Second half run pushes the Bonnies past Rhode Island

By:Isaiah Blakely 

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies had a slow start offensively again in the Barclays Center, this time in the semifinals against the Rhode Island Rams.

The Bonnies picked it up on both ends of the floor late in the first half. The momentum and confidence carried through the rest of the game as the Bonnies (18-15) defeated the Rams (18-15) 68-51 to move on to the Atlantic 10 tournament final tomorrow afternoon.

The Rams came out fast early on holding a 22-12 lead with nine minutes left in the first half. Rhode Island guards Jeff Dowtin and Fatts Russell scored a combined 18 points on 8-29 shooting. Seven of their points were scored early in the first half. Junior Cyril Langevine lead the Rams in scoring with 15 points.

Rhode Island’s defense was also giving the Bonnies fits early. The Bonnies were shooting 3-14 halfway through the first half.

The Rams took a 15-point lead after a Tyrese Martin three pointer with four minutes left in the half.

Then the Bonnies made their run.

The Bonnies went on a 13-0 run led by Bonaventure’s freshmen Dominick Welch and Kyle Lofton.

Welch helped keep the Bonnies afloat in the first half scoring 10 of his 13 points in the first half.

Lofton was good all afternoon scoring 23 points and adding five assists.

“The freshmen don’t play like freshmen. Kyle (Lofton) in my opinion was the best guy on the court,” Bonnies head coach Mark Schmidt said.

The Bonnies went into the locker room down 29-27. Second half was more of the same for the Bonnies.

The Bonnies outscored Rhode Island 41-22 in the second half.

The Bonnies offense also got some help from their big men. LaDarien Griffin and Osun Osunniyi combined for 5 points in the first half. Second half the duo combined for 19 points. The senior Griffin had 13 points and six rebounds while the freshman Osunniyi had a double-double 10 points 11 rebounds and four blocks.

Senior Courtney Stockard struggled from field only shooting 1-11 but free throws from him, Griffin and Lofton helped put the game away. The Bonnies as a team shot 16-17 from the line.

Along with the almost perfect free throw shooting from the Bonnies, the Rams went seven and a half minutes without a field goal. During that period the Bonnies went on a 20-3 run that gave them a 21-point lead.

The Bonnies calling card continues to be defense as they move to 15-0 when holding opponents to under 60 points. The Bonnies have also held 10 straight opponents to under 40 percent shooting.

“It’s the best defensive team we’ve had since I’ve been the coach,” Schmidt said. “It’s a mindset. We’re not a great offensive team. We haven’t been a great offensive team all year, but the kids are figuring it out that in order for us to win we’ve got to defend.”

The Bonnies face off against the winner of Saint Louis and Davidson for the Atlantic 10 tournament title and a ticket to the NCAA tournament tomorrow at 1:00.

 

 

PC: GoBonnies.com

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St. Bonaventure takes on Rhode Island in the semifinals

By: Isaiah Blakely 

Two of the hottest teams in the Atlantic 10 square off at 1 p.m. today in the Atlantic 10 tournament semifinals. The Rhode Island Rams (18-14) have won six straight games including yesterday’s upset win over the VCU Rams. Rhode Island is going up against the St. Bonaventure Bonnies (17-15) who have won eight of their last 10 games including their win yesterday over George Mason.

The Bonnies and Rams faced off once during the regular season in Rhode Island where a strong first half from the Rams was enough to beat the Bonnies comfortably 75-63.

Both teams are very different since then. Rhode Island went on a downward spiral winning only three of their next 10 games. While the Bonnies started to trend upward by playing 3-3 in conference play before going on a seven-game win streak.

The biggest change for the Bonnies has been them getting healthy and gaining continuity.

“We got healthy and we got some chemistry, and the freshmen got a lot of confidence and we just started playing,” said Bonnies head coach Mark Schmidt.

The Bonnies have been headlined by freshmen Kyle Lofton and Osun Osunniyi, but freshman Dom Welch’s emergence on the offensive end has helped the Bonnies offense specifically with his perimeter shooting. Welch has hit two or more three pointers in seven of his last 10 games. In the 13 games prior Welch had only hit two or more threes five times.

