NEW: Bonnies rout GW for largest-ever A-10 win

photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu

By Jeff Uveino

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — The George Washington men’s basketball team came to the Reilly Center on Friday looking to pull off an upset over St. Bonaventure. SBU’s red-hot offense made it known early that an upset wasn’t going to happen.

Bona (13-3, 11-3 A-10) erupted for 88 points while shooting 58% from the field and 51% from 3-point range on its way to an 88-41 win over the Colonials (4-11, 3-5 A-10). It was the largest Atlantic 10 win in program history.

Bona junior guard Dominick Welch set the game tempo early by hitting four 3-point shots in the first half. That’s one less than the five triples that Welch hit in the first half at Davidson on Wednesday.

Welch was one of five Bonnies to reach double-digit scoring, as he scored 12 of his 14 points in the first half before sitting for the majority of the second half, as did nearly all of head coach Mark Schmidt’s starters.

“We came off two big wins and it could have been a let-down, we had one day to prepare, but our guys really really responded,” Schmidt said. “It was great to see, and I’m really proud of their effort.”

The Bonnies jumped out to a double-digit lead in the game’s first nine minutes and held it the rest of the way, leading 42-21 at halftime before out-scoring GW 46-20 in the second half.

Bona junior guard Jaren Holmes finished with 18 points, while sophomore guard AJ Vazquez scored 18 off the bench to match Holmes’ game-high total.

“This game was not an easy one at all,” Holmes said. “We just came out and played hard. We played with energy and we were excited to be out here.”

Junior guard Kyle Lofton racked up a double-double with 12 points and 10 assists, while junior forward Jalen Adaway scored 11 points.

“You play one possession at a time, and when you get up by 20 (points), the goal is by the next timeout, you want to be up by 30,” Schmidt said. “You’re up by 30, the goal for the next timeout is you want to be up by 40. That’s how you do it.”

The Bonnies set a new season-high by hitting 15 3-point field goals, which bested the 11 triples they hit in each of their last two games. SBU has now shot over 50% from distance in three-consecutive games.

“It’s always needed,” Schmidt said of his team’s 3-point shooting. “Our guys deserve to make those shots. They’re always in the gym. We were missing (the shots) early in the season, but it wasn’t because we weren’t in the gym working at it. You knew it was going to happen. We have good shooters.”

The Bonnies held the Colonials to 33% shooting from the field and 15% from distance. Jamison Battle led GW with 10 points, while James Bishop, the A-10’s leading scorer entering Friday, was held to six points on 2-of-7 shooting.

“That’s the staple,” Schmidt said of his defense. “That’s how you win. We’re not going to shoot 15-for-29 (from distance) every game. You win championships, you win at this level, by playing defense and rebounding. Our guys understand that.”

With the win, SBU remained undefeated at home and stepped one win closer to the regular-season Atlantic 10 championship title. With a win over Dayton on Monday, the Bonnies can clinch at least a share of the A-10 regular-season title, as well as the top seed in next week’s conference tournament.

“If you take care of your business, everything is fine,” Schmidt said. “We control our own destiny. Even though it’s the last game of the regular season, we prepare the same way for everybody.”

With one game left in its regular season, St. Bonaventure controls its own destiny. After Friday’s win, nearly the entire Bona team crowded around a baseline camera. Each player pointed one finger in the air, signifying the final victory that the team needs to clinch the A-10’s top spot.

“It just feels good to get another win and (be) one step closer to an A-10 regular-season championship,” Holmes said. “We’re on a mission right now. I think we’re completely locked in as a team, and as a family.”

After sweeping Davidson, Bonnies look for strong finish to regular season

photo courtesy of Tim Cowie/gobonnies.sbu.edu

By Anthony Goss

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — After a challenging start to the week, the St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team is back home to wrap up the regular season and prepare for the postseason. However, the position that the Bonnies are currently stands in did not come without adversity.  

Though his teammates have urged him to hunt for his shot offensively, Bona junior guard Jalen Adaway has hesitated to take that step in his game. Wednesday night may have given him the push he needed.  

“He was hesitant all game. He really struggled,” said Bona head coach Mark Schmidt. “We always talk about dealing with adversity, and he dealt with it.” 

Adaway dealt with this adversity by sinking the go-ahead 3-pointer that sealed St. Bonaventure’s (12-3, 10-3 A-10) regular-season sweep of the Davidson Wildcats (11-7, 6-4 A-10) in a 56-53 victory. Adaway finished with 14 points on 6-of-16 shooting from the field, but believed he could perform better. 

“Sometimes I can be hesitant,” Adaway said. “I’m looking forward to watching more film today so I can correct those mistakes.” 

Overcoming adversity was a key theme for St. Bonaventure on Wednesday night, and Adaway’s heroics were a microcosm of that. After a 9-for-15 start from beyond the arc, the Bonnies went cold. After several long scoring droughts in the final 15 minutes, they saw a 14-point advantage dwindle and the Wildcats found their way back into the game.  

“We could have folded…. we missed some shots, we weren’t executing, missed a lot of layups,” SBU head coach Mark Schmidt said. “It didn’t affect our defense and that’s why we won.” 

As the final buzzer sounded after the win, the adversity was overcome as jubilant coaches, players and managers dashed to embrace one another on Bob McKillop Court at Belk Arena.  

“It was a very good win… it was an up and down game and they came back,” said junior guard Dominick Welch, who secured the game-winning rebound. “We’re all just in an exciting spot right now, we’re all just really happy and motivated.” 

The Bonnies head home now, and will look to stay motivated when they conclude their regular season with a pair of home games, the first coming against the George Washington Colonials on Friday.  

This is the final scheduled regular-season game for a GW team that is coming off a 63-58 loss to George Mason on Wednesday night.  

The Colonials’ 4-10 overall and 3-4 Atlantic 10 record hardly possesses an intimidation factor, but the Colonials have the leading scorer in the A-10 in James Bishop and the fifth leading scorer in Jamison Battle, who average 20.1 and 18.3 points per game, respectively.  

After holding preseason all-conference guard Kellan Grady to just two points on 1-of-7 shooting in their last game, the Bonnies will look to carry this defensive momentum into their next matchup.  

“Just attention to detail,” Adaway said. “I think it’s the same mentality going into tomorrow’s matchup. I think we are going to be locked in, and just play from start to finish.” 

Given the offensive ability of the Colonials, they do, however, pose one of the weaker defenses in the league. They are 10th in the A-10 in defensive field goal percentage and defensive three-point field goal percentage. With the Bonnies’ hot shooting from deep as of late, this could be an area where Schmidt’s team attacks. St. Bonaventure has shot 52.4% from 3-point range in its last two contests.  

“It’s really good to see all our shots starting to fall,” Welch said. “We have guys that can really shoot on the team.” 

Bona will tip off against the Colonials Friday night at 6 p.m. The game can be seen on ESPN+. 

“We used to be the hunter, now we are the hunted,” Welch said. “So we know we are going to get every team’s best shot.”