Bonnies Prevail Over Bulls 73-62 in Adams’ Return

By Sean Lynch

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies (5-2) were victorious on Saturday over the Buffalo Bulls (4-3) at Alumni Arena in Amherst.

Guard Jaylen Adams returned for his first game action of the regular season after he injured his ankle in an exhibition game against Alfred State University on Nov. 4.

Working his way back into a normal playing cycle, Adams logged 28 minutes and had 9 points, 4 rebounds and a pair of assists and steals.

Guard CJ Massinburg scored a three pointer to push the Bulls to their largest lead of the game with 31-25 with 3:25 left in the first half. The Bulls went into the second half with a 35 – 32 lead over the Bonnies.

The Bonnies tied it up 51-51 with 10:35 left when they pushed for four points to close the gap. The Bonnies would hold the Bulls basketless for the next 8 minutes of the game until forward Nick Perkins ended the run with a three-point basket with 39 seconds left in the contest.

Guard Matt Mobley led the charge for Bonas with a game-high 25 points – his fourth 20-point game of the season. Mobley also added three rebounds and a steal.

The defense stepped up for the Bonnies as they held the Bulls to 33.9 % shooting from the field and 24.1 % from three-point range for the game. The Bonnies were also plagued with foul trouble as they had 14 fouls in the first half of the game.

The Bonnies next challenge will come in the form of an away game against the Canisius Golden Griffins Wednesday, Nov. 6 at the Koessler Center at 7 p.m.

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With injuries behind him, Stockard ready to prove the doubters wrong

By Mike Hogan

Courtney Stockard is no stranger to adversity.

The junior-transfer forward has suffered not one, but two major foot injuries that have kept him out for his first two seasons so far here at St. Bonaventure University. The addition of Stockard a few seasons ago brought along a lot of hype, but the momentum was halted by injury setbacks.

That is, until Stockard returned to the court last Saturday in an exhibition win against Alfred University. Stockard scored 20 points and shot 6-7 from the field, while adding a steal in his first on-court action in 32 months.   

Reporter Mike Hogan sat down with Stockard to discuss his journey back and his vision for his remaining time at St. Bonaventure.

Your Bonaventure career has previously been put on hold due to two serious foot injuries, what were these setbacks like for you and what did you learn about yourself?

Stockard: I learned how mentally tough I am. Sitting out for two years, watching the team has made me mentally tough and let me see the game from a different perspective.

What was the rehab process like during both injuries?

Stockard: It was a very long process. I’m glad that I’ve gotten through it. I’m glad it’s over, and I’m glad that I’m able to go back out there and compete.

What is one thing that you want to tell the fans that may think that you’re not the same player anymore after going through these injuries?

Stockard: Just that I’ve put in the work. I have faith in the process, and I have faith in my skill set. I put in enough work to help me get back to that player I once was.

In what ways are you looking to contribute to this year’s squad?

Stockard: I just want to be the guy that will give us a lift on defense. I want to be able to take some of the scoring burden off of Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley when they are getting keyed in on. I’ll just bring energy to the floor.

Now that you are back and healthy, what are you looking to accomplish overall during the rest of your time here at Bonaventure? And what do you think about the higher expectations for this team?

Stockard: My biggest goal is getting to the tournament with this group of guys. We want to develop that brotherhood, it’s a team goal. We’re thankful that everyone is realizing the talent that we have, but we don’t really feed into it. We’ve kept the same mindset that we’ve had in the past. We just have to stay hungry and treat it like we’re ranked last.

Men’s basketball: Delaware preview

By Jeff Fasoldt,  @Jeff_Fasoldt

 

The Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens are 0-10 with a few tough three/four point losses on their résumé so far. They are desperate to get a ‘W’ on the board as they take on the St. Bonaventure University Bonnies at the Bob Carpenter Center Tuesday night at 7.

