Bonnies defense leads the way to fifth straight win

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By Isaiah Blakely

The all-time season series between the St. Bonaventure Bonnies and the Duquesne Dukes was 60-60 coming into Wednesday night in the Reilly Center. The Bonnies had won five of the last six meetings with the Dukes by six points or less.

But this night was a different story for St. Bonaventure (14-14, 10-5 A-10) which clinched its 10 win in Atlantic 10 play for a program record fifth season in a row beating the Dukes (18-10, 9-5 A-10) 68-47.

The Bonnies defense led the way once again only allowing one Dukes player to score in double figures. Two of Bonaventure’s seniors led the way. Courtney Stockard led all scorers with 21 points and LaDarien Griffin had his second double-double of the year with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Stockard got Bonaventure rolling, scoring six early points to help the Bonnies jump out to a 19-7 lead. That early run was capped off by freshman Osun Osunniyi’s two-handed slam. The Bonnies had four scorers in double figures including Osunniyi who had 10 points and added nine rebounds and three blocks. Freshman guard Kyle Lofton also scored 10 points and had six assists.

St. Bonaventure’s biggest lead in the first half was 17, but Duquesne it strong including a layup right before half by freshman Lamar Norman Jr., to cut the Bonnies halftime lead to 33-22. Norman Jr. was the Dukes only scorer in double figures, he had 20 points.

The Bonnies started the second half fast with an 8-0 run to go up 19.

Stockard sealed the win in the final minutes with a three pointer from the wing and a reverse jam on the fast break to put the Bonnies up 20.

Duquesne only shot 28 percent from the field and head coach Mark Schmidt talked about the defensive performance.

“It was as good of a defensive performance as we’ve had all year,” Schmidt said. “If someone would’ve told me that we would’ve held them to 47 points, I would have told them they were crazy.”

The Bonnies have held six of their last seven opponents to 60 points or less are 12-0 this season in those games.

The Bonnies now have a .500 record for the first time since they were 1-1 after their win over Jackson State in November.

The Bonnies are looking to get over .500 for the first time all year on Saturday at George Washington


Bona women fall to La Salle at home

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By Jeff Uveino

The St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team fell to the La Salle Explorers Wednesday night, 52-45, at the Reilly Center.

The Bonnies’ offense was unable to get going the entire game. They trailed by three points at halftime (18-15), and were put away in the fourth quarter when the Explorers strung together several successful offensive possessions.

Bonnies coach Jesse Fleming talked about the tough home loss to an Explorers team that is now just 5-24 overall and 2-13 in Atlantic 10 play.

“I’m not shocked by this, they’ve been playing well,” said Fleming. “They’ve had a good five game stretch and we haven’t played well in two weeks. We kind of peaked a couple of weeks ago, and that’s on me.”

Both teams struggled from the floor, as each side shot just 27% on the night.

Janay Sanders led La Salle with 13 points, and Jeryn Reese scored 10 points and pulled down 16 rebounds.

For the Bonnies, Emily Calabrese and Asianae Johnson scored 10 points each. Johnson also grabbed 11 rebounds for a double-double.

Fleming talked about what the loss means for the Bonnies moving forward.

“I’m at the point of the year where I’m trying to figure out who’s a part of our future,” he said. “It’s not a threat, I just want to know who we’re going to be able to build around. It’s also a continual education for me as far as what I need to do better as a coach.”

The Bonnies fell to 8-20 overall and 5-10 in the A10, and will travel to Pittsburgh on Saturday, March 2 to play Duquesne in their final game before the A10 tournament.

“I think the next step for this team is playing above the scout that the opponent has for us,” said Fleming. “If they take something away, how do we respond.”

Students cope with stress through extracurriculars and talking with friends 

By: Olivia Boyd

St. Bonaventure, N.Y. – Looking out on to the Reilly Center pool in the Student Veterans Lounge, senior Alyssa Magnuson laughed about how she’s changed majors three times.

“I was a biology major but then I failed biology and calculus and I joined Army ROTC and it was all a lot,” said Magnuson. “I switched to education, which has a rigorous track with everything and doing it late would have been impossible. I want to be a teacher, so I switched again to childhood studies because you still get to learn the same material.”

