Duquesne gets revenge, beats Bonnies in overtime

photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu

By Jeff Uveino

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — Two and a half weeks ago, the St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team outlasted Duquesne on the road.

On Wednesday night at the Reilly Center, the Dukes returned the favor.

Duquesne survived a late-game Bona comeback before forcing overtime and beating the Bonnies, 81-77.

Sincere Carry found himself at the free throw line in multiple game-changing scenarios for the Dukes, including when he hit two free throws to force overtime.

Then, with six seconds left in the extra stanza and Duquesne leading by two, the sophomore guard hit two more free throws to end Bona’s hopes of last-minute magic.

Carry finished with 18 points, including four in the overtime period.

“I thought Duquesne got off to a better start and had more energy than us in the first half, but our guys really responded coming out of halftime,” Bona head coach Mark Schmidt said. “We took the lead and then it was back and forth, but we had our opportunities.”

Michael Hughes, who was matched up with Bona center Osun Osunniyi for much of the game, also had 18 points.

“I thought Hughes hurt us at the end of the game,” Schmidt said. “He had two or three jump hooks. He didn’t have his best game, but he’s a great player.”

Hughes had four points in the final two minutes of regulation, as well as a big bucket with less than two minutes left in overtime.

“(Hughes) knows how to play in the post and he has good moves,” Osunniyi said. “I gave him too much position inside and he got some easy buckets later in the game, which hurt us a lot.”

Osunniyi had 23 points and 13 rebounds of his own, shooting 10-for-15 from the field.

“They out-toughed us in the first half, and we tried to play harder in the second half,” Osunniyi said. “When you play a good team like that, you can’t have mental lapses.”

Neither team helped itself offensively, as the Bonnies and Dukes combined to shoot 27 percent from 3-point range and 60 percent from the free throw line. Each team forced 16 turnovers.

“They made one more play than we did,” Schmidt said. “We had a great game against them (on the road) and we had another great one against them tonight, but we came out on the short end this time.”

Jaren English had 15 points for the Bonnies, while Kyle Lofton scored 14 points.

English was forced into Lofton’s usual point guard position late in regulation when Lofton went down with an apparent ankle injury, but the sophomore was able to come back into the game after a minimal stint on the bench.

Dominick Welch picked up his sixth double-double of the season, as he scored 10 points to go along with 14 rebounds.

Lamar Norman Jr. put up 14 points for the Dukes, while Tavian Dunn-Martin, who lit up Bona in the teams’ first matchup, finished with nine points.

“You have to pick your poison with them,” Schmidt said. “Do you double team Hughes and then give up open three’s, or guard him straight up?”

The win was monumental for Duquesne’s Atlantic 10 tournament seeding hopes, as the Dukes moved to 9-6 in the league and 19-8 overall, good enough for a share of fifth place.

SBU fell to 10-5 in the A10 and 18-10 overall. The Bonnies now sit in fourth place in the A10, after Richmond defeated George Washington on Wednesday night to move to 11-3.

Up next for Bona is a Saturday trip to La Salle, where tip off is scheduled for 2 p.m.

“We have competitive guys in our locker room and they’re upset that we lost,” Schmidt said. “We’ll come back in 24 hours and get ready for La Salle. That’s always been the mentality.”

Lofton’s big shot leads Bonnies to road win over Duquesne

photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu

By Jeff Uveino

MOON TOWNSHIP, PA — When Sincere Carry tied the game, all of the momentum was in Duquesne’s favor.

The Dukes had completed a 9-0 run after trailing for the entire second half, and prompted a hearty roar from a rowdy UPMC Events Center crowd.

However, St. Bonaventure guard Kyle Lofton didn’t seem to mind.

With 1:14 left in the game, Lofton nailed a three-pointer to put the Bonnies men’s basketball team up for good on its way to an 83-80 win over the Dukes on Saturday afternoon.

“I knew I was going to be the one to shoot it,” Lofton said. “In that type of moment, the coaches trust me. They depended on me, so I was confident and I stuck it.”

The shot was just one of many big-time offensive plays in the game, as the teams traded blows the whole way in front of a crowd that featured a sea of both Bona’s brown and white, and the blue and red of the Dukes.

Lofton hit five of his six shot attempts from beyond the arc. He finished with 21 points and seven assists.

“The thing I was most proud of was that whenever they made a play, we answered,” Bona head coach Mark Schmidt said. “To be able to do that against a really good team shows that we’re growing.”

Seven players reached double-digit scoring in the game, and the teams combined to shoot 24-for-54 from beyond the arc (44 percent).

 Jaren English scored 15 points for the Bonnies, the sixth time this season that he has reached that number.

Dom Welch added 14 points and nine rebounds, while Osun Osunniyi racked up 12 points and nine rebounds.

“I think (the win) shows our character and toughness, and what we can be in the future,” Lofton said. “We have guys that can score the ball, and it was good to have multiple guys in double figures.”

Duquesne’s three-point shooting kept it in the game the entire way, as the Dukes hit on 14-of-34 triples.

Tavian Dunn-Martin shot 7-for-15 on his own from beyond the arc on his way to a game-high 25 points.

After being held scoreless in the first half, Carry came alive in the second and finished with 17 points. Baylee Steele added 15 points for the Dukes.

“The game plan was to try to take away their inside game,” Schmidt said. “Even though they played really well, we still made the plays that we needed to make. Everybody did what they needed to do.”

