Mobley’s Buzzer Beater Pushes Bonnies Past Vermont 81-79

By Jeff Uveino

The St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team won a thriller over the Vermont Catamounts on Saturday afternoon, 81-79.

Being played in Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, New York, the Roc City Hoops Classic was, in fact, a classic between two solid mid-major conference teams from the Atlantic 10 and American East respectively.

St. Bonaventure got key contributions from many players off of the pine, scoring 40 bench points compared to 15 for Vermont.

The Bonnies had six different players reach double-digit scoring, including Jaylen Adams with 17 points, Courtney Stockard with 14 points, Izaiah Brockington and Amadi Ikpeze with 13 points each, LaDarien Griffin with 11 points, and Josh Ayeni with 10 points.

The Catamounts kept Bonnies senior guard Matt Mobley off the scoresheet for most of the game, but not when it mattered the most.

With about 5 seconds remaining in the game, Vermont scored on a tip-in by Payton Henson to take the lead, 79-78.

On the ensuing Bonnies possession, Jaylen Adams pushed the ball up the court and found Mobley open for a game-winning three-pointer as time expired.

The shot sent the Bonnies bench and a Bona-heavy Blue Cross Arena crowd into a frenzy. Those were the only three points Mobley had in the game—talk about clutch.

For Vermont, sophomore Anthony Lamb had a game-high 27 points and 8 rebounds in a return to his hometown. Lamb grew up in the nearby suburb of Greece, New York, attending Greece Athena high school, minutes.from the arena.

With the win, the Bonnies improved to 8-2 on the season, and with the loss, Vermont fell to 7-5. The Bonnies will return to the Reilly Center on Wednesday, December 20, to play Northeastern.

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Turnovers Prove Costly As The Bonnies Lose To The Bulls 76-59

By Nicholas Gallo

St. Bonaventure Women’s basketball (5-6) would commit 27 turnovers in a 76 -59 loss to the University of Buffalo Bulls (8-1) in a Big 4 rivalry game at the Reilly Center. Mckenna Maycock would only play seven minutes in this game as she suffered a leg injury during the beginning parts of the game.

Maycock would be subbed-out at the 6:36 mark of the first period after injuring her leg diving and scrambling for the ball underneath the opponent’s basket.

She would not be seen on the floor until the second period with 4:44 left. She would eventually be subbed out soon after and would not return for the rest of the game.

Maycock has been a vital part of the Bonnies offense this season averaging 12.4 points per game and has scored in double figures in half of the games this far in the season. Coming off a dominant performance against Penn State University scoring 23 points, Maycock would be missed.

Head coach of the Bonnies, Jesse Fleming, said after the game there was no update on a Maycock only that she injured her leg. Fleming said she would be re-evaluated by the doctors tomorrow and has no idea what it is.

“She’s an attacker,” Fleming said. “Obviously when your leading scorer is out its going to hurt your offense, but I think there were times that people step up, but overall we needed the bench to step up even a little bit more.”

Fleming hopes the team learned from this and know that they will be put into that opportunity again. Even without Maycock, the Bonnies would show some fight against the Bulls being down 51-48.

Bonnies forward Arielle Harvey and guard Danielle Migilore would step up. Harvey would score 14 points in the first half while shooting 4-7 from the field and a perfect 4-4 from the foul line. Migilore would contribute by scoring nine points while shooting fifty percent from the field and grabbing four rebounds.

Head coach of the Bulls, Felisha Jack said they were concerned and knew that Bonas was a third-quarter team. Before the game, Bonas was owning opponents in the third quarter by a scoring margin of +58.

“We were player-to-player all the first half defensively,” said Jack. “We threw a wrinkle in our defensive scheme by switching into our 3-2 because it seemed are players were on edge and I think playing into are original matchup helped are players relax in the second half.”

As the Bulls defensive intensity picked up, the Bonnies offense would struggle to hold onto the ball and putting the ball in the hoop. The Bonnies would shoot 28.6 percent from the field and turn the ball over 15 times.

“We were scoring well against there man-to-man the first half but when they changed into their zone, are ball-movement wasn’t as good, we were attacking the gaps to early, and I didn’t like the looks we were getting,” said Fleming. “We spent all week trying to go against their 3-2 and obviously I didn’t prepare them enough.”

With Maycock out, coach Fleming had to go to the bench and got some production from Keely Fresh, Abigail Johnson, and Rhianna Council. Fresh would get her first significant minutes of the season and made them count by scoring an and-one three-point shot and a free throw in 15 minutes.

“She is another shooter to have on the floor and got a big rebound at one point,” Fleming said. “It’s always nice to have another shooter, another floor spacer, and she is only going to keep getting better and better.”