Many students, including Magnuson, said that balancing school and deciding what you want to do with it can be stressful. To cope, many students participate in activities, religion and time management.

“School has 100 percent affected my mental health since beginning college because of the course work. I never really had a problem with managing stress in high school,” said junior Kasey Tokos. “I was able to study for only an hour in high school and now I struggle with just taking a breath and trying to destress.”

Like other college students, Tokos said she struggles to balance school, work, sports, and social activities.

“I am more stressed out than I used to be,” said graduate student Carlie Jacque. “I also stress about the little things a lot more now because I balance graduate school and a job. I get overwhelmed when I think about school sometimes.”

Being a graduate student, Jacque said the work she undertakes has been geared toward her future job, so she believes the stress can be worth it. In the end she does not mind the amount of work.

“School has had a roller coaster affect with my mental health. I am not one to usually stress about stuff, but school has changed that completely for me. I have had my mental breakdowns and panic attacks which is very much out of character for me,” said sophomore Kelly DeGrood.

To manage her panic from school, Degrood goes home, finds an activity to calm her down or practices rugby. She tries to surround herself with people who have similar interests and passions to her own.

Many students on campus said they cope with the stresses they experience from school by participating in extracurricular activities or talking with friends.

“I go to church on Sundays,” said senior Jazmine Clasing. “I make a priority of that. I go to Believers Chapel in Allegany off campus.”

Many Bonaventure students take comfort in religion. Clasing said she believed faith aided her in taking some of the burden of stress off herself because she doesn’t feel alone.

Senior Sara Goodwin, who did not disclose her GPA, said, “Mental health is everything you can’t see or measure. It’s all internal and at the end of the day you’re the one that knows yourself the best.”

Goodwin, like Degrood, said that school can be a roller coaster. However, she has been able to time manage and not get overwhelmed by breaking assignments and responsibilities into smaller pieces and completing at least one task each day.

Freshman Malaunah Jones said she believed students come in with mental health issues but also develop them while at school from being overwhelmed.

“School throws you in a new situation like, here’s a new life and you have to do your best and sometimes your best isn’t enough, because you have to find out for yourself what you want and are held to certain expectations,” said Jones, a biology major.

“Some of the ways that school can affect mental health is experiencing lower self-esteem, self-doubt, and activation of latent mental health issues or problems in the past,” said Amy Mickle, a Bonaventure counselor.

Mickle said, “Old coping mechanisms may not work as previously in the student’s life causing an increase in anxiety, depressive conditions and symptoms like poor sleep, change in eating habits, poor concentration, isolation, and procrastination.”

Bonaventure has many resources for students to use such as counseling services, a student gym, a grief recovery group, a school-provided ministry services, an LGBTQ+ club, and alcohol anonymous meetings.

“I would say Bonaventure helps my mental health,” said senior Erin Brockenton. “After I lost my mom, school has been made easy because of my friends, professors and teammates helping me. It’s not a burden to be back at school. I use the counseling services from the wellness center.”

The wellness center counseling sessions last from 45 minutes to an hour. Primarily psychotherapy, students can speak with counselors, go through books or worksheets or video clips.

Students begin to learn time management skills to not become submerged in stress. Magnuson, whose GPA changed from a 2.1 in freshman year to a 3.3 currently, learned to time manage and destress through exercise with ROTC and playing rugby.

WBB: Bonnies look to end losing streak against Rhode Island

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By Teddy Caputo

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies women’s basketball team looks to end a four-game losing streak in its next A-10 matchup against the Rhode Island Rams.

In their previous game last Saturday, the Fordham Rams avoided the upset in the Reilly Center with a 53-44 victory over the Bonnies.  SBU stuck close to Fordham the entire game.  Both teams traded the lead back and forth five times in the first quarter.  However, the Bonnies trailed 16-14 at the end of the quarter. 

The second quarter started off slow, with either team not scoring a basket for the first two and a half minutes.  Both teams played very aggressive and scrappy defense, allowing a combined 16 points for the quarter.  The Bonnies looked for the kickout three-point jumper on the dribble drive, but their shots weren’t falling.   However, the Bonnies stuck close by, going into halftime tied 23-23. 

