Thanks in large part to LaDarien Griffin, St. Bonaventure used a dominating second half to pull away for a 77-61 win over Fordham on Wednesday night at the Reilly Center.
The junior forward posted career highs of 21 points and 14 rebounds for his third career double-double, leading the Bonnies to their 12th win of the year. St. Bonaventure, which dropped a pair of games on the road last week, evened its Atlantic 10 Conference record at 2-2.
At halftime, the Bonnies held just a 34-31 lead. Griffin helped push the Bonnies ahead in the second half, scoring 15 points in the final 20 minutes.
The Bonnies seized control with to a 14-2 run that ended with them ahead 55-39 at the 11:02 mark. Highlighting that stretch were two dunks by Griffin off feeds from Jaylen Adams and Courtney Stockard, respectively.
St. Bonaventure's lead remained at around 15 points for the next eight minutes, eventually growing to 22 at 75-53 with 1:58 remaining, allowing coach Mark Schmidt to empty his bench.
On a night when Adams was held to 10 points in just 23 minutes and Matt Mobley had only eight points, eight other Bonnies players cracked the scoring column in addition to Griffin. Stockard finished with 13 points. Idris Taqqee and Amadi Ikpeze scored six points apiece, while Nelson Kaputo had five points and six assists.
For the game, the Bonnies made 51 percent of their shots from the field, mainly thanks to their ability to get inside Fordham's extended zone defense. St. Bonaventure scored 52 points in the paint. The Bonnies also controlled the rebounding to a 41-26 margin.
Quotes From Coach Mark Schmidt
"Give Fordham credit. Their zone screwed us up in the first half. I thought defensively we played decently and you look at the numbers and we did, but we didn't do a good job of attacking, we were very tentative … and then I thought in the second half we did a lot better job of being aggressive. They play a unique style… it's different than anybody in the league."
"So at halftime we said 'let's be aggressive, let's drive the ball.' I thought we did that, I thought (Griffin) had a great effort with a double-double, and Courtney did some stuff. It didn't help in the first half that Jay (Adams) had two fouls. We wanted to be more aggressive and get into the teeth of the defense by dribble penetration. Matt and Jay aren't going to play well every night. We need other guys to step up and (Griffin) stepped up tonight and (Stockard) as well. I tell our guys that every kid's going to have their day in the sun, they just have to be prepared."
"In order to have a successful season in the Atlantic 10, you have to win your home games, you have to protect your home court. To come home, it's a needed win, it's a must win, because it's home and if you want to have a successful season, you've got to protect the Reilly Center."
Beyond The Boxscore
- St. Bonaventure is now 6-1 at the Reilly Center, winning six in a row at home after the season-opening loss to Niagara.
- The Bonnies are now 15-3 in home A-10 games since the start of the 2015-16 season.
- Jaylen Adams picked up two fouls early in the game and therefore sat out all but five minutes of the first half.
- The Bonnies' 41 rebounds are their third-best total this season.
Up Next: St. Bonaventure travels to Rhode Island for the first of two meetings with the Rams this Saturday, Jan. 13, at the Ryan Center. Tipoff will be at 11 a.m. and the game will be televised by ESPNU.
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