Bonnies stun Bruins in first NCAA Tournament win since 1970

By Josh Svetz and Sean Lynch

The last time the St. Bonaventure Bonnies won a game in the NCAA Tournament, there were no cell phones, laptops and the fad known as disco was not even invented yet.

The alumni that lived around the time of Bonaventure’s 1970 Final Four run swear the Bonnies would have won the championship if Bob Lanier was healthy. The Bonnies would have got a shot against the UCLA Bruins, a powerhouse of the decade.

Over forty years later, those alumni can finally take solace in the game that wasn’t.

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies, a school of fewer than 1,800 students, beat the UCLA Bruins, a school that has that many kids in its intro classes, 65-58, in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament at University of Dayton Arena.

The Bruins came out on fire, going 5-5 from the field in the first four minutes and looked unbeatable defensively.

The Bonnies started flat, posting 2-7 from the field.

Jaylen Adams talked about handling the Bruins early hot streak.

“They’re a good offensive team,” Adams said. “We didn’t hang our head when they started making shots. We knew we would have our turn and we punched back.”

And punch back they did.

Bonnies’ head coach Mark Schmidt switched to a zone and the Bonnies forced consecutive turnovers to push their way back. The switch frustrated the Bruins, making them close out the half shooting 8-23 and a six-minute scoring drought. Even with star guard Jaylen Adams shooting 0-7, the Bonnies brought the score within one late in the first.

After some time to sit and get recomposed, Adams returned, finding Courtney Stockard for a drive and foul. Stockard sank two free throws.  After looking dead early, the Bonnies had their first lead of the day, 23-22.

The chants came rolling from the rafters of the UD Arena in Dayton, but they weren’t the usual chants of “Go Flyers.” Instead, a constant barrage of “Let’s go Bonas” rang out, turning Dayton, Ohio into Olean, New York for the night.

The Bruins continued to struggle with the crowd and the Bonnies’ pressure, as they held the highest scoring Pac-12 team to just six points in the last 14 minutes of the half. A last-second mid-range by Idris Taqqee gave the Bonnies a 28-23 lead at the half.

After halftime adjustments, both teams traded baskets quickly, neither team quite pulling away. The Bruins damn near tried, starting 6-7 from the field in the first 10 minutes of the second half and taking back the lead with a 5-5 field goal run. Adams continued to struggle from the field, bricking three after three.

Someone else had to step up. Someone had to be the hero.

It happened to be the player that some didn’t even think would play.

Courtney Stockard stepped up in his NCAA Tournament debut, scoring 26 points and grabbing four rebounds.

Stockard drove through the lane all night, taking on virtually the whole Bruins’ squad and made layups down the stretch.

Stockard talked about the process of going through the season and playing a high caliber UCLA Bruins team.

“Back in the offseason, we set some goals for ourselves,” Stockard said. “This is a special group of guys and when we set those goals, we knew what we had to do. We had our work cut out for us and we went out there and accomplished something big.”

Then, Matt Mobley woke up. A key three to extend the Bona lead electrified the crowd and as the song “Can’t Hold Us,” by Macklemore played throughout the arena, the decibel level suggested that literally, the ceiling couldn’t hold the bona fans. Just maybe, UD Arena might need a new roof.

But the Bruins didn’t quit. They found themselves in a hot streak of their own, capitalizing on open looks and mismatches within the zone defense of the Bonnies.

But after 39 minutes of misses, bad threes, even air balls, Adams made up for everything. With the game tied at 58, Adams came down the court and knocked down a jumper giving Bona’s the lead. Then, he stole the ball from Holiday, got fouled and made both free throws, sealing the game.

Adams said winning despite his struggles says a lot about the group of guys around him.

“It just shows what type of team we can beat,” Adams said. “ I couldn’t get into a rhythm, but my teammates picked me up.”

Head coach Mark Schmidt was sentimental about the whole tournament experience and his Bonaventure career up to that point in the press conference.