In the second half, the Rams pulled ahead of the Bonnies and kept the lead for the rest of the game.  The Bonnies came out playing hard and fast, but they couldn’t capitalize on their stops and missed a couple close shots that could have helped them down the stretch.  They also had a few careless turnovers early on that helped give the Rams some momentum.   

Head coach Jesse Fleming reflected on his team’s third quarter struggles, saying, “I thought we missed some mismatch opportunities.  I thought we short armed some layups when we had their forwards against our guards.  We missed a couple looks in transition as well during that stretch in the third quarter, but they did a good job guarding Mckenna.” 

Although the Bonnies struggled offensively to start the second half, freshman guard Asianae Johnson (#2) caught fire.  She scored six of the team’s eight third quarter points and 10 of her 12 points in the second half.  

When no one could hit the bottom of the net, she stepped up and kept the Bonnies in the game when it could’ve gotten away from them fast.  Coach Fleming really liked how Johnson adjusted in the second half to help the team stay in it. 

“I think she is becoming a more complete player even if you take the scoring out of it.  I like how she’s thinking the game a little more,” said Fleming.  “There were a couple times where she missed some mismatches where she could’ve kicked to her teammates, but she’s playing a really nice floor game right now.” 

Even though the Bonnies didn’t win this game, they played with a lot of heart and intensity for the full 40 minutes against the Rams.  When talking to coach Fleming about his team’s effort, he thought they matched Fordham’s toughness and was proud of them for keeping the game close against one of the grittiest teams in this league.  

“I didn’t think we backed down; we played very hard. I just like to see us get more contributions from more players,” said Fleming. “I think the offense will come since we have some good young players who can really score the ball.  It’s always been about whether we can defend at an A-10 level, and I think we’re getting there.” 

The improving defense has come with big contributions from sophomore forward Emily Calabrese (#15). 

Coach Fleming was impressed with Calabrese’s performance after she missed practice the day before from a minor injury and is very happy with her play recently.   

“She’s been an absolute warrior.  She’s going in there, she’s rebounding, she’s battling and she’s working her tail off,” said Fleming.  “She wasn’t having a great start to our season, but I’ve loved the way she’s played and the competitiveness she’s played with in the last couple weeks.” 

When I asked coach Fleming what his team can take away from this game and carry into the next one, he told me he is impressed with the team’s improvement on communication, intensity and execution on defense.   

“I thought we were on our P’s & Q’s, especially that first half defense,” said Fleming.  “There were three of four early breakdowns where we gave up some threes, but I was so happy with how we were able to adjust and pick it up on the fly.  They’re just buying into how hard we need to play, especially defensively, and that’s what I’m happiest about.” 

The Bonnies hope to get their first win since February 3 against Rhode Island on Thursday, February 21 at 7:00 p.m. in the Reilly Center.

Lofton’s game-winning jumper propels Bonnies over La Salle

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By Jeff Uveino

Kyle Lofton did it again. 

The St. Bonaventure guard hit a go-ahead jumper with three seconds remaining and the Bonnies defeated the La Salle Explorers Wednesday night, 62-60. 

Lofton, a freshman, got the ball to start a Bonnies possession with 10.7 seconds left and the score tied. He dribbled to his right, drove to his left and pulled up from the free throw line to send the Reilly Center crowd into a frenzy. 

“It was on me to take the last shot,” said Lofton. “Coach trusts me and gives me room to make errors, so that makes me more comfortable. I was confident and I hit it.” 

Lofton finished the game with 18 points. 

Bonnies coach Mark Schmidt said he has been impressed with Lofton’s shot-making ability all season and that the freshman plays beyond his years. 

“I trust him, he plays 40 minutes a game,” said Schmidt. “He hits big shots and he doesn’t play like a freshman. Out of the timeout, I can put the ball in his hands and know that, for the most part, he’s going to make the right play.” 

The game was close the whole way, with SBU leading by four points at halftime. The Explorers came out of the gates strong in the second half, but an and-one dunk from SBU forward Osun Osunniyi followed by a technical on LaSalle gave the Bonnies momentum. They proceeded to go on a 13-3 run. 

