Bonnies fall to Niagara in Heart breaker

By Jeremy Castro

When Nelson Kaputo slipped and fell with around 10 seconds remaining, causing Matt Mobley’s sixth and most crucial turnover, it almost felt like a microcosm for the entire game.

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies men’s basketball team, a team with NCAA tournament aspirations, lost the first game of their season, at home, to the Niagara Purple Eagles by the final score of 77-75.

The Bonnies were slow from the start, finding themselves only scoring ten total points within the first ten minutes of play.

Senior guard Matt Mobley led the way with 7 points, but was 2-11 from the field and 3 of those points were from the foul line. As a team, the Bonnies shot 25.9% from the field in the first half.

By halftime, the Bonnies found themselves down by nine, and by a score of 34-25.

\Head coach Mark Schmidt talked about the offensive struggles in his post-game press conference.

“We played very poor in the first half offensively,” Schmidt said. “I thought being down by 9 [points] at half time was good as we played so bad offensively.”

Coach Schmidt also described why he felt the team struggled in the first half.

“We played tight,” Schmidt said. “We had just one assist in the first half and I think we were 0-8 from three. We had some good looks; we just didn’t play the first 20 minutes the way we needed to play to beat a team of Niagara’s caliber.”

A lot of the talk before, during, and of course after the game was centered around star point guard Jaylen Adams.

Adams injured his left ankle in the team’s exhibition game last Friday against Alfred. Despite suspicions and murmurs on whether or not he would be ready for the game tonight that seem to go on all week, in the end Adams was kept out.

“He is our best player, but we are not going to make any excuses,” Schmidt said.

In the second half, the Bonnies seemed reinvigorated, scoring six quick points in about the span of a minute. However, they just never seemed able to capitalize.

Niagara’s red-shirt senior guard Kahlil Dukes lit up the Reilly Center, ending with total 23 total points on the night, and hitting 6 out of 8 three pointers.

Dukes is one of seven medal winners to return to the program from last season, and the Purple Eagles returned their entire starting five.

The Bonnies were  much better in the second half, with their field goal percentage jumping up to 50%. Not only did the team seem to have new life, but so did the fans. The Reilly Center was rocking and the crowd was back into the game. With 07:47 left in the game, Courtney Stockard hit a straight away three-point shoot which sent the crowd into a frenzy.

This was it. This is where the Bonnies would push on and finish the game out. However, it seemed every time the Bonnies responded, they’d make a mistake keeping them in the hole.

“Every time we got there (close to the lead), we just had a breakdown,” Schmidt said. – a turnover, we didn’t switch on the ball screen correctly.”

Junior forward LaDarien Griffin, who had a career high in rebounds with 10, compared the first and second half.

“(In the second half) we started playing defense,” Griffin said “We started moving the ball. Once we started getting stops and started scoring, then we started chipping at the lead, but we had too many breakdowns at the end.”

One such breakdown was the one I mentioned at the top of this article. With 12 seconds remaining, the ball is given to Matt Mobley with Bonaventure down by three. He brought the ball up the court and, looking for a give-and-go play to open him up for a three point attempt, passes it to Nelson Kaputo. Unfortunately, Kaputo slipped, fell down, and Mobley’s pass went well out of bounds, ending all hope of a comeback. After the comeback the Bonnies staged to get back into the game, it was a heart breaker. But, seeing how the game went, it was not all that surprising, especially missing their star.

“They beat us with the team we had out there,” Schmidt said. “The credit goes to them.”

The Bonnies take on Maryland East Shore at 7:00 PM on Wed. November 15th at the Reilly Center.

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With confidence soaring, Calabrese looking to make an impact this season

By Jeremy Castro

Emily Calabrese, one of five new additions to the St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team, is one of the two freshmen on the squad alongside Abigail Johnson.

Calabrese hails from Wyckoff, New Jersey (about thirty miles outside of New York City) and has played a big impact in how she has developed.

“I really love where I am from,” Calabrese said.

“They really focus on recreational sports and the travel teams are great. This is how I got involved in basketball and has really helped me grow my play and become a really good player.”

Growing up, Calabrese played numerous sports. However, basketball eventually came out on top.

“I was the kid that played all the sports,” Calabrese said.

“Originally, my main sport was soccer. Eventually, my dad asked me if I wanted to start playing basketball and I said I would try it out. It ended up being my favorite sport and I knew(basketball) was the sport I wanted to pursue and play in college.”

 

Calabrese went to Ramapo High School in Ramapo, New Jersey, where she averaged a double-double for her career, recording 17.6 Points and 12.6 rebounds per game during her four years. She was named to multiple selective teams, such as First Team All-North Jersey and Second Team All-State. She is also the only player to record both over 1000 points and 1000 rebounds in the history of Ramapo High School.

When Calabrese came to visit the little school in Olean, New York, she knew right away she belonged.

“The atmosphere, the community, the coaches, everyone was great,” she said. “I knew this is where I wanted to be.”

A lot of this success can be attributed to the confidence that Calabrese has in herself.

“Over time, my confidence (has grown),” Calabrese said.

“I tried out for my AAU team. I didn’t think I was going to make it at first, but I did. That really grew my confidence. I started going to a trainer to help grow my game more. I like being a leader on and off the court.”

Being a freshman, this will be Calabrese’s first taste of Bonnies basketball and she is very much looking forward to it.

“I have an opportunity to really make an impact this year,” Calabrese said.

“Hopefully I can be very positive and play really well to help my team. (Also) to have a successful season in and out of conference. Maybe even make it to the (NCAA) tournament.”

Right before our time together ended, and with both of us New Jersey natives, there was one question that stood above the rest and needed to be answered.

Pork Roll or Taylor Ham?

“Taylor Ham,” Calabrese said.