The Reilly Center turned into the Roman Coliseum of western N.Y. as 5,480 screaming fans would watch the St. Bonaventure Bonnies defeat the University of Richmond Spiders 97-88.
The combination of Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley would put up 48 points to lead the Bonnies to their six-straight win.
The Bonnies would get off to a great start in the beginning of the game when Mobley jumpstarted the team with back-to-back three’s. Mobley scored 11 points in the first five minutes of the game.
Head coach of the Spiders, Chris Mooney, realized the difficult challenge his team faced when guarding the Bonnies star-powered backcourt. Without having their senior star player De’Monte Buckingham due to injury, the Spiders were facing a difficult task at hand.
“I thought we competed today despite the Bonnies shooting the ball well today,” said Mooney. “They are the best backcourt we played so far, and their front court is aggressive.”
After a made three-pointer by Mobley with 50 seconds left, the Bonnies would walk into halftime with a 51-42 lead. Head coach of the Bonnies Mark Schmidt, talked about how this game was an offensive onslaught.
“We didn’t run an enormous amount plays against Richmond as they were in their match-up zone defense,” said Schmidt. “We were looking to attack their mismatch either inside or on the perimeter and our guys were able to execute our stuff.”
The Spiders would come out of the halftime gates running, as they would go on 9-0 run to tie the game up at 51 with 17:59 in the second half. Both teams would trade buckets until the 11:31 mark as Adams would take over the game.
Adams would have a solo-artist performance, by going on a run of his own.
He would score the Bonnies next 10 consecutive points, forcing the Spiders to call a 30-second timeout. Addams going off with 9:35 left is normal to him, as his teammates and himself wanted to start the game just like every other one.
“We wanted to come out the same way we always do and that is being aggressive,” said Adams. “They play a different style of defense, we wanted to keep attacking, see if we can make some plays, and get the crowd on their feet.
The Spiders were able to trim the lead down to five with 2:44 left in the game, but it wouldn’t be enough to bring them back. Adams made two free throws with 1:07 left to seal the game for the Bonnies.
Adams during his 10-0 run would score his 1,737 point as a Bonnie, marking him as the all-time leading scorer for guards, in program history. Adams during that stretch was hot and wasn’t going to cool down.
“During that stretch, I got some good looks as our defense got better,” said Adams. “I was able to get out in transition and was able to get a clean three, despite missing shots all day, was able to get to the rim and I am glad I can do that for my team.”
The Bonnies were able to shoot 50% from the field, 40% from the three-point line, and would shoot 21-22 from the free throw line. Despite turning the ball over 14 times, defensively the Bonnies would keep it tight and would just keep making buckets.
The Bonnies would be without sophomore forward, Josh Ayeni due violating team rules and junior forward LaDarien Griffin due to a foot injury. According to coach Schmidt, players would have a next-man up mentality.
Sophomore center, Amadi Ikpeze got the start and contributed with 12 points and eight rebounds. Alongside Ikpeze, junior forward, Courtney Stockard talied up a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
The Bonnies will now travel to Philadelphia, PA, to square off against the La Salle University Explorers on Tuesday Feb 13 at 7 p.m. Schmidt said he couldn’t remember the last time they beat La Salle away under his tenure.
“When we play on the road we defend, and we can’t give up 88 points to La Salle because we are not going to win,” said Schmidt. “We got to make sure we defend and take care of the basketball, if we do those two things we’re going to win.”