The Bonnies led by as many as 11 points in the second half (50-41), but La Salle’s shooting got them back into the game late. 

The Explorers hit ten three-pointers on the night, as opposed to just three from the Bonnies. 

La Salle appeared as if it would get the last possession of the game, but guard Isiah Deas slipped on a drive and turned the ball over, giving Lofton his chance. 

Schmidt talked about SBU’s defensive performance and its struggles that kept La Salle in the game. 

“I always say, if you defend, rebound, take care of the ball and make your foul shots, you’ll do well,” he said. “We only did two of those things tonight. In the last couple games, we took care of the ball and made our free throws, and that’s why we won by a larger margin. We didn’t do those things tonight, which kept it close.” 

Courtney Stockard scored 16 points and dished out seven assists for the Bonnies. Osunniyi had another big night on the glass with 13 rebounds, nine points and five blocks. 

“Defense has always been the main focus of my game,” said Osunniyi. “We feed off the crowd and want to get them in the game early, so if I can block some shots it gets them involved and helps my teammates on the offensive end.”  

La Salle was led by Pookie Powell, who scored 20 points and knocked down four three-pointers. Deas added 16 points. 

Explorers guard Saul Phiri scored 10 points and hit a big three with a minute left to tie the game at 60 before the Lofton magic. 

St. Bonaventure improved to 12-14 overall and 8-5 in the Atlantic 10, and La Salle fell to 8-17 overall and 6-7 in the A10. 

The Bonnies have now won three games in a row and six of their last eight. 

“It wasn’t a masterpiece offensively, but we gutted it out,” said Schmidt. “It was a blue-collar win.”

Schmidt becomes all-time leader with Bona win over George Mason

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By Jeff Uveino

The St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team defeated George Mason, 79-56, on Sunday afternoon at the Reilly Center– and after the final buzzer sounded, you couldn’t find a face in the RC without a smile.

The win was the 203rd of head coach Mark Schmidt’s career at Bonaventure. That number breaks Larry Weise’s career record for coaching wins at the school, which had stood for 46 years.

The afternoon was capped off by a tear-jerking postgame video tribute.

Congratulatory messages from former Bonnies star Andrew Nicholson, Bona alumnus and top ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski, Larry Weise himself and more were followed by a nostalgic trip through some of Schmidt’s most notable wins.

The milestone victory comes 12 years after Schmidt took over the Bonaventure program.

“When you make family decisions like we did, you just never know if you’re making the right decision or not,” said Schmidt. “But I feel comfortable here. The people here have taken us in and made us feel welcomed, and it feels like home.”

Lost in the Schmidt hype was one of the best performances the Bonnies have turned in this season, and another stellar game by a freshman guard.

Kyle Lofton scored a career-high 32 points and shot 7-8 from behind the three-point line. He also dished out seven assists.

Lofton banked home his first three-pointer of the game, and after that, he caught on fire.

“When you see the ball go in, the hoop gets bigger,” said Lofton. “I’ve stayed confident and put bad games behind me. I’ve been in the gym mornings and nights getting reps up which makes me confident.”

Lofton scored 18 of his points in a first half that saw the Bonnies play inspired and jump out to a 17-point lead at the break (42-25).

SBU led 16-0 after the first media timeout, and Lofton had 11 points. He played the entire game until Schmidt emptied out his bench with a minute to go.

“Kyle couldn’t have played better,” said Schmidt. “Hitting those early shots relaxes you, allows you to play more free and gives you energy on the defensive end.”

The Patriots knocked down some shots midway through the second half to get back into the game, pulling the deficit to as little as 10 points. They were unable, however, to shoot consistently enough to overcome the first-half hole.

GMU was without senior guard Otis Livingston II for a good portion of the game, as he would only play 20 minutes while dealing with an injury.

Justin Kier stepped up for the Patriots, leading them with 21 points. Livingston II would finish with 10 points, and Javone Greene also scored 10. 

For St. Bonaventure, Courtney Stockard added 17 points and Osun Osunniyi turned in another superb defensive effort with 11 rebounds and five blocks. Dom Welch chipped in with 10 points.