“It’s a special moment,” Schmidt said. “Some people said I shouldn’t take the (head coaching) job. For us to go from having three players to beating UCLA in eleven years, it’s something I’m really proud of.”

Schmidt continued to talk about the spirit of the team.

“We always talk about how we’re a bunch of misfits,” he said. “No one wanted us. We come to Bonaventure and work our tails off.”

With the win, the Bonnies advanced to the second round, where they will face 6th seed Florida on Thursday in Dallas, Texas at 9:57 p.m.

While Coach Schmidt and the Bonnies are buzzing from this victory, they’re already looking ahead to Thursday night, even the upcoming red eye.

“I’m proud of our team’s accomplishments, but we’re not done,” he said. “We can look at those records once this is finished. We want to continue and that 2 a.m. flight is going to be the best flight I’ve ever taken.”

 

 

 

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Bonnies survive scare against Spiders

By Josh Svetz and Sean Lynch

The Bonnies entered the Capital One Arena with the weight of the world on their shoulders.

They’ve been here before. Two years ago, Bona’s was a contender for an at-large bid when they entered the A-10 Tournament as the 1-seed vs. Davidson. That game ended in an overtime heartbreak.

This time, Bona’s delivered.

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies extended their win streak to 13 with a 83-77 nail biter over the Richmond Spiders in the Quarterfinals of the Atlantic-10 Conference Tournament.

The first half started off slow for the Bonnies and the Spiders. Both teams did not score until the 16:40 mark off a Courtney Stockard bucket.

Bonnies head coach Mark Schmidt emphasized the struggles that they faced offensively in the first five minutes of the game.

“I always tell our guys the first five minutes of the game and the first 10 possessions of the second half are critical,” Schmidt said. “And I thought Matt (Mobley) did a heck of a job to get us going.”

Jaylen Adams started the game off cold. Adams had 0 points in the first half of the game and finished with only five points.

Richmond’s Jacob Gilyard and Khwan Fore proved to be a problem for the Bonnies in the first half. Fore shot 5-6 for 11 points and two rebounds. Gilyard dropped nine points, shooting 3-4 from long range.

The Bonnies went to the locker room tied at 32 a piece.

After a contentious 1st half, Matt Mobley gave the Bonnies the best start possible.

With Adams struggling, someone had to step up. His back court mate Matt Mobley fit the mold. Mobley finished with 29 points, shooting 10-14 from the field and 9-13 from long range.

Mobley talked about his performance from long range and picking his teammate Adams up.

“We told each other last year that no matter what both of us can’t have an off game at the same time, so he was struggling a little bit and wasn’t getting any open looks,” Mobley said. “I had a lot of open looks. My teammates did a great job of finding me and I was knocking down the shots. I just wanted to give us a little bit of confidence.”

Schmidt also placed emphasis on multiple players stepping up for the Bonnies when a teammate has an “off-game.”

“This is not the first time that Jay didn’t play well or Matt didn’t play well,” Schmidt said. “Even in this 13 game winning streak, those guys haven’t played their A-game every game and we’ve had other guys step up and that’s what a team does.”

At one point in the 2nd half Mobley, along with Stockard outscored the whole Richmond team. The Bonnies opened the half on a 21-3 run and kept the pressure up, taking a 53-37 lead. Mobley came back and electrified the crowd again hitting two more threes.

He didn’t miss in the second half until the 10-minute mark. But even with the deficit, the Spiders wouldn’t go away. With nine minutes to go the Spiders knocked down three- straight three pointers and cut the Bonnies lead to single digits. But the Bonnies handled it. And then, Stockard went down. He didn’t return to the game, leaving a big hole on both sides of the ball.

An 11-0 run by the Spiders brought the score to 74-68 with four minutes to play. The Richmond fans took back the Arena from the Bona faithful, out doing the decibel level with their cheers. But as the game went down to the wire; the wolf pack got rowdy.   

