Reilly Center 50th Anniversary Moments

Feb. 28, 2012 – Double OT, 98-93 win over Saint Joseph’s
In an instant classic on February 28, 2012, Andrew Nicholson scored 32 points in a dramatic win that secured Bona a top-four finish in the Atlantic 10 standings. The win, and the accompanying seed, was critical in the Bonnies’ eventual A-10 Tournament championship. Matthew Wright’s three-pointer with 1.9 seconds left in regulation gave St. Bonaventure a 69-67 lead, but a foul was called on the Hawks’ inbounds pass and St. Joe’s forced OT with a pair of free throws. No matter, as Nicholson carried the Bonnies to the OT win, one that those in attendance will likely never forget.

Feb. 15, 2015 – Posley’s Buzzer-Beater Sinks VCU
Marcus Posley drove and scored on an off-balance shot as time expired to give St. Bonaventure a 73-71 win over No. 18 VCU on February 15, 2015. Posley's shot not only touched off a court-storm by the Wolfpack, it also landed on ESPN's SportsCenter


1976-77 NIT Championship Season
This year we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1976-77 NIT Championship team, one that won’t ever be forgotten in St. Bonaventure history. The Bonnies were led by Greg Sanders who averaged over 18 points per game while shooting better than 55 percent from the floor. Glenn Hagan led the team in both assists and steals and Jeff Fuhrmann gave the team a great pure shooting threat. Essie Hollis dominated the boards for the team and future head coach Jim Baron provided hard-nosed defense. The Bonnies finished that year 24-6 overall under head coach Jim Satalin, taking the NIT crown at Madison Square Garden with a 94-91 victory over Houston. 


Feb. 12, 1977 – Boeheim’s Orange Are Crushed
In a season that would later end with the NIT championship, a signature victory along the way was a 91-84 decision over Syracuse on February 12, 1977. Essie Hollis was unstoppable, scoring 27 of his game-high 37 points in the first half as the Bonnies knocked off the Orange and its then-rookie coach, Jim Boeheim. The win snapped a five-game losing streak against Syracuse that dated back to Dec. 15, 1923.


1982-83 Season
The 1982-83 team brought the St. Bonaventure Bonnies its 11th NIT appearance. Led by first-year head coach Jim O’Brien, the Brown and White stormed to the program’s first 20-win season since 1977-78 and a 10-4 record in the Atlantic 10. The Bonnies pulled off a seven-game win streak mid-season, and eventually captured three-straight overtime wins against West Virginia, Penn State and Rutgers at the Reilly Center. O’Brien became the first St. Bonaventure head coach to earn the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year nod while senior Mark Jones’ 16.4 points per game and 72 total steals were enough to land him on the A-10’s second team.


Dec. 22, 1967 – Lanier’s Dominant Night
The breakout for an otherwise little-known Bob Lanier came at the Reilly Center on December 22, 1967. Playing in just his eighth varsity game, the sophomore scored 34 points and grabbed 27 rebounds in a 94-78 win over Loyola (Md.). Lanier’s 27 rebounds is a school and arena record that still stands. Lanier’s career 27.6 points per game, 57.6 field goal percentage and 1,180 total rebounds also still stand as St. Bonaventure men’s basketball program bests. 


Jan. 29, 2014 – Breaking The Streak
It had been since 2000 – a span of 24 games – since the Bona program had defeated a ranked opponent. That streak ended on January 29, 2014 as Coach Mark Schmidt’s club posted a convincing win over No. 19/21 UMass, 78-65. Five Bonnies scored in double figures led by Charlon Kloof with 14 points. 


Winter 1998 – Three Top 20 Wins
During the 1997-98 season, St. Bonaventure defeated three Top 20 teams at the RC: Jan. 3 over No. 13 Xavier (80-77), Jan. 17 over No. 20 Rhode Island (86-81) and Feb. 25 over No. 20 Massachusetts (72-70, 2OT).


Feb. 25, 1970 – Lanier Era Ends With Win Over Griffs
Already regarded as a potential national champion, No. 3-ranked St. Bonaventure capped its home slate unblemished with a 13-0 record on a 91-68 win over archrival Canisius on February 25, 1970. It was the final home game in the All-America career of Bob Lanier, whose career records for rebounds, scoring average and field goal percentage still stand. The Bonnies’ strong play lasted through the postseason as the Brown and White went all the way to the Final Four, led by Lanier who averaged 29 points and 16 rebounds through double and triple coverage throughout his senior campaign.

Dec. 18, 2010 – Four OTs
Not one, not two, and not three overtime periods were enough to decide the winner between St. Bonaventure and Ohio University on December 18, 2010. The exhausted squads managed just two points apiece in the third extra stanza, but the Bonnies outscored the Bobcats 13-8 in the fourth OT to claim the win. The contest stands as the longest ever played in the Reilly Center. Andrew Nicholson scored 44 points for St. Bonaventure, while guard D.J. Cooper was just as good with 43 for Ohio. 


Dec. 2, 1966 – RC Opens To A Win
Capping years of planning and construction, the Reilly Center opened on December 2, 1966. St. Bonaventure’s first game in the RC, then known as the University Center, was a resounding victory, a 100-64 decision over Quincy before a crowd of 4,276. Jeff Hazard led the way for the Bonnies with 29 points. The Brown and White went on to a 13-9 record in its first season in a new home, earning 11 wins at home. St. Bona capped the season with two home wins over Little Three rivals Niagara and Canisius.


March 16, 1995 – NIT Victory
St. Bonaventure topped Southern Mississippi 75-70 on March 16, 1995 in the first round of the NIT behind 24 points from Nii Nelson-Richards who added seven rebounds and five steals. The Bonnies jumped out to an early 23-4 lead, but Southern Miss closed to within two points midway through the second half. Bona was sparked by a raucous sell-out crowd and held off the rally from the Golden Eagles.  It was the program’s first postseason win since 1978. Since then, the Bonnies have competed in the NIT three times: 1998, 2001 and 2016, and the program has participated in 16 NIT’s in its history. 



Feb. 24, 1969 – Bob Lanier’s 51 points
Big Bob dominated Seton Hall in breaking his own school record of 50 points set earlier that year. Lanier’s 51 points on February 24, 1969 still stands as the Reilly Center record by any player. ‘The Big Cat’ also pulled down a record 27 rebounds at the RC on December 22, 1976, which is a record that still stands today, and his 51 and 50-point nights still stand as the program’s top two single-game point totals. The Detroit Pistons drafted Lanier first overall in the 1970 NBA Draft, and he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992 after a storied professional career.


Jan. 15, 2000 – J.R.’s 3-Pointer Sinks 20th Ranked Temple
J.R. Bremer’s three-pointer from the corner with 2.8 seconds left gave the Bonnies a 57-56 win over 20th-ranked Temple on January 15, 2000. Bremer’s shot capped a rally after the Bonnies trailed 33-22 at halftime. It also fueled belief that the season could be special for St. Bonaventure. Jim Baron’s team went on to its first NCAA berth since 1978.  For his performance in the win, Bremer was named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Week, which he won three more times in his career that included 1,732 points in 112 games.