St. Bonaventure Starters: #3 G Jaylen Adams, #2 G Matt Mobley, #1 G Idris Taqqee, #15 F LaDarien Griffin, #33 F Josh Ayeni
Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley combined for 60 points to lead St. Bonaventure to its eighth straight win, a 98-78 decision over Massachusetts Saturday afternoon at the Reilly Center.
Adams scored 32 points – three short of his career high – and Mobley added 28 as the pair combined to go 20-32 from the field including 9-16 from three-point range.
The Bonnies' eight-game win streak is the longest in program history since the 1970-71 season, when coach Larry Weise's team opened 8-0.
Saturday, St. Bonaventure led 47-38 at halftime and extended the advantage to 19 points at 66-47 less than seven minutes into the second half. Adams' three-pointer at the 13:02 mark capped a 10-0 run.
The lead grew to 26 points on Josh Ayeni's dunk at the 9:35 mark, and the Bonnies went on to secure their 11th win of the season as well as their first Atlantic 10 Conference victory. St. Bonaventure's 98 points is their highest total this season and top since scoring 101 against Canisius Dec. 22, 2016.
In the first half, St. Bonaventure led 23-10 by the 12:00 mark, but UMass came back with an 15-1 run to take its only lead of the afternoon at 25-24. The Bonnies held a 28-27 lead when then broke out with a 17-6 run over a span of 3:17, opening a 45-33 edge with 1:55 left in the first half. Mobley capped the run with a three-pointer, his fourth in the first half.
St. Bonaventure also earned the win in part thanks to strong work on the backboards, outrebounding the Minutemen 40-33. Senior guard Idris Taqqee led the way with a career high 12 rebounds. Courtney Stockard added 10 points and seven rebounds, and LaDarien Griffin corralled six rebounds. Sophomore center Amadi Ikpeze scored nine points.
Stats of the Game
St. Bonaventure made 55.6 percent of its three-point shots, going 10-18. In addition, the home team was plus-12 in points off turnovers (22-10) and had 17 assists against only eight turnovers.
Quotes From Coach Mark Schmidt
"We knew coming in that it would be a tough test. The first conference game is really important, especially at home. From an offensive standpoint, it's the best that we've played in a number of games."
"When Jay and Matt shoot the ball the way they did today we are going to be a good offensive team. Idris did a really good job on the boards today and Amadi came in and played really well."
"You can't get complacent. I told the guys that, while they are 10-2, they are only guaranteed 10 wins and that's what we really focused on coming back from the short break. The Syracuse game was water under the bridge and you have to continue to get better every day."
Beyond The Boxscore
- The UMass win completed an unbeaten month of December for the Bonnies, which is first time that has happened since at least 1972 (as far back as game dates are readily available at time of publishing this recap).
- Even without students on campus, attendance was a robust 4,945 – just shy of the season high 4,954 at the season opener.
- In Atlantic 10 season openers, the Bonnies are now 22-17 all-time and 8-3 under coach Mark Schmidt.
Up Next: St. Bonaventure heads west to face Dayton next Wednesday, Jan. 3, at UD Arena. Game time is 8:30 and the contest will air on CBS Sports Network.
St. Bonaventure basketball tickets are available via GoBonnies.com/tickets; by calling (716) 375-2500 or at the St. Bonaventure ticket office in the Reilly Center.
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PHOTO CREDIT: Steve Harrison