The Bonnies took care of business in the Reilly Center on Nov. 18, defeating Jackson State University 72-58 for their first win of the season. Bonnies guard, Matt Mobley, led the charge filling up the stat line with 27 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists.
St. Bonaventure head coach Mark Schmidt felt pleased after their first win.
“Playing hard overcomes an enormous amount of deficiencies,” Schmidt said. “I’m pleased with the win, we got to continue to get better, but we found our way to win.”
One reason they pulled it out was improved play from the seniors.
After losing to Niagara University last week, shooting 35% from the field and 73% from the free throw line, senior guard Matt Mobley stepped up.
Mobley shot 43.8% from the field, 50% from the three-point line, and a perfect 8-8 from the charity stripe. At the end of the first half Mobley had 18 points more than doubling his scoring output in the last game.
The Bonnies started out fast, going onto a 11-0 run in the first three minutes of the game. Also, right after Mobley’s two three’s Bonaventure’s forward Josh Ayeni scored on his first three point shot of the season.
“It gives us an enormous amount of juice and energy to execute of offense and score baskets,” Mobley said. “Scoring baskets makes us want to get stops on defense and we started hot and finished.”
At the end of the first half, Bonaventure was up 39-26 with Mobley’s 18 points and Ayeni’s 12 points. Ayeni would finish the game with a total of 16 points shooting 6-9 from the field and 3-4 from free throw line.
“That is his game; screening, popping, and shooting,” Schmidt said. “I thought that he was in rhythm, unlike the Niagara game, and when he is in rhythm, we are a much better team.”
Senior guard Idris Taqqee had a huge impact during the second half of the game.
With 2:32 left Bonaventure was up 64-57, Taqqee ran down Julian Daughtry of Jackson State blocking his layup. Taqqee then jumped on the floor, retrieving the loose ball and calling a timeout.
“It was the play of the game,” Schmidt said. “That doesn’t take skill, it just takes toughness and a kid with a big heart.”
The Bonnies held Jackson State to 32.8% from the field and 32% from behind the arc. The Reilly Center and it’s 3,619 fans in attendance were rocking.
The extra noise could have affected Jackson State’s woes at the free throw line as they shot 50% on the game.
At the end of the game, the Bonnies shot 43.1% from the field, 37.5% from the three, and 70.4% from the free throw line. The Bonnies totaled 15 assists and recorded a turnover margin of plus three.
Coming off this win, the Bonnies will face the University of Maryland-Eastern-Shore, the team they were supposed to play last Wednesday. Because of a power outage that cancelled the original contest, the game has been moved to Monday, November 20th, at 7 p.m. in the Reilly Center.
While attention may be on the upcoming match-up with the better known, Maryland Terrapins in the Emerald Coast Classic, Coach Schmidt wants to keep the focus centralized.
“You can’t worry about what’s down the road and you need to take one game at hand,” Schmidt said. “We are going to do everything we can to beat UMES.”