photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu
By Jeff Uveino
ST. BONAVENTURE — Mark Schmidt described it perfectly.
On the day that the St. Bonventure men’s basketball team honored its legends, the Bonnies played arguably their best game of the season thus far, routing Hofstra at the Reilly Center on Saturday, 73-45.
“It couldn’t have been better,” Schmidt said. “It was a great day to be at Bonaventure and to be a Bonnie.”
SBU continued its celebration of the program’s 100th season by honoring its all-time team at half time, and celebrating its 1970 Final Four team after the game.
The Bonnies went on a 24-1 scoring run that Hofstra could not come back from.
Jaren English had a breakout offensive game for SBU, scoring 17 points and shooting 4-of-5 from three-point range.
English led a tremendous overall day for the Bona offense, which shot 49 percent from the field and 48 percent from beyond the arc.
Dom Welch also scored 17 points for the Bonnies, and Bobby Planutis scored 11 points and pulled down eight rebounds.
“We have good shooters,” Schmidt said. “It hadn’t been going well, but I thought we shot the ball much better in Florida (last week), and once the ball starts going in it helps your confidence.”
English said that Schmidt talks to the team every day about being ready to play, and that the Bonnies came out excited to play in front of the program’s legends.
“That’s why I came to Bonaventure, is to play in games like this,” English said. “I just want to bring toughness, win games and win championships.
“Coach Schmidt tells me what I need to do, and I do it.”
English, a sophomore guard in his first year at Bona’s after transferring from Ranger Community College in Texas, had averaged nine points per game over his first three appearances prior to Saturday.
“(English) shot the ball really well and he brings a different dimension to our team,” Schmidt said. “He shot 4-of-5 from three, and that was something that we didn’t have over our first three games.”
Osun Osunniyi had a promising game after battling a knee injury over the past few weeks. He scored eight points, pulled down 16 rebounds and blocked two shots.
Hofstra struggled offensively, shooting just under 28 percent from the field and 16 percent from three-point range.
Desure Buie scored 17 points for the Pride, and Eli Pemberton scored nine points.
Up next for the Bonnies is two more home games, as they’ll host Gannon next Saturday and Niagara on Dec. 18.
Bona will then go on the road to finish its non-conference schedule, with trips to Middle Tennessee State and Buffalo.
“We have a lot of inexperience and I don’t think we’re nearly where we need to be, but we’re learning,” Schmidt said. The more we get put in situations, the better we’ll be.”
English, a new face around SBU, seemed right at home when he talked about getting to meet the program’s legends.
“It’s an honor to be in their presence, with all the great things they’ve done for this program,” English said. “Coach Schmidt tells us all the time that we have to play for everyone in this town, and for the people who played before us. We did that today.”