image courtesy of gobonnies.com
By: Anthony Goss
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. — The St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team hoped to find answers for their early-season miscues Wednesday night against the Coppin State Eagles. Instead, they left Bob Lanier Court with more questions.
The Bonnies started slowly in the first half, unable to separate from 1-9 Coppin State. The inconsistent level of play from the first to second half has become concerning for reigning Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year, Mark Schmidt.
“I didn’t think we played hard in the first half,” Schmidt said. “I thought Coppin played harder than we did. When you play harder, good things can happen.”
A back-and-forth first half saw the Bonnies down 30-29 with just under five minutes to play. The Golden Eagles reeled off 11 straight points, capped off with a Tyree Corbett layup, giving the visiting team a 12-point lead with 2:39 remaining.
The Bonnies quickly responded with an Abdoul Karim Coulibaly three, which cut the deficit to just four at half. The bench production was one of the few bright spots for St. Bonaventure.
Coulibaly finished with 10 points as the Bonnies looked to give him touches inside. Quadry Adams added just four points, but he made his impact defensively.
“I thought Karim and Quadry came in and gave us a lift,” Schmidt said. “Quadry didn’t have a great line, but I thought he played a great defensive game.”
Once again, the Bonnies improved their play in the second half. A pair of Jalen Adaway free throws with 15:45 remaining in the game gave the Bonnies the lead.
Adaway finished with 13 points and 16 rebounds. Senior guard Jaren Holmes led the Bonnies in scoring with 24 points; he also had 10 rebounds.
St. Bonaventure expanded its lead to 13 points, but the Eagles hung around. The starters remained on the court, and senior guard Kyle Lofton took a hard fall with 50 seconds left in the game. Coaches and trainers carried him to the sidelines.
Lofton had 16 points and 9 assists in the game. When asked about Lofton’s status, Schmidt responded, “I am not a doctor.”
The Bonnies won the game, 93-81, but took no solace in their performance against Coppin State.
“I’m not really pleased,” Holmes said. “We’re a better team. We’ll get better, we gotta fix some things. We can’t keep coming out like that.”
The Bonnies improve to 6-1. But with the status of their star point guard in question, they face arguably their biggest test this season Saturday against Buffalo.
The Bonnies need to find answers fast.