Bonnies beat Niagara for sixth-straight win

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By Jeff Uveino

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — The snowstorm that blew through the Southern Tier may have slowed down Wednesday evening commutes.

But it certainly didn’t slow down the offense of the St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team, which shot 50 percent from the field on its way to an 87-70 in over Niagara at the Reilly Center.

SBU did not trail in the game, and led by double-digits for most of the way before surviving a Niagara comeback late in the second half.

The Purple Eagles pulled within six points with just over five minutes to go, but Bona re-gained momentum and went on a 19-8 run to end the game.

Six Bonnies scored in double-digits, including 17 points from Dominick Welch.

Welch shot 5-for-9 from three-point range, and also pulled down eight rebounds and dished out six assists.

“The more guys we have scoring the basketball, the more difficult it is for the opponent to guard us,” Bona head coach Mark Schmidt said. “That’s common sense. When you have six guys who can score, it makes your offense that much more effective.”

Kyle Lofton compiled a double-double, as he had 11 assists to go with 12 points.

“We need him to be a scoring point guard, and that’s what he’s doing,” Schmidt said. “I think he shot the ball much better today, and he’s always been able to pass the ball and be the floor general. We need him to do both.”

It was Lofton’s third game in a row in which he handed out 11 assists, as he previously did it against Hofstra and Gannon.

Alejandro Vasquez scored 14 points for the Bonnies, and Osun Osunniyi was close behind him with 13 points to go with seven rebounds.

Osunniyi said that Schmidt used the fact that Niagara had beaten SBU each of the past two years as motivation.

“Our mindset was that we weren’t going to lose,” Osunniyi said. “Two years ago they stole one here, so we had the mindset that we weren’t going to let them come in and beat us again.”

Rounding out the double-digit scorers for Bona were Amadi Ikpeze, who had 11 points and eight rebounds, and Justin Winston, who scored 10 points.

The Bonnies shot 46 percent from three-point range (12-for-16), and made 17-of-18 free throws.

Niagara was paced by Marcus Hammond, who scored 21 points. Nicholas Kratholm scored 10 points for the Purple Eagles.

The Bonnies out-rebounded Niagara 39-22, including 10-2 on offensive boards.

“We dealt with adversity, which was good to see,” Schmidt said. “There are a lot of positives. But we’ve got a long way to go, both offensively and defensively.”

This was SBU’s sixth-straight win, and the Bonnies now sit at 7-4 on the year. Niagara falls to 2-7 with the loss.

The Bonnies will not play again in the Reilly Center until Jan. 11, as they begin a four-game road trip at Middle Tennessee on Saturday.

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.

Men’s basketball: Bonnies top Niagara in Big 4 Classic

(Photo Credit:

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

BUFFALO — The blowout that was anticipated when the St. Bonaventure Bonnies men’s basketball team met the three-win Niagara Purple Eagles on Saturday afternoon at KeyBank Center never came to fruition, but it didn’t have to.

Niagara stayed within reach, trailing by just three points at halftime and refusing to allow the deficit get larger than 15 points, but the Bonnies coasted to a 79-69 win in the Big 4 Classic matchup to improve to 7-3.

Per usual, St. Bonaventure point guard Jaylen Adams put on a show, scoring 11 consecutive points in less than two minutes to extend a five-point lead to 13 with 11:19 remaining. It was a familiar display of NBA-range three-pointers and spectacular layups for the Baltimore native, who totaled 23 points on the day, his seventh game this season with at least 20 points.

Continue reading “Men’s basketball: Bonnies top Niagara in Big 4 Classic”

Softball: Bonnies sweep Niagara in doubleheader

By Katie Faulkner @kfaulkner20

After a 9-1 win in game one, Emily McDonough and the Bonnies got their offense moving early again in their second game against Niagara on Tuesday afternoon.

McDonough continued her hot streak at the plate in the bottom of the first inning when she singled to left field. A Hailey Blencowe groundout, followed by a Grace Rooney single, would plate McDonough for the game’s first run.  Katie Sinclair then drove in Rooney before Emily Belfield would bring them both home on a homerun over the left field fence. The Bonnies led 4-0 through two innings.

In the top of the third, with the bases loaded, Briana Clark drove one to left field, bringing in Katelyn Gruarin to cut the Bonnies lead to 4-1. However, Emily Belfield would come up big again by bringing Rooney home for the center fielder’s third RBI of the day.

In the top of the fourth, Alexis Sloat would replace Kristin Hickling, who gave up two hits in three innings on the mound.  Victoria Bretz singled to center field and Jessica Chandler reached first on a fielder’s choice, but the purple eagles would not score. Niagara would get three quick outs in the bottom of the fourth to hold the Bonnies at 5-1.

With bases loaded in the top of the fifth, the Bonnies would bring in Carly Bilchak to relieve Sloat.  Brianna Clark would score on a wild pitch, but the purple eagles would leave runners on 2nd and 3rd.  The Bonnies would lead 5-2 entering the bottom of the fifth.

Katelyn Gruarin would earn a walk and steal second with two outs.  An RBI single by Deserae Maldanado would plate Gruarin and make it 5-3 heading into the bottom of the sixth.

The Purple Eagles would try to rally in the top of the seventh, but the Bonnies were able to hang onto their lead for the 5-3 victory to finish the 2-game sweep.

Junior Alexis Sloat would earn the win for the Bonnies and Carly Bilchak earned her first save of the season, allowing one run in 2.2 innings.

The 11-19 Bonnies will face Marist in a double header on Thursday.

Men’s soccer: #Bonnies fall to Niagara in OT

By Nate Discavage, @DiscavageSavage

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies dropped their second game of the season, 1-0 against the Niagara Purple Eagles in overtime.

Niagara sophomore, Nicholas Watson (Greenville, S.C.) kicked the game winning goal with 7:18 left in the extra period. The win pushed Niagara to 3-3 while the Bonnies fell to 0-2.

Bonaventure was limited to three shots in the first half before exploding for 10 shots in the second. Freshman Kieran Toland (Renfrewshire, Scotland) led the team with four shots. Garret Pasano (Rochester, N.Y.) and Jimmy Barrios (New Rochelle, N.Y.) both registered two shots against Niagara.

Redshirt senior Jeremy Figler (Grant Island, N.Y.) made four saves for the Bonnies, including two highlight reel, diving saves.

Julian Ekeze (Brockport, N.Y.) led Niagara with four shots. Goalkeeper, Joel Gerberich (Akron, Ohio) made six saves for the Purple Eagles in the shutout. Gerberich made an impressive save when Toland took a free-kick from just outside the goal box in the 75th minute. Andrew Ferguson (Ontario, Canada) registered the assist on the game-winning goal.

The Bonnies look for their first win of the season next Sunday when they travel to New Jersey to face off with the Rider Broncos (2-1-1). The Purple Eagles will return home to host the University of Detroit on Sunday.