Final Score: St. Bonaventure 75, Abilene Christian 47
Location: Bob Lanier Court at the Reilly Center – St. Bonaventure, N.Y.
Records: St. Bonaventure (2-0); Abilene Christian (0-2)
The Short Story: St. Bonaventure picked up its second win of the season in commanding fashion, defeating Abilene Christian 75-47 Monday night in the Reilly Center. Four Bonaventure starters hit double digit scoring. Senior guard Matthew Wright led the way with his first career double-double, scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Junior guard Jordan Gathers dropped 14 points and five assists while junior center Youssou Ndoye added 12 points and four blocks for the Bonnies.
How it Happened:
- The first half had six tied scores and four lead changes.
- The Wildcats' largest lead was four points, at 22-18 midway through the first half.
- A pair of ACU free throws tied the game at 24-24 with 4:29 left in the first half.
- The Bonnies responded and closed the first half with a 9-1 run capped by a Jordan Gathers three-pointer just before the buzzer. That shot gave St. Bonaventure a 33-25 lead at intermission.
- St. Bonaventure then opened the second half with a 9-0 run that extended the lead to 42-25.
- Charlon Kloof converted a dribble-drive layup that pushed the Bonnies to the 50 point mark, taking an 18 point lead at 50-32 with 13:38 left in the second half.
- A Kloof fast break dunk electrified the crowd as the Bonnies moved the score to 56-33 with 9:26 left in the game.
- Matthew Wright, while not shooting well, did score nine of his team-high 15 points in the second half. His 10 rebounds were three more than his previous career high.
- Head coach Mark Schmidt was then able to turn to his bench and play reserves down the stretch. Chris Dees (4) and Jean Yves Toupane (4) both scored their first points of the season.
- The Bonnies' press created problems for the Wildcats, who had 18 turnovers on the night. St. Bonaventure converted 23 points from those turnovers.
- SBU dominated the paint, scoring 40 points there to Abilene Christian's 16.
- Kloof was charged with his first turnover of the season; he had four assists and now has 11 assists and just one turnover over two games.
Beyond the Box Score:
- St. Bonaventure did not commit a single turnover in the second half (9 in the game).
- Andell Cumberbatch sat out his second game (non-NCAA certified summer league) and will return to action Saturday against Canisius.
- St. Bonaventure has now surrendered less than 50 points in back-to-back games for the first time since the 2009-10 season (40 to Binghamton and 44 to Southeast Missouri)
- Attendance was 3,024 which included a near-full student section.
- Active and retired Veterans were honored during the first timeout of the night.
Quotes from St. Bonaventure Coach Mark Schmidt:
- "We came out sluggish for whatever reason, but I thought Jordan's shot at halftime gave us some momentum. We had a good talk at halftime, I used a few choice words, and the guys came out and responded."
- "We did the trifecta. We defended really well, we took care of the basketball and didn't turn the ball over in the second half, and we outrebounded them by 12. If we do those three things, we're going to win."
- "We didn't play the way we knew we're capable of playing in the first half, and they knew it, but they responded and that's good to see."
- "We're 2-0. We can't be any better than that. It's stepping up every rung of the ladder and we've got 29 more rungs. We've got to improve every day."
Up Next: The Bonnies wrap up their three-game home stand when they welcome Canisius, their longest-standing rival, to the Reilly Center on Saturday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m.