A game without its All-American candidate turned even more sour for St. Bonaventure on Friday night, when the Bonnies dropped their season opener 77-75 to Niagara in the Reilly Center.
Playing without senior point guard Jaylen Adams (ankle), the Bonnies fell into an early hole and then saw their second half comeback fall just short. After a cold-shooting first half, St. Bonaventure trailed 34-25 at the break.
With 7:47 left in the game, a three-pointer by Courtney Stockard gave the Bonnies their first lead since the opening minutes at 56-55. The game remained close until a three-pointer by Kahlil Dukes followed by a Matt Scott layup put Niagara ahead 70-63 with 3:17 left.
Matt Mobley's three-pointer with 15 seconds left pulled St. Bonaventure within 74-72. After Niagara's Chris Barton made one of two free throws, Mobley's pass eluded Nelson Kaputo as the Bonnies looked to shoot a potential game-tying shot.
St. Bonaventure did not help its cause by going 21-31 at the free throw line for the game.
Mobley led the Bonnies with 29 points, adding nine rebounds. LaDarien Griffin recorded the first double-double of his career with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Kaputo finished with 11 points while Stockard added nine.
Stats Of The Game
The Bonnies shot 50 percent from the field in the second half but Niagara bettered that, making 56 percent in the frame.
Coach Mark Schmidt Quote
"Give Niagara all the credit. I thought they played extremely well. They got off to a good start. We played a very poor first half offensively. I thought defensively we weren't bad. I thought being down nine at halftime was good since we played so bad offensively
"We came out in the second half and I thought we responded but every time we got there, we just had a breakdown. We gave them too many open looks. We have to become more disciplined.
"We did a better job in the second half of making baskets and getting some energy. I thought in the first half we came out tight and nervous. We didn't play the way we're capable of playing for the first 20 minutes. Even in the second half, we had some chances we just didn't capitalize."
Beyond The Boxscore
- The loss was just the third ever for St. Bonaventure in a season-opening game at the Reilly Center. The Bonnies are now 48-3 in home openers at the RC.
- LaDarien Griffin and Josh Ayeni both set career highs with 10 rebounds each.
- The loss snapped a six-game win streak for the Bonnies against Niagara. The all-time series is now 88-70 favor St. Bonaventure.
Up Next: St. Bonaventure hosts Maryland Eastern Shore next Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m.
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.
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