By: Justin Myers
The St. Bonaventure Bonnies bounce back after losing their season opener to the Bucknell Bison Wednesday night to defeat the Jackson State Tigers 67-36.
Bonnies junior guard Jalen Poyser led all scorers with 23 points including four three pointers. The Tigers were led by junior guard Venije Wallis with 14 points.
The Bonnies came out aggressive in the first two minutes of the game getting an early 7-0 lead on the Tigers.
Poyser got the Bonnies going early. Poyser hit two three pointers that gave the Bonnies a 14-5 lead.
The Tigers would fight back into the game as Jontrell Walker hit a three-pointer making the score 19-14. This would be the closest the Tigers would be for the rest of the game.
The Bonnies would bring the lead back to double digits as senior guard Nelson Kaputo and freshman guard Dom Welch hit back to back three pointers to make the lead 25-14.
Freshman Kyle Lofton, who led the Bonnies first half scorers with eight points, made a layup with 1:25 to go put the Bonnies up 33-18. The Bonnies would go into halftime with a 34-21 lead.
The Bonnies started the second half with an and one layup from Poyser and a layup from Lofton which would give the Bonnies a 39-25 lead. Lofton and Poyser combined for 39 points.
Both teams went stretches in the second half without scoring. The Bonnies were still up big, 46-30.
In the second half they relied more on the defensive side of the ball holding the Tigers to 17% shooting from the field and 13% from three-point range. Freshman center Osun Osunniyi was a major part of this defensive stand as he recorded six of his seven blocks in the second half.
The Bonnies held an opponent under 40 points for the first time since 1995 in a 76-32 home victory over Appalachian State on Jan. 7, 1995.
St. Bonaventure earned its first win of the season by limiting Jackson State to 15 points in the second half, pulling away after the visitors pulled within nine points.
Coach Mark Schmidt talked about what he thought about the team performance.
“I thought it was a good bounce-back game for us. We challenged them. I thought our guys really responded. Osun Osunniyi didn’t score a basket and Alpha Okoli didn’t score a basket, but they had such an impact on (the game) from a defensive standpoint,” said Schmidt.
Schmidt added, “We have to play hard. A coach a long time ago told me that the game of basketball is 10 percent X’s and O’s and 90 percent how hard you’re going to play. I thought we played really hard today. That was one of the main reasons we won.”
St. Bonaventure will travel to Niagara on Monday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m.