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ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. -
Andrew Nicholson and Chris Johnson tallied 15 points apiece, Demitrius Conger and Eric Mosley had 11 and 10, respectively, and St. Bonaventure (8-5, 1-0) won its third straight game with a 66-56 triumph over George Washington (5-9, 0-1) in the Atlantic 10 Conference opener for both squads.
Leading by 19 early in the second half, the Bonnies endured a seven-minute stretch without a field goal and saw their lead dwindle to five until Nicholson converted traditional three-point plays on consecutive possessions.
Nicholson worked free inside and was hit on a dunk to build the Bona lead back to eight, and slipped through the GW defense with a hook through contact that yielded a 47-38 lead with 10:21 left to break up the Colonials' 15-1 run.
Johnson added his 10 of his 15 in the second half, including a 4-for-4 effort from the line in the final eight minutes, in just 16 minutes of work off the bench. His transition layup with 2:12 to go gave SBU a 60-51 lead, before GW's Tony Taylor trimmed the margin down to six, 60-54, on three free throws.
Johnson answered again on a dish from Conger with 1:15 left, with the Bona duo combining to knock down all four of their free throws down the stretch to preserve the Bonnies' first conference win of the season and sixth in the last eight games.
The Bonnies travel to Duquesne on Saturday in their first conference road trip of the season. Game time is set for 4 p.m.
NOTES: Nicholson opened the game with his third 3-pointer of the season … SBU is now 3-2 in A-10 openers under Schmidt … Johnson improved to 27-of-29 on the year from the free throw line and has scored in double figures in three straight games … Conger is now shooting exactly 60.0 percent from the field this season (60-100), a mark that ranks as the second best in school history.