(Photo Credit: GoBonnies.com)
By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio
St. Bonaventure point guard Jaylen Adams came into Monday night’s game against Army West Point needing 14 points to reach 1,000 for his career.
Points 993 to 1,002 brought the Bonnies from a six-point deficit to a one-point lead near the end of the first half, the first of a few personal runs a Bona player would go on to secure a 92-83 victory over the Black Knights.
Adams scored 31 points in total, including three three-pointers and 14-of-17 shooting from the foul line, along with dishing out 10 assists. It was the Baltimore native’s fifth career game with at least 30 points.
But SBU’s superstar needed teammates to chip in after the Black Knights came out firing and made eight threes in the first half, and David Andoh and Denzel Gregg were vital in improving the team’s record to 8-3.
Andoh’s personal run was an 11-6 burst midway through the second half, when he hit a midrange jumper and three three-pointers to give Bona a one-point lead with 8:55 to play. Army would tie the game with a free throw on the next possession, but would not take another lead.
Andoh finished with 15 points, his fifth double-digit point performance in the last six games. He has made more than half of his attempts from three-point range every time he has attempted multiple shots from behind the arc.
“He gave us the lift we needed,” Gregg said of Andoh. “It came at the right time too, when we really needed to make a push to get that lead and get two in a row. We kept going back to him, he kept getting buckets.”
“When you put Jay and David into a pick and roll where he can screen and pop, it’s hard because you have two guys who can shoot the ball, and how are you gonna guard that?” Schmidt said. “When Dave’s shooting the ball like he did, he’s a really good piece for us.”
Gregg played a complete 37 minutes, recording his fifth double-double of the year, but he had a couple notable surges. The first came when he grabbed an offensive rebound and cashed the lay-in to tie the game, then hit a jumper to give the Bonnies a 51-49 lead with 17:42 to play. The other came when he scored six of SBU’s nine points from the 5:20 mark to when there was 2:30 remaining, icing the game despite Army’s best efforts to regain the lead.
“I thought other than Jay, Denzel did a really good job for us, both on the offensive and defensive end,” Schmidt said. “…For the most part his done it for the first ten games, eleven games, and hopefully he can continue that. When he’s active like that, he’s at his best.”
At the final buzzer, Adams shone the brightest on the stat sheet. He is the 43rd player in program history to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
“I’m definitely happy,” Adams said. “I join a bunch of other Bonnie greats, and I just hope I can keep scoring.”
“He has a great understanding of how to play, he’s got a great skill set and he’s gotten stronger,” Schmidt noted. “You put all those things together, and he’s got a lot of freedom and he’s playing with a lot of other guys who can shoot the ball.
“He’s a productive player. Did we think he was going to be this good when we recruited him? No. But he’s got a tremendous work ethic and when you have that skill set that you can play at three different levels, then you’re gonna be hard to guard and you’re gonna score a lot of points.”