In the end, Bonas would get outscored by the Bulls in the second half 35-21 with the Bulls having four players score in double figures.

“We’ve got to learn to take care of the ball and that’s a broken record this year, unfortunately,” said Fleming. “We need to learn how to make better decisions by keeping our focus, players getting stronger their roles so I can trust the bench more, and I hope that this kind of game teaches us a lesson to remain sharp for 40 minutes when playing top teams in our league.”

The Bonnies end their homestead and travel to the University of Albany to face the Great Danes on Sunday, Dec. 17 at 2 p.m.

Bonnies powers through over Yale 75-67

By: Nicholas Gallo

Jaylen Adams and the St. Bonaventure Bonnies (7-2) defeated the Yale Bulldogs (6-6) 75- 67. Adams was a force on both sides of the ball against the Bulldogs as he dropped 25 points, nine assists, and had six steals.

The Bonnies are now on a four-game winning streak ever since losing to TCU in the Emerald Coast Classic Tournament on Nov. 25. After defeating Siena on Nov. 29 in the Franciscan Cup and getting Adams back for their win against the University of Buffalo, the Bonnies have been firing on all cylinders.

The Bonnies would start off strong by leading the Bulldogs 7-6 in the opening five minutes of the game. The Bulldogs would eventually put on a 7-0 run with 13:04 to go.

Head Coach Mark Schmidt talked about the first half troubles the Bonnies had against Yale.

“It didn’t look like we were going to get anything going,” Schmidt said. “We only had had 13 points off ten steals in the first half, you could have 30 points off those steals, and we weren’t finishing and missing open shots.”

The Bonnies at halftime walked into the locker room down 25-29 while only shooting 29% from the field. The one-two punch of Matt Mobley and Adams combined for only 13 points with 5 of 14 shooting from the field.

Jaylen Adams picked it up in the second half of the game. He would score 19 points, dish out eight assists, and rack-up three steals. With NBA scouts in the stands, he gave them a performance to keep an eye on.

“At the time, my teammates were looking for someone to make plays and that is part of my job being a senior captain,” said Adams. “My job is to make plays, my teammates found me in the right spots, and with the 21 turnovers we forced as a team, most of my points came off those and would get everyone going.”

With both teams deadlocked at 35 with 16:09 left in the second-half, Addams would have the ball in his hands. Adams would show the NBA scouts his talents and skills by knocking down a momentum-changing three-pointer as getting fouled for a four-point-play.

Coach James Jones of Yale said that Addams is a tremendous player and there is a reason why NBA scouts come and watch him play.

“Great players make great plays and he did that today,” Coach Jones said. “That four-point play he made the difference of the game.”

Schmidt said the team played harder, made shots, and played with more conviction. He thought the team was more engaged and believes that they can’t just show up and play, or out-talent the teams.

“This game is not about being pretty, it’s about playing hard while being efficient and effective,” said Schmidt. “When you make shots it gives you energy, but part of that is playing defense on the other end and we did more of that in the second half than the first.”

Schmidt added they were only down four by the half which was a positive since he thought the team was playing bad. He reiterated when their offense wasn’t clicking during the first half, it showed the importance of their defensive execution wasn’t their either.

The Bonnies are looking to make it five-in-a-row when they will face off against the University of Vermont on Saturday, Dec. 16, 4 p.m. eastern time at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, NY.

Schmidt believes that Vermont is a good team and that coming ready right out the gates will be important.

“We have to play for 40 minutes and come out of the gates with more urgency,” said Schmidt. “If we are going to play 20 minutes we are not going to win.”

Bonnies Bounce Back In Second Half For 65-62 Victory Over Penn State

By: Isaiah Blakely

Captains Mariah Ruff and Mckenna Maycock combined for 45 points and led the Bonnies (5-5) to another second half comeback, this time over Penn State (8-3) 65-62.

Ruff had it going early, after a 6-0 start by Penn State Ruff scored five straight points. Penn State had a balanced scoring attack with six players scoring in the first quarter giving them a 19-12 lead after one.

Freshman Abigail Johnson appeared in her first game of the regular season after being hurt since the exhibition game.

“She’s a really tough presence in the paint” said Maycock.

Her presence was much needed, she got six rebounds including a rebound late that lead to key free throws to secure the victory.

Second quarter the Bonnies clawed back in it thanks to offensive rebounding lead by Johnson and sophomore Rhianna Council.

“Rhianna Council was a difference maker. She came in with her energy. She just had a real nose for the ball tonight and made some plays,” said coach Jesse Fleming.

Council and Johnson’s offensive rebounds were apart of 11-second-chance points in the second quarter. The Bonnies were now down 23-21.