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies men’s basketball team will look to bounce back after a tough loss to Maryland-Eastern Shore a week ago at the Reilly Center that dropped the Bonnies record to 7-3 with losses coming to Siena, Pitt and Maryland-Eastern Shore so far. 

A-10 play begins January third against UMass, so it’s important Bonnies head coach, Mark Schmidt, has all the kinks worked out of his young team as the battles begin.

Delaware is desperate and this could be a “trap game” for the brown and white with the big game against UMass right around the corner.

Here’s a full breakdown for the game Tuesday night:

The Coaches:

St. Bonaventure- Mark Schmidt. 114-112 as Bonnies head coach.

Delaware- Monté Ross. 115-141 as Blue Hens head coach

Key players for the Blue Hens:

Kyle Anderson- 6-3 senior guard. Has only played in three games for the Blue Hens this season but has been strong averaging 17.7 points per game and is shooting it well from beyond the arc at 33 percent. He ranked third in University of Delaware history in three pointers coming into the season with 215.

Cazmon Hayes- 6-4 sophomore guard. Has played all ten games for Delaware this season and has strong numbers at 13.9 points per game, 33 percent from three-point range and is averaging 3.4 rebounds per game. Hayes leads the Hens with 10 steals on the season.

Key to victory for the Blue Hens: 

Control the tempo. Bonaventure is a team that likes to run and get up and down the court. They will trap you, go for steals, do pretty much anything to force you to turn the ball over or set their team up for a fast-break. The Blue Hens will have to slow it down, set up their offense and hit open shots, which they’ve done all season despite their record.

Keys to victory for Bonaventure:

Don’t overlook the Hens. This Delaware team is 0-10 but that doesn’t matter at all. They’ve been missing two of their best players in Marvin King-Davis and Kyle Anderson to start the year and they now have them back. They only lost their last game at Robert Morris by three and they are desperate for a win and out for blood. Remember, this is a team that won the Colonial Athletic Association last year and advanced to the NCAA tournament.

My prediction: Bonaventure’s size wins this one for Mark Schmidt in a battle that will be surprisingly close to a lot of people, 66-59.

 

Big-men lead Bonnies to victory over Bulls

By Jeff Fasoldt, @Jeff_Fasoldt

The St. Bonaventure University Bonnies defeated the University at Buffalo Bulls 72-63 to clean sweep the “Big 4” for the first time since the 2011-2012 season with wins over Canisius, Niagara and Buffalo.

Content with running the court and feeding the ball to their big men inside the Bonnies dominated the paint, outscoring the Bulls 42-28.

Youssou Ndoye led the Bonnies in rebounding with 13 and scored 17 inside while and Dion Wright led Bonaventure in scoring with 19 and grabbed eight boards for himself.

“Ndoye is definitely a big presence,” said Shannon Evans, Buffalo’s leading scorer (21). He made some big shots early and got them going tonight.”

In the first half an impressive defensive effort by the brown and white held the Bulls to just 22 percent shooting and just 18 points.

Justin Moss, who coming into this matchup was the only player in the MAC Conference that is top-five in rebounding (9.2 per game) and scoring (17.6) had a team-high 14 rebounds but was held to just eight points.

The Bulls, who trailed the entire game, made a run in the second half off some three-pointers from Shannon Evans and Will Regan to cut the Bonnies lead to seven, but ultimately fell short as the Bonnies defense was just too much for them to handle.

Continue reading “Big-men lead Bonnies to victory over Bulls”

Gregg and Smith Look to Make Sophomore Leap

By Chuckie Maggio, @chuckiemaggio 

It’s not exactly a secret that St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt isn’t the biggest fan of giving freshmen a great deal of playing time. After all, Andrew Nicholson was the only Bona frosh to get starter’s minutes in the Schmidt era, and he was ready for big minutes the second he got to Olean.