With Osunniyi in foul trouble for much of the first half, Amadi Ikpeze played 15 minutes off the bench and put up four points to go with six rebounds. Osunniyi played just over 24 minutes.

The win boosted SBU to 16-8 overall, while Duquesne fell to 17-6 overall.

More importantly, it moved the Bonnies to 8-3 in Atlantic 10 play, while the Dukes fell to 7-4.

The teams will meet again at the Reilly Center on Feb. 26 in a game that could potentially have a large impact on seeding for the A-10 tournament in March.

However, Schmidt said that he isn’t looking that far ahead.

“You learn how to win by winning,” Schmidt said. “We can’t get satisfied and we can’t get comfortable.”

The Bonnies will travel to St. Joseph’s on Tuesday to play the Hawks, who are 0-9 in the A10.

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

Men’s basketball: Bonnies overcome pesky Dukes, complete season sweep

(Photo Credit: GoBonnies.com)

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

The St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team has made Atlantic 10 play interesting this year- for better or worse.

With 6:50 to play in Saturday’s Homecoming game against Duquesne, the Bonnies led by 14 and appeared to be on their way to a comfortable victory. At the buzzer, however, the Dukes had a shot at sending the game into overtime.

Fortunately for SBU, Duquesne guard Mike Lewis II’s heave missed the target and Bona achieved an 80-77 win, its 10th in conference play. In front of a sellout crowd of 5,480, the brown and white improved to 18-10 overall and 10-6 in the Atlantic 10 with two regular season games remaining.

Continue reading “Men’s basketball: Bonnies overcome pesky Dukes, complete season sweep”

Men’s basketball: Bonnies’ quest for program history continues against Duquesne

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

When the end of the regular season is coming up, winning out is always the goal for any team.

For the St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team, however, there’s some added motivation to win the three remaining games before the Atlantic 10 Tournament. Running the table would not only supply a copious amount of momentum going into Pittsburgh, it would also make history.

If the Bonnies (17-10, 9-6) win Saturday’s Homecoming game against Duquesne, Wednesday’s game at Davidson and next Saturday’s regular season finale against UMass, they will become the first team in program history to win at least 20 regular season games in back-to-back seasons.

“We’re trying to make history,” remarked junior guard Matt Mobley, who said the coaching staff told the team about the opportunity.

Accomplishing such a feat was tougher in previous eras, when seasons were shorter and the task of reaching 20 victories before postseason play was more difficult. But regardless, 20 wins is a valued benchmark of a successful team, and history is history.

Davidson figures to be the biggest roadblock in Bona’s way, but no one’s looking ahead. After all, Duquesne (10-18, 3-12) did have a 34-33 lead at halftime of the first meeting on Feb. 1, forcing SBU to earn a 71-64 win.

Continue reading “Men’s basketball: Bonnies’ quest for program history continues against Duquesne”

Women’s basketball: Bonnies celebrate seniors, battle league-leading Duquesne

(Photo Credit: GoBonnies.com)

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

The St. Bonaventure women’s basketball seniors play what may be their final game in the Reilly Center on Sunday at 1, and it’s a big one against league-leading Duquesne.

Bonaventure honors seniors Katie Healy, Emily Michael, Kelcie Rombach and Nyla Rueter before the matinee. The group has not lost at the RC since Feb. 25, 2015.

The Bonnies (22-6, 11-4 in the A-10) would strengthen their NCAA Tournament chances with a win over the Dukes (25-3, 13-2 in the A-10), who have lost just one game in their last ten games.

Continue reading “Women’s basketball: Bonnies celebrate seniors, battle league-leading Duquesne”

Men’s basketball: Bonnies down Dukes in tournament-like atmosphere

(Photo Credit: GoBonnies.com)

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

The St. Bonaventure student body, undeterred by midterms and upcoming travel plans, raised the volume level notch by notch, doing its best to lift the men’s basketball team to its 19th victory.

The team delivered, outlasting Duquesne for a 80-76 victory at the Reilly Center. After a VCU loss, SBU (19-7, 11-4) moved to just one game back of first place in the A-10.

As he has often in these past few weeks, sophomore point guard Jaylen Adams led the way. Adams scored 18 of his 24 points in the second half, with five assists and three rebounds as well. He was 5-of-12 from the field and 12-of-14 from the free throw line.

Senior forward Dion Wright added 15 points and eight rebounds, while senior guard Marcus Posley scored 11 and junior forward Denzel Gregg had 10.

The talk of an at-large bid can continue, although these Bonnies are showing some pre-tournament ability to survive and advance.

Continue reading “Men’s basketball: Bonnies down Dukes in tournament-like atmosphere”

Men’s basketball: SBU returns home to host Duquesne

(Photo Credit: Erik Schelkun, Elsestar Images)

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

After a rollercoaster ride away from home last week, the St. Bonaventure Bonnies men’s basketball team heads back home on Wednesday at 7 against Duquesne.

The last time Bona was at home, a win over George Washington in front of a sellout crowd vaulted the team into the bubble conversation for the NCAA Tournament. Three days later, the bubble seemed to burst after a complete letdown at La Salle, only to be restored after Saturday’s upset win at Dayton.

A lot can happen in a week.

Continue reading “Men’s basketball: SBU returns home to host Duquesne”