The Bonnies improved to 11-14 overall and 7-5 in the Atlantic 10. George Mason fell to 15-11 and 9-4 in the A10.

SBU has now won five of its last seven games, and will next face La Salle at home on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

The Bonnies continue to climb in the A10 standings, and now sit just one game out of fourth place.

“We want to get into the top four and get the bye until the quarterfinals,” said Schmidt. “Can you win the tournament playing four games? Yeah, but it’s easier to do it in three.”

In a season that has featured less success than Bonnies fans have recently been accustomed to, Sunday’s game and what the win meant to Schmidt and the program gave them a lot to be thankful for.

“I love it here,” said Schmidt. “And hopefully I’m here for a lot more years.”

VCU rolls over sloppy Bonnies

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By Keara Donnelly

The Virginia Commonwealth Rams (17-6) defeated the St. Bonaventure Bonnies (9-14), 85-55, at the Reilly Center Saturday afternoon.   

The Rams’ explosive offense and tight defense lead them to an easy 30-point victory. The Bonnies only shot 25 percent from the field and 0-8 from the three-point line in the first half. 

The Bonnies fell behind early after the Rams went on a 15-0 run to take a 20-4 lead. The Rams played tight man to man defense and shot 50% from the field.  

 “It was the worst game of the season,” stated Bonnies head coach Mark Schmidt. “The game was over in the first 15-20 minutes.” 

 The second half wasn’t any better as foul trouble was a problem for the Bonnies. Courtney Stockard and Osun Osunniyi fouled out of the game after picking up early fouls.  

 Stockard had 15 points and LaDarein Griffin had 10 points.  

 The Bonnies shot only 26% percent from the field and only made one three-pointer (Nelson Kaputo), which was a season low for the team.  

 “I think the stats speak for themselves,” Schmidt stated. “From an offensive standpoint, we didn’t play well at all. We couldn’t make any shots and we turned the ball over.” 

 St. Bonaventure heads to Michael J. Hagan Arena in Philadelphia to face the St. Joseph’s Hawks Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. 

Fourth quarter surge pushes Rams past Bonnies

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By Isaiah Blakely

A 20-6 fourth quarter advantage propelled the VCU Rams (17-6, 9-1 A-10) to a comeback victory over the St. Bonaventure Bonnies (7-15, 4-5 A-10) 59-50 Wednesday night in the Reilly Center. 

The Bonnies started out with a 9-2 lead including freshman Asianae Johnson’s eight points.  

The Bonnies stifling defense continued as they took an 18-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. They held VCU to only 19% shooting.  

In the second quarter, the leaders in the A-10 woke up. The Rams went on a 19-6 run to take the lead after sophomore Sofya Pashigoreva’s layup. Pashigoreva was part of a dominant night on the glass for the Rams. The Bonnies were outrebounded 36-28. 

Despite the rebounding differential, Bonnies freshman Deja Francis helped stopped the run by the Rams by scoring two of her seven points to tie the game at 27 with three seconds left in the half. 

It was a back fourth affair throughout the third quarter. Sophomore Emily Calabrese was the first player in double figures by scoring eight of her 10 points in the third quarter. Calabrese capped off a strong quarter for the Bonnies with a buzzer beater to put the Bonnies up 44-39 going into the fourth quarter.  

The fourth quarter was a similar story to the second quarter. The Bonnies went almost seven minutes without scoring, leading to a 14-0 run for the Rams to start the quarter. Johnson scored a layup to end the run but VCU was up 54-47. Coming out of the timeout freshman Kseniya Malashka hit a rare three-pointer to put VCU up ten and down the Bonnies.  

Johnson led the game in scoring with 15 points, while the Rams were paced by sophomore Taya Robinson who had 13 points and junior Danielle Hammond 12 points.  

“The way we’ve played for two weeks now and the way we’ve shared the ball; we’ve got athleticism and a good rotation,” said coach Jesse Fleming.  “We were so locked in to start the game that I thought we were going to be able to finish.” 

Fleming is opportunistic about this team’s development. 

“We’re getting closer,” “We’re showing some really good flashes. But, there’s a lot of things that we’ve got to keep working on.” 

The Bonnies look to continue their improved play on the road Saturday against Davidson.