Out of a timeout the Lady Lions went on a 10-0 run to extend the lead to 12. At halftime the score was 40-28 and that was the biggest lead of the game. The Lady Lions were led by junior Teniya Paige who had nine of her 18 points at halftime.

The Bonnies were led by Ruff and Maycock who both had 10.

Bonaventure started the second half on a 17-3 capped off by Ruff’s fourth three of the game giving the Bonnies a 45-43 lead with 3:41 to go in the third. Ruff had 22 points eight rebounds and seven assists. Redshirt-sophomore Amari Carter stopped the run with a three. She ended with 12 points, and helped Penn State go into the fourth quarter with a 52-49 lead.

Maycock scored eight of her 23 points in the fourth quarter. Her layup gave the Bonnies a 54-52 lead with over seven minutes to go. The junior also had eight rebounds and two assists. It was back and forth all quarter. With 2:27 to go Maycock hit a three to give the Bonnies a 59-57 lead. Two possessions later Paige goes down and banks in a fadeaway jumper to take the lead back.

Down the stretch Maycock would get some help. Junior Arielle Harvey had four of her seven points in the fourth quarter including a layup with under a minute to go to put the Bonnies up late 61-60. Sophomore Jalisha Terry hit two clutch free throws to increase the Bonnies lead to three.

Penn State did not go down without a fight. Carter was fouled on a three point shot, and made two out of three. After two crucial Maycock free throws, Penn State had three chances to tie the game, but they couldn’t get any of them to fall.

“The last possession was scary, but we contested everything late, and I thought we did execute really well,” said Fleming.

The Bonnies next test is against Buffalo at home on Friday at 7 p.m. in the Reilly Center.

Bonnies Top Rival Canisius 73-65

By Jeff Uveino

The St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team (6-2) prevailed over the Canisius Golden Griffins (4-5) on Wednesday night in Buffalo, 73-65. With the win, the Bonnies improved their road record on the year to 3-0. 

An interesting occurrence happened before game time. According to the Bonnies Men’s Basketball Twitter, Courtney Stockard’s game jersey was stolen before the game from the team hotel. Stockard had to wear #30 instead of his traditional #11. 

The Bonnies were led by senior guard Jaylen Adams, who had 20 points, 9 assists, and 6 rebounds in his second game back from an ankle injury. 

Sophomore forward Josh Ayeni had a big night of his own, going 6-6 from the field for 15 points, before fouling out late in the second half. Matt Mobley and Courtney Stockard had 9 points each. 

St. Bonaventure led the whole way, and separated themselves from the Golden Griffins in the second half after taking a 2-point lead into the half.  

A big part of the Bonnies being able to keep the lead down the stretch was their free throw shooting. Despite getting to the line just 15 times, SBU hit 14 of those shots. This included 9-10 from the line by Adams. 

Isaiah Reese had a huge night for Canisius, with 31 points and 7 rebounds. 

The Bonnies will return home Saturday for a non-conference showdown with Ivy League power Yale at 2 p.m. in the Reilly Center. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU. 

Rockets Hot Shooting Night Leads To Win Against Bonnies

Toledo Rockets (6-1) hot shooting led them to victory 58-39 over the St. Bonaventure Bonnies (4-5) on Monday night.

The Rockets started up 17-0 in the first quarter and ended the quarter up 19-6. Senior guard Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott had seven of her 13 points in that quarter.

The shorthanded Bonnies gave it a great effort in the next three quarters. They just couldn’t make enough shots to spark a comeback. The Bonnies only shot 27 percent from the field and 12 percent from three.

Bonnies coach Jesse Fleming said, “I thought out of our attempts from the perimeter, 17 or 18 were good looks, the kind of shot we want to take in transition or through ball movement.” Fleming said, “When you’re down and fighting back, every shot has a little more pressure on it and that’s where some of the struggles came in as well.”

They had an opportunity to bring the lead down to 10 before the half, but a couple missed free throws and a turnover doomed the Bonnies.

“We played a little better in the second quarter, then missed a couple free throws and had a turnover that allowed a layup in transition,” said Fleming. “That pushed it back to a 16-point game at halftime, and most of the time you’re not going to come back from that.”

Toledo’s junior center Kaayla McIntyre had six of her 14 points at halftime. McIntyre ended with 14 rebounds and three blocks. McIntyre and Bravo-Harriott led the Rockets to a 35-19 lead at half.

Toledo head coach Tricia Cullop said “One thing we really focused on with her(McIntyre) was to continue to work hard and battle. I thought she made some difficult catches and got fouled, and either put them in or got to foul line.”