Class of 2017 recruits Denzel Gregg and Xavier Smith followed in the line of first-year players who had to watch and learn from the bench. Gregg, a 6-7 forward from Syracuse, N.Y., averaged eight minutes and two points a game. Smith, a 6-8 forward from Plano, Texas, averaged 3.5 minutes and 0.5 points a contest.

They didn’t always see the floor, but the duo had plenty of learning experiences. It’s always an adjustment going from high school to college ball, and the learning curve is steep.

“(The game’s) a lot more physical and a lot faster,” said Gregg. “You just have to put more time into it: watching more film, getting plays printed out by the coaches and studying them; it’s a lot more work than high school.”

“There are a lot more plays,” noted Smith. “You have to be a lot more prepared and focused. You have to listen to what the coaches are telling you because they’ve been here for multiple years and know how the game goes. If you do what they say, you’ll get there.”

Outside of practice and workouts on campus, the sophomores got some valuable experience over the summer to aid their improvement.

Smith and junior forward Dion Wright were invited to participate in six-game European goodwill tours in August. Smith played with players from big-time schools like Villanova, Kansas State, SMU and Santa Clara.

“(The trip) was really helpful for me,” Smith said. “By playing with those players, I was able to compare the level they were at to my own game, and we played against pros who actually got paid for playing.”

While most players stay at Bonaventure for the majority of the summer, Gregg took classes online and participated in a summer league back in Syracuse called King of Kings.

Gregg, who played for Utica Select, got the chance to compete against many former college and professional players; one of the most recognizable was former Syracuse standout Brandon Triche. Alumni of the league include NBA players Jimmer Fredette, Michael Carter-Williams and Kris Joseph.

“It was a learning experience, getting to play against pros and ex-Division I guys,” Gregg said. “It’s good to see where you stand and where you fit. It was fun to play against people who are going what you’re going through.”

The work Gregg and Smith put in this offseason is all part of their aspiration to make the “sophomore leap” this winter. Their roles will be expanded this season, with more minutes and more chances to help the Bonnies win games.

SBU saw a textbook example of a second-year player making the most of his opportunity last year with the aforementioned Dion Wright.

Wright played sparingly in his freshman year, averaging just six minutes of floor time a game with 2.8 points and 1.9 rebounds. However, his work ethic over the 2013 offseason paid off and he improved in every statistical category, playing just under 22 minutes a game and averaging 8.7 points and 4.8 boards. This year figures to be even better for number 21.

Gregg and Smith are definitely in position to make a similar leap in 2014-15, and they are ready for the challenge.

“It’s exciting,” Gregg said. “Nothing’s given to you, but if we continue to work hard we can both make a big jump from our freshman year. Roles are still being earned, so we’ll find out as time goes on.”

“We lost a lot of players so there are minutes on the table. We just have to work everyday to earn them,” said Smith. “As practice goes on, we’ll figure out the best role for each individual.”

The losses of Charlon Kloof, Matthew Wright and Marquise Simmons (48% of the team’s scoring last season) to graduation have led many prognosticators to doubt the Bonnies. SBU was predicted to finish 10th by a panel of Atlantic 10 media members and coaches.

Gregg downplayed the preseason predictions, accentuating the fact that the lack of respect paid to the team is nothing new.

“Last year they were talking about all the players we lost too; it’s something we’re used to,” he said. “All it means is that (we) have to step up to replace what we lost.”

Smith agreed with Gregg. “We got a lot of new players, but we lost a lot of players too. We have to find a way to replace them with our strengths,” he said.

The two sophomores, who have been roommates since they entered the school in the fall of 2013, have big goals for the season.

“Individually, I just want to get better and improve in every statistical category,” Gregg said. “(My) team goal is 20-plus wins.”

“Individually, I want to help out my team with whatever minutes I get,” Smith said. “(My) team goal is postseason play.”

If these two can do what Wright did in his second season, look for the Bonnies to make some major noise come March.