“We knew our friends were going to come out and support,” Mobley said. “We have the best fans in the country and they’re going to be everywhere. It definitely felt like a home game, but we’ll need them all back tomorrow.”

The momentum had officially shifted. But the Bonnies held tough, even though the Spiders were down just 2 points with 1:30 to go. However, a familiar face sealed it. Adams knocked down three free throws in the final minute and the Bonnies held on, 83-77.

The Bonnies will play the winner of Davidson vs. St. Louis at 3:30 P.M. tomorrow.

Mobley brought up that there is still work to be done for the Bonnies if they want to be in the NCAA Tournament.

“The only way we can secure our spot is winning [this] whole thing, honestly,” Mobley said. “The snub In 2016, everybody remembers that and we don’t want to go through that again. The only way to avoid that is win [this] whole thing.”

Bonnies Keep Conference Streak Alive with Tenth Win Against VCU 68-63

By: Sean Lynch

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies outlasted the VCU Rams and won their tenth game in a row in Atlantic 10 Conference play at the Stuart C. Siegel Center in Richmond, Virginia.

Senior Guard Jaylen Adams had another important performance for the Bonnies. Adams finished with 21 points, four rebounds and six assists.

Junior Forward Courtney Stockard stepped up for the Bonnies with a huge double-double. Stockard had 21 points along with 14 rebounds in a big effort on both sides of the ball.

The beginning of the first half was marred by sloppy play. The Bonnies and Rams traded missed shots and turnovers in the first three minutes until Adams broke the scoreless tie with a three-pointer at the 17:56 mark.

The Rams broke off a 10-0 run against the Bonnies late in the first half. Consistent takes from Senior Forwards Justin Tillman and Khris Lane. The Rams closed out the first half with a 30-29 lead over St. Bonaventure. Turnovers were a huge problem for both teams as the Bonnies finished with 12 and the Rams with 10.

A 5-0 run got the Bonnies to a 33-30 lead at the start of the second half. Another run gave the Bonnies an 8-0 momentum push until the 13:49 mark.

After a back and forth affair into the closing minutes. Senior Guard Matt Mobley pushed the lead to four with a late three to put the game at 58-54 with 3:08 left in the game.

After trading buckets, the game stood at 65-61 with 23 seconds left. After Mobley was fouled and went 1-2 from the line, the Bonnies had the lead at 66-61. The Bonnies would close out the game with 2-2 from the line for Adams and a missed shot from Sophomore Forward Issac Vann.

Turnovers proved to be both a problem and a big help for the Bonnies as they turned the ball over 17 times, but VCU had 18 turnovers.

With the win, the Bonnies are tied with the Duquesne Dukes for second place in the A10 with a 12-4. The Bonnies will square off next against the Davidson Wildcats for Senior Night on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 9 p.m. in the Reilly Center.

Bonnies Prevail Over Bulls 73-62 in Adams’ Return

By Sean Lynch

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies (5-2) were victorious on Saturday over the Buffalo Bulls (4-3) at Alumni Arena in Amherst.

Guard Jaylen Adams returned for his first game action of the regular season after he injured his ankle in an exhibition game against Alfred State University on Nov. 4.

Working his way back into a normal playing cycle, Adams logged 28 minutes and had 9 points, 4 rebounds and a pair of assists and steals.

Guard CJ Massinburg scored a three pointer to push the Bulls to their largest lead of the game with 31-25 with 3:25 left in the first half. The Bulls went into the second half with a 35 – 32 lead over the Bonnies.

The Bonnies tied it up 51-51 with 10:35 left when they pushed for four points to close the gap. The Bonnies would hold the Bulls basketless for the next 8 minutes of the game until forward Nick Perkins ended the run with a three-point basket with 39 seconds left in the contest.

