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@BonniesMBB Pulls Away Late To Win Season Opener, 63-53

Location: Bob Lanier Court at the Reilly Center – St. Bonaventure, N.Y.

Box Score (PDF)  |  Statistics With Play-by-Play

St. Bonaventure Starters: #3 G Marcus Posley, #10 G Jaylen Adams, #1 G Idris Taqqee, #21 F Dion Wright, #20 F Derrick Woods

The Short Story
It took nearly all 40 minutes, but St. Bonaventure earned a hard-fought, 63-53 win over visiting Binghamton Friday night at the Reilly Center.

Senior forward Dion Wright scored 16 of his game-high 20 points in the second half to lead the Bonnies. Playing 31 minutes off the bench, junior Denzel Gregg recorded the first double-double of his career, scoring 15 points and grabbing 11 rebounds to go with four blocks.

St. Bonaventure led by just two points at 50-48 with 5:24 left, but took control with a 7-0 spurt keyed by a new face, freshman point guard Nelson Kaputo. The Toronto native had a three-pointer, an assist and a steal in the run that gave the Bonnies a 57-48 lead with 3:35 remaining. Binghamton could not come any closer than six points after that.

Jaylen Adams scored 10 points while only turning the ball over once in a full-game 40 minute effort. Senior Marcus Posley, the Bonnies' leading returning scorer, had a quiet game with just five points on 2-10 shooting. He did have four assists, three steals and seven rebounds.

While the Bonnies were far from polished on offense, their defense made up for it. The Bearcats made only 29 percent of their shots on the night, including 8-28 in the second half. St. Bonaventure also forced 19 Bearcat turnovers and came up with nine steals. 

How It Happened:

  • After an opening Binghamton three-pointer, Marcus Posley converted a tough layup for the first Bonnies points of the 2015-16 season.
  • Jaylen Adams got his first bucket of the season by bouncing the ball off his defender on an inbounds play and converting the layup to make it a 7-5 Bonnie lead.
  • After exchanging baskets for the next chunk of minutes, Nelson Kaputo had a smooth dribble-drive to put the Bonnies up 16-13 with 9:47 remaining in the first half.
  • After a Binghamton turnover, Kaputo led the team on a fast-break where he eventually found Denzel Gregg with an ally-oop for a dunk, leading to a Bearcats timeout with 4:29 remaining and the Bonnies up 25-16.
  • Binghamton clawed back into the game late in the first half, eventually cutting the Bonnies' lead to four at halftime, 30-26. The Bearcats closed out the first half on a 10-5 run.
  • Denzel Gregg scored nine points in the first half.
  • Binghamton carried its momentum into the second half, scoring five straight points to take the lead at 31-30.
  • The teams went back-and-forth for the next 10 minutes, with neither team pulling ahead by more than three.
  • Jaylen Adams converted a pair of free throws to give the Bonnies a 46-40 lead.
  • Dion Wright made a putback layup to give the Bonnies a 61-51 lead with under a minute to play. St. Bonaventure would hold onto the lead and go on to win.
  • It was a 50-48 Bona lead with 5:24 left when the Bonnies went on their 7-0 spurt to open a 57-48 lead with 3:35 remaining.
  • Binghamton could not come any closer than six points after that.

Beyond the Box Score:

  • The Bonnies have now won 11 straight home openers dating back to 2004. Their last six home openers have been double-digit wins, dating back to 2010 when they defeated Arkansas-Little Rock, 77-64.
  • The attendance was 4,277, boosted by a student crowd of over 900, which is more than half the student body.
  • St. Bonaventure now holds a 5-1 edge in the series against the Bearcats.
  • Coach Mark Schmidt picked up his 125th win with the Bonnies, and now stands just five wins away from passing Jim Baron for sixth on the all-time school list.

Quotes from St. Bonaventure Coach Mark Schmidt:
"I didn't think it was a pretty offensive game, I thought both teams played pretty well defensively. I thought it was an ugly first half with no rhythm and that probably had a lot to do with nerves. We got going a little bit but at some points we lost momentum."

"I thought Nelson Kaputo was the star of the game. He came off the bench and really gave us a lift not just offensively but defensively as well."

"In order for us to be successful, Marcus, Dion, and Jay have to play really well for us and tonight they struggled. They understand that and they'll bounce back for the next game. Overall, we need more production and they know they are capable." 

Up Next: The Bonnies will travel to Syracuse to face the Orange next Tuesday, Nov. 17 at the Carrier Dome. Game time will be 7:00 on Fox Sports TV.