Men's basketball rolls to 86-63 exhibition win
Nov. 7, 2008
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. - A 17-0 run early in the game highlighted a solid start to the 2008-09 season for the St. Bonaventure men's basketball team on Friday night as it defeated Mansfield, 86-63, in an exhibition game on Bob Lanier Court at the Reilly center.
A fast-paced offense helped fuel a balanced scoring attack for the new-look Bonnies, who saw seven players get their first action in the Brown and White. Five of those seven players reached double figures, led by freshman Andrew Nicholson who posted game-highs of 16 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.
St. Bonaventure was able to capitalize on 26 Mountaineer turnovers that lead to 30 points. The Brown and White's 52 percent (35-68) shooting clip from the field was aided by 22 assists on 22 on 35 made baskets.
"I thought we came out of the gates well," said second-year head coach Mark Schmidt. "We shot the ball decently and we got our offense going. We defended well that helped us get out to a good start."
Leading by a 9-5 count in the early going, the Bonnies blew the game open with a 17-0 run that absorbed over five minutes and resulted in a 26-5 advantage. Solid full court pressure defense propelled the run as the Brown and White forced Mansfield into eight turnovers. Juniors Ray Blackburn and Jonathan Hall accounted for the final 10 points of the run that ended at the 10:56 mark.
The St. Bonaventure lead hovered around 20 points for most of the half until a 7-2 spurt to close the first frame made it a commanding 49-23 lead at the break. Freshman Michael Davenport registered five of his seven first half points during the run as the Bonnies shot a blistering 55 percent (21-38) from the floor.
Mansfield went on to outscore the Brown and White, 40-37, in the second half as the game became more of a half court pace. Nicholson did most of his damage in the final frame, scoring 10 points in the final 20 minutes.
Junior Chris Matthews was just one point off the pace set by Nicholson with 16 points, including eight points in the opening four minutes. Matthews finished 6-of-11 from the field and 3-of-7 from three-point range. Hall turned in a solid all-around game with 11 points, a game-high seven assists and six rebounds. Davenport and Blackburn had active nights on both ends of the court as they combined for six steals and scored 12 and 11 points, respectively.
St. Bonaventure will officially open the new season on Friday, November 14, when it welcomes defending Northeast Conference regular season champ Robert Morris to the RC. Tip-off for is slated for 7:30 p.m. with the game being part of a doubleheader with the women's team.