Location: Bob Lanier Court at the Reilly Center
The Short Story
Behind the energy of a sold-out Homecoming crowd, St. Bonaventure got another key Atlantic 10 Conference win on Saturday afternoon, a 64-57 decision over George Washington.
The win was the Bonnies' fifth in a row and solidified their hold on fourth place in the A-10 at 9-3. St. Bonaventure is 17-6 overall.
After being held scoreless in the first half, Jaylen Adams led the Bonnies in the second half with a team-high 19 points. He was 3-3 from three-point range and 7-10 from the field.
St. Bonaventure limited the Colonials to 35 percent shooting overall including 5-21 (24 percent) from three-point range. It also was the fewest points and lowest shooting percentage allowed by the Bonnies to an A-10 opponent this season.
Dion Wright, who did not start, scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds in 35 minutes. Marcus Posley and Denzel Gregg both scored 11 points, and Idris Taqqee added eight. Freshman center Jordan Tyson turned in a solid game against GW's veteran front line with seven rebounds and two blocks in 30 minutes.
How It Happened:
- Both teams started off extremely slowly on offense as defense dominated the opening half. It was a 4-4 game through for nearly nine minutes until Dion Wright scored at 12:13 on a dunk.
- The Bonnies went ahead 17-11 with a 6-2 run capped by two free throws by Marcus Posley.
- Posley's layup at the 3:06 mark gave St. Bonaventure its largest lead of the first half at 20-12.
- Patricio Garino made it a 24-19 game at halftime with a layup.
- Jaylen Adams was only able to play 11 minutes in the first half due to two fouls in the first two minutes of the game; he went 0-3 and did not score.
- That quickly changed at the start of the second half as Adams made back-to-back three-pointers in the first 1:31 to push the Bonnies' lead to 11 points at 30-19.
- Idris Taqqee made a three-pointer to make it a 35-23 lead at the 16:03 mark.
- It was still a 12 point lead for the Bonnies after Nelson Kaputo drained a three-pointer with 13:24 remaining that made the score 40-28.
- GW would rally behind Garino, using a 7-0 run to pull within 40-35.
- Adams would answer that run with consecutive layups that stabilized the Bonnies and again had the sellout crowd on its feet. Adams' second bucket made it 44-35.
- It was a 44-38 game when Dion Wright made a jumper, Adams drove for a twisting finish and then Adams made a three-pointer. That 7-0 run put the Bonnies up 51-38 with 7:44 left.
- From there, the lead stayed around 10 points until the closing minutes, when GW made its push but the Bonnies held off.
- After shooting just 29 percent (9-31) in the first half, St. Bonaventure wound up making 14 of 25 shots (56 percent) in the second half, including 5-10 from three-point range.
Beyond the Box Score:
- St. Bonaventure's 9-3 mark is its best A-10 start in 33 years. The 1982-83 Bonnies opened with 10 wins in their first 13 A-10 games and finished 10-4.
- The Bonnies are now 11-2 at the Reilly Center this year.
- Entering the day, St. Bonaventure was 37th in the Ratings Percentage Index on NCAA.com while GW was at No. 50.
- Denzel Gregg made his first start of the season.
- The sellout crowd of 5,480 was the first RC sellout since 2012 against Rhode Island.
St. Bonaventure Coach Mark Schmidt:
"This was a big game and everybody knew it was going to be a big game. George Washington is an elite team in this league and our guys have never beaten them before. It was a big homecoming game and it definitely wasn't a pretty game offensively but I thought our team couldn't have played harder. The effort was incredible and the way we defended was the best we have defended all year. We were physical and we made plays when we needed to."
"It's not about how big you are, it's about how big you play. We always talk before the game about being scrappy and having that 'junkyard dog' mentality and being a blue collar team. When you play that hard it makes up for offensive deficiencies."
"When you're not scoring, you better defend and I thought we couldn't defend any better. That's what kept us in the game. Our offense did not affect our defense."
"The crowd gives you goosebumps … it was unbelievable. It just goes to show how important basketball is to the university. With the crowd, I knew we weren't going to lose and I told the team to appreciate this. Out of all the games played today, we had a sold out crowd and the kids have to appreciate the atmosphere they play in because most programs don't get crowds like this. The Reilly Center is an unbelievable venue for college basketball."
Up Next: The Bonnies will be on the road for two games next week starting at La Salle on Wednesday at 7:00.