Guard Matt Mobley led the charge for Bonas with a game-high 25 points – his fourth 20-point game of the season. Mobley also added three rebounds and a steal.

The defense stepped up for the Bonnies as they held the Bulls to 33.9 % shooting from the field and 24.1 % from three-point range for the game. The Bonnies were also plagued with foul trouble as they had 14 fouls in the first half of the game.

The Bonnies next challenge will come in the form of an away game against the Canisius Golden Griffins Wednesday, Nov. 6 at the Koessler Center at 7 p.m.

Bonnies Win Big Against Maryland Eastern Shore

By Sean Lynch

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies (2-1) won in dominant fashion against the Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks (1-3) 96-48 in the Reilly Center behind a powerful push from the underclassmen on the bench and strong performances from the starting five.

At the first media timeout, the Bonnies and Hawks were tied 9-9. After the break, the Bonnies pulled away with a 22-5 run to close out the first half of the game. Bonaventure went into halftime with a 49-27 lead with Nelson Kaputo and Matt Mobley leading the charge for the Bonnies with 15 points each in the first half.

Freshman Tshiefu Ngalakulondi finished with a game high 21 points and shot 8-11 from the field with 4-6 coming from three-point range. The Bonnies were extremely effective from three-point range, shooting 58.3% for the game. Ngalakulondi also had three steals and a block.

Another Freshman, Izaiah Brockington had a career performance off the bench with 18 points and 5 assists.

Bonnies Head coach Mark Schmidt explained the importance of the performances of Ngalakulondi and Izaiah Brockington off the bench.

“This is the type of game especially in the second half where you can put them in there and they can gain some confidence, and this will go a long way in their development,” Schmidt said.

Ngalakulondi talked about his confidence moving forward after this game.

“It definitely boosted my confidence,” Ngalakulondi said. “Just go out there and play as hard as we can because I’m just waiting for my name to be called.”

Ngalakulondi also shared the bond he has with his teammate and fellow freshman Izaiah Brockington.

“It was a lot of fun playing with him out there,” he said. “He’s my roommate as well so we have that bond, so it’s fun playing with him out there.”

The Bonnies forced 16 steals with 5 coming from Nelson Kaputo, 4 from Brockington and 3 each from Ndene Guyene and Matt Mobley

“We played really hard,” Schmidt said. “When you have those deflections and us running around the way we did, you get a lot of stuff off our defense.”

Schmidt looked forward to the next step in the Emerald Coast Classic and the challenges that face the team.

“You wish everyone was healthy. You wish everyone was 100%, but that’s just not how it is,” said Schmidt. “We got our work cut out for us, but we’re going to go down there and see how good we are.”

The Bonnies will take on Maryland next on Nov. 24 at 9:30 p.m. EST as a part of the Emerald Coast Classic in Destin, Florida.

 

Bona black out leaves students without card access

By Sean Lynch

St. Bonaventure University students were unable to access some residence halls during a 2 ½-hour power outage on Friday night after a transformer near Devereux Hall short-circuited.

ID scanners in the halls of Robinson, Falconio and Devereux malfunctioned due to errors within the system. Gary Segrue, director of safety and security, explained that this is a rare occurrence.

From time to time we experience minor malfunctions with the electronic card access. This is usually as a result of programming issues,” said Segrue.

Continue reading “Bona black out leaves students without card access”

Album Review: Earl Sweatshirt’s “I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside”

By Sean Lynch

[Image courtesy of factmag.com]

Earl Sweatshirt hit a rough patch after the release of his mixtape Earl when he was sent to boarding school in Samoa until he was 18-years-old.

Sweatshirt felt that he doubted himself in his first studio album released in 2012, shortly after his return from Samoa, Doris. Sweatshirt needed a voice after his days of conformity with rap group Odd Future and his lost mind on Doris.

Even through all the uncertainty, I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside serves as a platform for Sweatshirt to reveal his true talent as an artist, and to finally let his voice be heard.

