Final Score: St. Bonaventure 68, South Dakota 46
Location: Bob Lanier Court at the Reilly Center – St. Bonaventure, N.Y.
Records: St. Bonaventure (1-0); South Dakota (0-1)
The Short Story: St. Bonaventure struggled to score early, but settled down to defeat South Dakota by a score of 68-46 in their 2013-14 season opener on Saturday night in the Reilly Center. The Bonnies created problems for the Coyotes with their press, scoring 17 points off turnovers. Senior Charlon Kloof had a game-high 16 points for the Bonnies. St. Bonaventure would not look back after taking a 24-21 lead on a Kloof three-pointer with 4:30 left in the first half.
How it Happened:
- South Dakota took an early lead at 17-9 as Brandon Bos hit three three-pointers.
- The Bonnies responded with a 10-2 run that tied the game at 19-19 with just under six minutes left until halftime.
- Charlon Kloof hit a three-pointer to give the Bonnies a 24-21 lead with 4:30 left in the first half.
- Marquise Simmons had a put back layup with 3:29 left in the half, forcing a South Dakota timeout.
- The Bonnies ended the first half on a 22-5 run which gave them a 31-21 lead at the break.
- To start the second half, the Coyotes cut St. Bonaventure's lead down to five at 35-30 on a layin by Bos at the 16:00 mark; that was as close as South Dakota would get the remainder of the night.
- The game slowed in the second half as South Dakota employed a zone defense and ran a deliberate offense.
- The Bonnies gradually pulled away; Kloof's fastbreak layin capped an 8-0 run that put the Brown and White ahead 57-39 with 5:53 to play.
- St. Bonaventure head coach Mark Schmidt was able to empty his bench late with the win secure.
- Kloof, who lost his starting role for the second half of last season, enjoyed a strong game with 16 points, seven assists, four steals and no turnovers in 38 minutes.
- Both Matthew Wright and Jordan Gathers had some foul trouble, and thus sophomore Dion Wright and freshman Denzel Gregg saw significant action. Wright scored 12 points and three rebounds in 27 minutes off the bench, while Gregg scored two points and grabbed eight rebounds in his debut (he missed the exhibition game with a back strain).
- St. Bonaventure was able to score inside in a variety of ways against the smaller Coyotes, who featured 6-10 all-conference center Trevor Gruis but otherwise played four guards. The Bonnies scored 38 points in the paint compared to only 14 by South Dakota.
- Rebounding was another key as the Bonnies enjoyed a 43-28 advantage, including 16 offensive rebounds by the home team. Both Simmons and Youssou Ndoye collected nine boards.
- South Dakota shot just 33 percent (15-45) from the field while the Bonnies made 42 percent (24-57) of their shots. Neither team was strong from three-point range, St. Bonaventure going 4-15 and South Dakota 4-18.
Beyond the Box Score:
- Junior guard Andell Cumberbatch - who scored 23 points in last week's exhibition win over Mansfield - sat out the game because he participated in summer basketball games that were not certified by the NCAA. He will also miss Monday's home game against Abilene Christian.
- The Bonnies move to 45-2 in home openers at the RC; their 44-2 mark coming into the game was tied with Virginia Tech for the best in NCAA Div. I.
- St. Bonaventure is now 34-0 at home in games that are both the home and season opener.
- Saturday was redshirt senior Marquise Simmons' 24th birthday.
- Attendance was 3,855, which included an energetic student crowd of 729.
Quotes from St. Bonaventure Coach Mark Schmidt
- "(South Dakota center Trevor) Guise was a guy we were concerned about. Our big guys did a good job holding him to 13 (points) and five (rebounds). And then their two shooters, Bos and Kasperbauer, the last 10 minutes of the first half and the second half, we did a great job getting to them."
- "Overall we're pleased. We're nowhere near where we need to be. But we're going to continue to improve, come back tomorrow and get better."
- "(Defense) is something we've been working on, we talk about making the commitment on the defensive end. We talk about last year and what we didn't do as well was defending and rebounding. That's how you win, along with taking care of the ball. We have a goal of keeping turnovers under 12."
- "That's how we need Charlon to play. Hopefully it's a confidence booster with 16 points, seven assists and four steals. We'll take that every night."
Quotes from St. Bonaventure Players
- Charlon Kloof on the Bonnies' defense: "That's our identity: defense. Defense shows how good the team knows each other. It's the best way to get the young guys into it. When the young guys get a steal and get a score in transition, that builds their confidence. Our energy was the X factor tonight. I saw guys yell who don't normally do that, guys get on the floor and get loose balls."
- Marquise Simmons on the home opener: "It's been a sickening feeling in our stomachs all summer after that loss (to Fordham that ended the Bonnies' 2012-13 season) on March 9… we've been getting ready for this game since we started practice. Everyone came ready to play."
Up Next: The Bonnies continue their three-game home stand when they take on Abilene Christian on Monday, Nov. 11, at 7 p.m.