Bonas was led at halftime by senior Mariah Ruff and freshman Emily Calabrese with six points each. Calabrese ended with seven points and seven rebounds while Ruff finished with eight points and four rebounds.

Third quarter sophomore Danielle Migliore hit three three-pointers. These were the only three-pointers of the game for the Bonnies. Migliore was the only Bonnie in double-figures with 11 points. Despite Migliore’s effort Toledo ended the quarter with a buzzer beater by McIntyre. Rockets led 47-28 going into the fourth.

The Bonnies were still hustling despite the score being out of reach. Sophomore Rhianna Council scored five points four rebounds and three assists. In the fourth Council got a steal and helped Ruff get a layup, then on the preceding inbounds pass stole that pass as well and got the layup.

“This team still competes, they’re a little shorthanded, we’re really small and we still battle and compete,” said Fleming.

The Bonnies next test is at home Saturday at 7 p.m. against Penn State

Hatred of losing drives Ayeni

By Justin Myers

For sophomore Josh Ayeni, being a better player for his team and himself was a major point of emphasis going into the season.

“(I’m focused on) just being the best player that I can be and doing my best for the team, so we can win games,” Ayeni said.

The 6-foot-8 forward is looking to build off his strong freshman campaign where he earned 24 starts and played in all 32 games. He finished sixth on the team in scoring with 6.7 points per game and averaged 2.6 rebounds.

He also scored in double figures 10 times, the most by a Bonaventure freshman in Atlantic-10 play since Andrew Nicholson’s 21 times in 2008-09.

During the off-season Ayeni worked on many things to improve his game.

“I worked on my three-point shot, consistency and just being a better rebounder” he said.

As a freshman, Ayeni worked hard to adjust to the fast pace of Division I basketball.

“I think it’s the pace of going up and down the court,” Ayeni said. “High school ball is slower and college ball is faster and more technical”.

However, one thing Ayeni didn’t have to adjust was his passion.

“I hate to lose,” he said. “I feel like that drives me to play harder every time and try to win”.

Ayeni, a native of Nigeria, grew up in a different environment compared to the United States.

“Obviously the weather is hotter than Olean,” he said. “In Nigeria, when you’re learning to play basketball they only teach big guys how to play basketball. You have to be really tall to play basketball. But in (the United States) you see little kids of all sizes learning to play.”

Ayeni came to the United States in 2011 and hasn’t looked back since.

“There’s some great people here,” Ayeni said. “it’s a great place to be.”

Taqqee staying level-headed with high expectations

By Mike Hogan

Idris Taqqee has seen a great amount of action on the floor during his Bonnies career. Playing since his freshman year, Taqqee has experienced all the ups-and-downs of Bonas basketball.

Reporter Mike Hogan sat down with Taqqee to discuss his emotions going into his senior year, his thoughts about the higher expectations, and his basketball future.

 

Big news for you as you were just named a captain, how do you feel about that accomplishment?

 

Taqqee: I’m excited that my teammates have trusted me, and I am really excited to lead them every possession on the court.

 

You’re going into your last season as a Bonnie, what are your emotions in regards to that? How do you wish to be remembered here?

 

Taqqee: I just wish to be remembered for everything that I’ve done well and everything that I have worked on. It’s definitely bitter sweet that it’s my last year, but there’s a lot of things that we want to accomplish and we’re all going to work towards it together.

 

What kinds of things did you work on this offseason? What did you improve on the most?

 

Taqqee: I improved on consistency the most. I worked on every single aspect of my game from rebounding, ball handling, off the ball cutting, I can go on for days about what I worked on, but being consistent was huge.

 

What are the expectations for this year’s squad? What’s the vibe of the locker room?

 

Taqqee: The sky is the limit. We know that we have the capability to do anything that we put our minds to. We know everyone is talking A-10 tournament and the NCAA tournament, but we think we can go beyond that. Above and beyond.

 

In previous years you guys were ranked towards the bottom of the pack in the A-10, with the raised expectations this year how is the team handling them?

 

Taqqee: It’s definitely exciting. I have been here and have been able to grow with change. I’m happy and I am excited to see that, but it’s something where you just have to keep that same approach where nothing has changed. Nothing is guaranteed at the end of the day, but it’s definitely good to see the buzz and excitement.

 

What would it be like for you and the other seniors on this team to go out in your last season’s here making the NCAA tournament?

 

Taqqee: It’d be great man. All of the hard work would pay off, because there’s been a lot of hours spent in that gym. It’s something that I’ve had my eyes on.

 

What are you looking at after Bonaventure, are you looking to keep playing basketball?

 

Taqqee: Yeah, I want to keep playing basketball for as long as I can. I would play basketball for the rest of my life if I could.