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Bonnies Lean On Their Defense To Overcome Jackson State

Box Score (PDF)

St. Bonaventure Starters: G Kyle Lofton, G Jalen Poyser, G Dominick Welch, F Tshiefu Ngalakulondi, C Amadi Ikpeze

Three Keys To The Game:

  1. St. Bonaventure earned its first win of the season by limiting Jackson State to 15 points in the second half, pulling away after the visitors pulled within nine points.
  2. Thanks in part to Osun Osunniyi's seven blocked shots, the Bonnies held an opponent under 40 points for the first time since 1995 (a 76-32 home victory over Appalachian State on Jan. 7, 1995).
  3. Jalen Poyser scored a career high 23 points and Kyle Lofton finished with 16 to lead St. Bonaventure, which had just eight scholarship players available.

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – It a game dominated by defense, St. Bonaventure topped Jackson State 67-36 on Saturday afternoon at the Reilly Center.

The Bonnies held the Tigers to 21 percent shooting (13-62) including just six field goals (6-35) in the second half. Osun Osunniyi, the Bonnies' 6-10 freshman center, recorded six of his seven blocks in the second half.

St. Bonaventure led 34-21 at halftime. The Tigers climbed to within 11 points, 41-30, on a three-pointer by Venji Wallis at the 14:54 mark. The Bonnies then held the Jackson State scoreless for the next 8:23, pushing their lead to 52-30. Two free throws by Kyle Lofton capped the Bonnies' 11-0 run.

Hoping to quickly erase the memory of Wednesday's season-opening overtime loss to Bucknell, St.  Bonaventure got off to exactly the start it hoped for, scoring the first nine points of the game. The Bonnies led 25-18 midway through the opening stanza but then scored eight unanswered points to push the advantage up to 33-18 with 1:25 left until halftime.

In addition to Poyser's and Lofton's combined 39 points, St. Bonaventure got eight points from Nelson Kaputo and five apiece from Osunniyi and Dominick Welch.

Quotes From St. Bonaventure Coach Mark Schmidt:
"I thought it was a good bounce-back game for us. We challenged them. I thought our guys really responded. Osun Osunniyi didn't score a basket and Alpha Okoli didn't score a basket, but they had such an impact on (the game) from a defensive standpoint. I told the guys, it's not always offense that can affect the game. It's on the defensive end, and I thought those two guys did a really nice job. We have to play hard. A coach a long time ago told me that the game of basketball is 10 percent X's and O's and 90 percent how hard you're going to play. I thought we played really hard today. That was one of the main reasons we won."

"Osun does a good job of blocking shots and taking charges. So, now it makes guys really hesitant to know what to do. That's a skill. That's a talent. A lot of times shot blockers just shot block. He can read situations and when to take charges and when to block shots. He's a talent that's just getting better and better."

"Hopefully (Jalen Poyser) is out of his little funk. We need him to score. I thought he played much more aggressively, smarter … hopefully, he can continue to do that."

Game Notes:

Up Next: St. Bonaventure will travel to Niagara on Monday, Nov. 12, for a 7 p.m. tipoff at the Gallagher Center.

- By Steve Mest, Associate Director of Athletics


St. Bonaventure basketball tickets are available via; by calling (716) 375-2500 or at the St. Bonaventure ticket office in the Reilly Center. For the latest news on St. Bonaventure athletics, stay connected on social media. Follow the Bonnies on Twitter @GoBonnies and get men's basketball updates @BonniesMBB. Keep up with the Bonnies on Facebook /GoBonnies and on Instagram @GoBonnies.