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Image courtesy of youtube.com

“Huey” serves as the opening track to Sweatshirt’s album. The song goes back to Sweatshirt’s Odd Future days with its comical lyric content as he rants on critics and talks about the change in his career as he came back to Los Angeles again. The song changes from a dreary organ to a simple drum beat with some synthesizer thrown in between.

“Off Top” creates an unsettling mood with its eerie piano and cold lyrics including “I’m only happy when there’s static in the air cause the fair weather fake to me.”  The production is extremely choppy, but it goes along with the rap perfectly.

“Wool” features rapper Vince Staples; he matches Sweatshirt’s dark rap with his own dark verses. The beat is simple with the use of a cut up piano and a simplistic drum beat that captures the dark tone of the song.

“Grief” is the hit single from the album and comes off as artistically driven. The beat is glitchy and gives an eerie vibe to the song. Sweatshirt takes us to a dark place in his life, rapping about his struggles with drugs and finding himself after losing his grandmother.

Sweatshirt was upset with how National Public Radio handled his album’s release.

The album was originally supposed to only have been a music video released for the song “Grief,” but Top Dog Entertainment released everything but the music video.

Sweatshirt said through NPR Music: “I was so mad cause it was like — especially because I feel like this is my first album. This is the first thing that I’ve said that I fully stand behind, like the good and the bad of it. I’ve never been behind myself this much. So for them to not treat it as importantly as I was treating it was just like — I couldn’t help but to feel a little disrespected, you know?”

Earl Sweatshirt took simplicity and turned it into something special. Though the glitchy beats and dark raps, Sweatshirt finally found his own voice. Over the past few years, we have seen Sweatshirt mature through his projects, and I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside feels like the rounding off of his maturity. He has finally stepped away from the childish ways of Odd Future and has grown into a stronger rapper because of it.

Modest Mouse: “Strangers to Ourselves” Review

By Sean Lynch

[Image courtesy of static.stereogum.com]

Modest Mouse seemed to have bad mojo thrown their way the past seven years while creating Strangers to Ourselves. The band has recorded with artists including Krist Novoselic of Nirvana and Big Boi; however, these tracks were released. The band has changed producers multiple times and even lost their founding bassist Eric Judy. It seemed as if Strangers to Ourselves would be left in limbo, never to be released, but it has finally made it out of obscurity.

“Lampshades on Fire” is a song that carries Modest Mouse’s original indie-rock sound. Isaac Brock is noted for his unique singing voice that comes off shaky and often changes pitch – but it works for him. The guitar is vibrant as it bounces along with the vocals giving some energy to the song.

“Coyotes” gives a softer tone to the album with its gently picked acoustic guitar and silvery voice from Brock. “The Best Room” has a similar sound to that of “Coyotes,” but the acoustics are instead replaced by effect-heavy guitar and a heavier voice. While “The Best Room” begins smooth, a heavily picked guitar solo towards the end of the song creates a transition that brings the album together after their brief hiatus.

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon - Season 2
Modest Mouse’s Isaac Brock performs on Jimmy Fallon. [image courtesy of billboard.com]

It feels as though this album was left in limbo for too long. Even though it is a traditional Modest Mouse record at heart, there are no other improvements on it or brand new concepts. Not to say that is bad at all, it’s just that there is a higher expectation for more after seven years rather than just to play it safe. The album gives some great singles, but leaves a longing for something new and bold.

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Modest Mouse [image courtesy of mtv.com]

Even with that statement, the band members are extremely generous live performers because of the energy they put into all of their appearances.

Modest Mouse appeared on The Tonight Show and gave another great performance. They played “Lampshades on Fire” to large applause as they bounced and jumped around on stage. The performance was their first one in nine years on television since they released “We Were Dead before the Ship Even Sank.”

Modest Mouse will perform on the newest Late Late Show with James Corden tonight at 12:30 a.m.