, 1-0) last lost on Nov. 25 at St. John’s. The Minutewomen have won eight straight, including an 81-77 victory over Duquesne.
The 2015-16 Bona men opened the season 4-0, including a home win at Davidson and a road game at George Mason. The last time before that was 1999-2000 when Bona won at Massachusetts and at LaSalle to start the conference schedule.
St. Bonaventure (9-5, 1-0 A-10) got a big performance from sophomore center Osun Osunniyi in a 71-66 victory Sunday at George Washington in its A-10 opener. Osunniyi had 20 points, making all eight field goal attempts, and had nine rebounds and five blocked shots. Kyle Lofton had 17 points in the victory.
George Mason (11-3, 0-1) lost its conference opener at home to VCU on Saturday, 72-59. The Patriots’ other losses were at Maryland and at TCU.
Bona won two of the three meetings with the Patriots last season, losing 68-63 in Fairfax, winning 79-56 in the Reilly Center and 68-57 in the quarterfinals of the A-10 tournament at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn. Last season’s loss to Mason was the first for the Bonnies against the Patriots since GMU joined the conference.
Eight of the 10 George Mason players who faced the Bonnies last March are back, including four who are scoring in double figures this season — sophomore forward Jordan Miller (13.4), junior guard Javon Greene (12.5), 5-foot-10-inch guard Jamal Hartwell II (11.6) and 6-foot-7-inch junior forward Al Wilson (10.4).
Greene had 13 points against VCU. Freshman guard Xavier Johnson played 36 minutes off the bench and scored 12 points.
Dave Paulsen, who once coached at Bucknell, is in his fifth season at George Mason.
Toledo owns a 22-7 advantage over UB in women’s basketball, but the Bulls have won the last three, including a 73-63 decision last season at Alumni Arena. UB is only 1-11 against the Rockets in Toledo.
Freshman Dyaisha Fair of UB is third in the nation with a 23.6 points per game average. Senior Theresa Onwuka is averaging 17.3 points and 7.2 rebounds, making UB one of only three teams in the country with two players averaging more than 17 points a game.
UB senior Summer Hemphill (Cardinal O’Hara), who has not played this season because of a leg injury, is still listed as week to week.