“It there’s anybody who has made the most strides it’s Dom,” Schmidt said.

For Rhode Island sophomore guard Fatts Russell was the catalyst for the Rams down the stretch of the regular season. In the last five games of the regular season Russell averaged nearly 25 points a game.

Russell has kick started the offense for the whole team. Before this win streak for Rams the were only averaging 54 points per game in their previous five games. During the win streak Rhode Island is averaging nearly 81 points a game.

One of the constants for Rhode Island has been junior Cyril Langevine. Langevine is an All-Conference Second Team and All-Defensive team player. The junior is averaging a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds a game.

A major match up in this game will be Langevine against Osunniyi who is also on All-Defensive team. Langevine is the second leading scorer for Rhode Island while Osunniyi is the anchor for the Bonnies defense averaging more than two blocks a game.

Rhode Island guard Jeff Dowtin against the freshman guard Lofton is going to be the other major match up to watch because both guards have similar numbers to each other, but Dowtin with the edge in points and rebounds. Lofton was in a bit of a shooting slump until last night when he scored 20 points on 6-12 shooting including four three pointers. Dowtin had a big game as well scoring 22 points and making both of his three pointers.

These two teams are looking to book their ticket to the A-10 final on Sunday against the winner of Saint Louis and Davidson.

Freshmen lead Bonnies to quarterfinal win over George Mason

By Jeff Uveino

BROOKLYN— Dominick Welch had the biggest game of his young career, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for St. Bonaventure.

The No. 4 Bonnies men’s basketball team prevailed over the No. 5 George Mason Patriots in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament at Barclays Center, 68-57.

Welch’s impact was felt on both ends of the floor. The freshman scored 20 points and shot 6-12 from beyond the arc, and also had five rebounds and three blocks.

“I’ve been feeling good shooting the ball for awhile now, so once that first one went in, I just felt good,” said Welch.

Bonnies coach Mark Schmidt said it was nice to see Welch have a break-out game after missing time earlier in the season with an injury.

“If there’s anybody that has made the most strides this year, it’s (Welch), said Schmidt. “He’s got a really good sense of how to play now and he’s learned a lot of stuff defensively. He’s got a natural stroke, and when you put confidence on top of that, good things happen.”

Fellow freshman Kyle Lofton quietly scored 20 points of his own for the Bonnies. He shot 4-6 from beyond the arc, and the Bonnies shot 10-24 from there as a team.

Lofton talked about what it was like to see Welch have a break-out game.

“I played against him in prep school a couple of times so I know what he’s capable of,” said Lofton. “I know what type of player he is, and it’s good that he brought it out.”

The Bonnies led almost the whole way, as they took the lead for good with 12:27 remaining in the first half. Each time the Patriots got momentum, SBU took it right back with a big shot or defensive play.

Senior forward LaDarien Griffin added 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Bonnies. He spoke about how important Lofton and Welch are to the team’s success.

“Those guys have been impressive all year,” he said. “Usually when you’re a freshman, it takes a little bit of time to get things down. But those guys jumped on board and I’m proud of them and lucky to have them.”

Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt added to the praise.

“The reason why we’re at where we are is the freshmen,” said Schmidt. “Those three guys (Welch, Lofton, Osun Osunniyi) have really blossomed into great young players. They play like veterans.”

Osunniyi played his usual game of tough defense around the rim for the Bonnies. He scored seven points, pulled down eight rebounds and blocked three shots.

For George Mason (18-15), Justin Kier led with 20 points and Jordan Miller added 13 points. The Patriots out-rebounded the Bonnies, 43-34, but shot just 28% from deep.

GMU’s second-leading scorer, Otis Livingston II, was held to just six points in the loss.

Next up for St. Bonaventure (17-15) is a semifinal date with the Rhode Island Rams on Saturday at 1 p.m. back at the Barclays Center.

 

Bonnies defense leads the way to fifth straight win

photo courtesy of gobonnies@sbu.edu

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

photo courtesy of gobonnies@sbu.edu

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

photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu

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

photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu

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.”