Location: St. Bonaventure, N.Y. | Bob Lanier Court at the Reilly Center
The Short Story
St. Bonaventure opened the season with a flourish on Saturday at the Reilly Center, topping Saint Francis (Pa.) 92-82 behind three 20-point scorers.
The Bonnies led by as many as 18 points midway through the second half but the Red Flash came back within three at 69-66 with 6:42 remaining. Mobley helped St. Bonaventure hold off the visitors as he scored eight points in a 55-second span that pushed the lead back to 81-71.
Gregg's 23 points were a career high, and junior guard Idris Taqqee grabbed a career high 12 rebounds to go with five points. Freshman forward Josh Ayeni was impressive with 10 points, three rebounds and three steals.
How It Happened:
- St. Francis came out of the gate firing and took an early 11-7 lead behind two three-pointers from Georgios Angelou and five points from Jamaal King.
- St. Bonaventure responded with two Denzel Gregg layups and a three-pointer and a three-point play from Jaylen Adams.
- It was a 16-10 Red Flash lead when St. Bonaventure went on an 11-2 run to take a 20-19 lead with 11:56 left in the first half. Adams had five points during the stretch, Gregg contributed an emphatic dunk, and freshman Josh Ayeni scored four points.
- The game stayed close, and the Bonnies led 39-36 with 3:31 left before Gregg drained a three-pointer that sparked a 12-3 run.
- Gregg got hot late in the first half, scoring 11 points during the latter part of the half, capped by a last second jumper that gave the Bonnies a 51-39 lead heading into halftime.
- St. Bonaventure expanded its lead as large as 18 points at 65-47 by the 12:33 mark of the second half.
- The lead remained in double figures until St. Francis' Angelou made a three-pointer to make it a 69-60 game with 9:05 left.
- Around that point, Adams left the game due to cramps which affected him the rest of the game.
- The Red Flash pulled within three at 69-66 with 6:42 remaining.
- It was a 71-68 game when Adams returned and drove down the lane for a score. After St. Francis' Keith Braxton missed a free throw, Mobley followed with a three-pointer to push the Bonnies' lead up to 76-68.
- At the 4:35 mark, Mobley made another three-pointer to make it a 10-point edge at 81-71, and the Red Flash could not threaten the rest of the way.
- Chinonso Obokoh, the graduate transfer from Syracuse, started the game but picked up two early fouls. He finished with two points, three rebounds and a block in 13 minutes, all in the second half.
- David Andoh was solid in his debut with five points and three boards in 12 minutes.
- Sophomore LaDarien Griffin saw 10 minutes of action; his three points included a fastbreak dunk off a steal.
Quotes From Coach Mark Schmidt
- "From an offensive stand point, I thought we played relatively well. We just need to work on some things defensively. We didn't do a good job with keeping their guards out of the paint. That's where your whole defense breaks down."
- On Matt Mobley: "Matt's three-pointers down the stretch were huge. We needed those shots … they gave us the momentum."
- "Denzel (Gregg) played extremely well in the first half. We gained a lot of momentum toward the end when he hit those shots."
Beyond The Boxscore:
- Gregg's previous career high in scoring was 22 against Rhode Island last season.
- Freshmen Amadi Ikpeze and Tareq Coburn both played but did not score.
- Prior to the game, St. Bonaventure unveiled a banner commemorating its 2015-16 Atlantic 10 Conference regular season championship.
- The Bonnies have now won 12 straight home openers dating back to 2004. Since 1966, when the Reilly Center opened, St. Bonaventure is 48-2 in home openers.
- The attendance was 4,322.
Up Next: The Bonnies will play Florida on Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Lakeland Center in Lakeland, Fla.
St. Bonaventure basketball tickets are available via GoBonnies.com/tickets; by calling (716) 375-2500 or in person at the St. Bonaventure ticket office in the Reilly Center between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
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