 

Men and women’s national teams found success in FIBA World Cup

By Jason Klaiber 

The national basketball teams for both men and women can relate by way of the competitive fires in each of their players’ bellies. This need to be the best is definitive of “the American way,” so it serves as no surprise that these two teams, both representing the USA, came out on top in their respective FIBA World tournaments.

Last Sunday, with Geno Auriemma at the coaching helm, the women’s team defeated Spain 77-64 to lift the gold trophy in Istanbul’s Fenerbahce Arena and conclude the tournament. After beating France in the quarterfinals and then Australia in the semifinals, this was the USA women’s tenth appearance in the championship game and, upon their triumph over Spain, their ninth time winning it all.

The team handled a comfortable lead over first-time finalists Spain throughout the course of the game. USA led by 11 points going into the second quarter and towered over Spain 48-29 entering halftime, owing much to Maya Moore’s contribution of 16 points in the first half.

USA maintained their display of terrific defense and scoring in the second half, constructing a 67-48 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Spain still had some life in them, though, as proven by their late rally in the final 10 minutes of play. Spain went on to execute a 16-10 run, but to no avail. USA still managed to win in convincing fashion.

Having collected 18 points in her effort, Moore was named Most Valuable Player. Along with teammate Brittney Griner, Spain’s duo of Alba Torrens and Sancho Lyttle, and Australia’s Penny Taylor were named to the All-Tournament Team.

This victory also made point guard Sue Bird, who now possesses three gold medals and one bronze, the most decorated player in the history of the tournament.

The women’s tournament success compliments that of the men, who earned their gold trophy on Sept. 14 after cruising past Serbia 129-92 in the championship game. The USA men, led in great part by point guard and tournament MVP Kyrie Irving, also knocked off Turkey, Finland, New Zealand, the Dominican Republic, Ukraine, Mexico, Slovenia and Lithuania.

This was the third year ever, after 1986 and 2010, in which both the men and women’s teams claimed the gold in their respective tournament runs.

Men’s basketball: #Bonnies beat Saint Louis, advance to semifinals

By Chuckie Maggio, @ChuckieMaggio

With 20 seconds on the clock and the game knotted at 68, the St. Bonaventure Bonnies had the ball with a chance to win the game.

Bonnies point guard Charlon Kloof took a couple slow dribbles down the court, trying to plan his attack to the basket. He drove, was engulfed by two defenders and passed the ball out to Jordan Gathers at the top of the key.

What happened next will go down in Bonaventure lore. Gathers jumped, let it fly- and watched as the ball swished in as the buzzer sounded. The nine-seeded Bonnies had pulled off the upset over the top-seeded Saint Louis Billikens, 71-68. The crowd erupted as the players mobbed Gathers. He may not have been the leading scorer (he scored five points), but no one would remember that after this one. Gathers was the hero.

“When I let it go, I knew it was going in,” Gathers said. “Charlon gave me a great pass and I just tried to make a play.”

Gathers, just like every player, had dreamed this scenario before countless times in his head.

“It’s every player’s dream to hit the big shot there. I give all the glory to God,” he said.

Continue reading “Men’s basketball: #Bonnies beat Saint Louis, advance to semifinals”

Second annual basketball tournament to remember late John J. Watson

By Rebecca Gunning, @Beck2141

The second annual John J. Watson Memorial 3v3 Basketball Tournament will be held at St. Bonaventure University this Saturday in the Reilly Center Arena beginning at 11 a.m. This event is in honor of John J. Watson, a marketing professor who passed away in May of 2012.

Like last year, the tournament is being run by a group of five students who are in Dr. Mike Russell’s Event and Sponsorship Marketing class. The students are seniors Alex Lewis, Sarah Gaulin, Alyssa Primerano, Tyler Pauly and Kayla Cronin.

“It was a good event to pick because it was successful last year and Dr. Watson was a big fan of basketball,” said Lewis, a marketing major. “We wanted to do something in remembrance of a great professor who impacted the business department.”

Continue reading “Second annual basketball tournament to remember late John J. Watson”