St. Bonaventure Bonnies

Are part of the Atlantic 10 Conference, were established in 1916, and their home arena is the Reilly Center, St. Bonaventure University in Olean, New York​.
St. Bonaventure Bonnies

In the annals of NCAA basketball, the St. Bonaventure Bonnies stand out not just for their athletic prowess but also for their indomitable spirit and unwavering tenacity. Representing St. Bonaventure University in Olean, New York, this team has cultivated a rich basketball tradition marked by significant achievements and an enduring culture of teamwork and resilience. Through the years, the Bonnies have not only competed but also left a lasting impression on the hearts of basketball enthusiasts.

Intriguing Facts About the St. Bonaventure Bonnies

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies’ history is dotted with fascinating tidbits that paint a picture of a team steeped in tradition and triumph. The origins of the team trace back to 1902, starting initially with a group of former football players. A testament to their home-court dominance is the remarkable record of winning 99 consecutive games at the Olean Armory before 1961.

The team underwent a name change from the original Brown Indians to the Bonnies, reflecting a shift in identity. Notably, the program has produced 11 All-Americans, including the legendary Bob Lanier, and the Bonnies clinched their first outright Atlantic 10 regular season title in 2021, a milestone in their illustrious history.

The Historical Tapestry of the St. Bonaventure Bonnies

The basketball program at St. Bonaventure began modestly in 1902 but saw substantial growth in the post-World War I era. Coaches like Anslem Kreiger and Ed Milkovich played pivotal roles in elevating the team’s status, leading to its early NIT appearances in the 1950s. This period marked the foundation of a basketball legacy that would see the team evolve into a competitive force, ultimately making its mark in the NCAA tournament during the 1960s and beyond.

The Golden Era

The golden era of St. Bonaventure basketball is often attributed to the era under Coach Larry Weise from 1962 to 1973. Weise’s leadership brought the team to the forefront of college basketball, including multiple NCAA tournament appearances. The pinnacle of this era was in 1970, with the team, led by the future NBA great Bob Lanier, reaching the NCAA tournament and being considered strong contenders for the national title. This period is remembered not just for the successes but also for the heartbreaking injury to Lanier, which significantly impacted their Final Four journey.

The Current Landscape

In recent times, under the guidance of Coach Mark Schmidt, the Bonnies have sustained their tradition of excellence. The team has consistently achieved 20-win seasons and has marked its presence in significant tournaments. The 2021-22 season was particularly noteworthy as the Bonnies reached the NIT Final Four, a feat that underlines their ongoing prowess and relevance in the competitive landscape of college basketball.

 Legendary Figures in St. Bonaventure Bonnies History

Several individuals have left an indelible mark on the Bonnies’ history. Bob Lanier stands out as a pivotal figure, leading the team during its 1970 Final Four run and later achieving NBA fame. Coach Larry Weise’s tenure is remembered for catapulting the team to new heights. Other notable figures include players like Tom Stith, Ken Murray, and Andrew Nicholson, each contributing significantly to the team’s storied legacy.

 A Game to Remember

Among the many memorable games in Bonnies history, the 1970 East regional final stands out. In this game, they secured a hard-fought victory but suffered a significant setback with Lanier’s injury, which dramatically affected their performance in the Final Four. Another unforgettable moment was the 2014 A-10 tournament game, where Jordan Gathers’ buzzer-beater shot led to an upset victory over Saint Louis, encapsulating the drama and excitement of college basketball.

St. Bonaventure Bonnies [year] Schedule

Regular Season

Week Date Opponent Result
Week 1 Date: Mon 06/11/2023 Opponent: Longwood Lancers Result: W 73-69
Week 1 Date: Sat 11/11/2023 Opponent: Canisius Golden Griffins Result: L 67-70
Week 2 Date: Thu 16/11/2023 Opponent: Oklahoma State Cowboys Result: W 66-64
Week 2 Date: Fri 17/11/2023 Opponent: Auburn Tigers Result: L 60-77
Week 3 Date: Wed 22/11/2023 Opponent: Bucknell Bison Result: W 67-61
Week 3 Date: Sat 25/11/2023 Opponent: Miami (OH) RedHawks Result: W 90-60
Week 4 Date: Sat 02/12/2023 Opponent: Buffalo Bulls Result: W 80-65
Week 5 Date: Wed 06/12/2023 Opponent: Niagara Purple Eagles Result: W 94-60
Week 5 Date: Sat 09/12/2023 Opponent: Siena Saints Result: W 89-56
Week 6 Date: Sat 16/12/2023 Opponent: Florida Atlantic Owls Result: L 54-64
Week 7 Date: Fri 22/12/2023 Opponent: Binghamton Bearcats Result: W 90-64
Week 8 Date: Sat 30/12/2023 Opponent: Akron Zips Result: W 62-61
Week 9 Date: Wed 03/01/2024 Opponent: VCU Rams Result: W 89-78
Week 9 Date: Sat 06/01/2024 Opponent: Richmond Spiders Result: L 54-65
Week 10 Date: Sat 13/01/2024 Opponent: Fordham Rams Result: L 74-80
Week 11 Date: Wed 17/01/2024 Opponent: Rhode Island Rams Result: W 99-64
Week 11 Date: Sat 20/01/2024 Opponent: George Mason Patriots Result: L 60-69
Week 12 Date: Tue 23/01/2024 Opponent: Duquesne Dukes Result: L 50-54
Week 12 Date: Fri 26/01/2024 Opponent: Saint Joseph’s Hawks Result: W 91-72
Week 13 Date: Tue 30/01/2024 Opponent: VCU Rams Result: W 67-62
Week 13 Date: Fri 02/02/2024 Opponent: Dayton Flyers Result: L 71-76
Week 14 Date: Wed 07/02/2024 Opponent: Massachusetts Minutemen Result: W 79-73
Week 14 Date: Sat 10/02/2024 Opponent: Duquesne Dukes Result: L 69-75
Week 15 Date: Wed 14/02/2024 Opponent: Fordham Rams Result: W 85-67
Week 15 Date: Sat 17/02/2024 Opponent: Davidson Wildcats Result: W 81-80
Week 16 Date: Wed 21/02/2024 Opponent: La Salle Explorers Result: L 59-72
Week 16 Date: Sat 24/02/2024 Opponent: Massachusetts Minutemen Result: W 75-67
Week 17 Date: Tue 27/02/2024 Opponent: Loyola-Chicago Ramblers Result: W 79-64
Week 18 Date: Wed 06/03/2024 Opponent: George Washington Revolutionaries Result: L 75-86
Week 18 Date: Sat 09/03/2024 Opponent: Saint Louis Billikens Result: L 65-73

Post Season

Week Date Opponent Result
Conf. Tournament Date: Wed 13/03/2024 Opponent: La Salle Explorers Result: W 75-73
Conf. Tournament Date: Thu 14/03/2024 Opponent: Loyola-Chicago Ramblers Result: W 75-74
Conf. Tournament Date: Sat 16/03/2024 Opponent: Duquesne Dukes Result: L 60-70

 Home of St. Bonaventure Bonnies: Reilly Center

The Reilly Center, opened in 1966, serves as the hallowed ground for St. Bonaventure basketball. Named after Carroll “Mike” Reilly, it’s renowned for its electrifying atmosphere, making it one of the toughest places to play in college basketball. The center’s significance extends beyond just being a sports venue; it is a symbol of the Bonnies’ basketball heritage and a rallying point for the community.