- Preseason All-Conference selection Courtney Stockard, who missed the first six games of the year recovering from offseason knee surgery, returned to score 19 points to lead the Bonnies.
- St. Bonaventure snapped a four-game losing skid and earned its fifth win over Canisius in the last six years.
- Freshmen Kyle Lofton (13 points and nine assists) and Osun Osunniyi (12 points and 11 rebounds) played like veterans, with Osunniyi's four blocked shots helping to lead a stout St. Bonaventure defense.
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – Wednesday night at the Reilly Center was as much about Courtney Stockard's return as a Big 4 rivalry game with Canisius. Stockard did not disappoint.
The senior forward made his 2018-19 debut in style, scoring 19 points to go with seven rebounds and three assists to lead the Bonnies to a 70-55 win over the Griffs.
Stockard entered the game at the 11:46 mark and it didn't take long for his impact to be felt. With the Bonnies trailing 17-14, the St. Louis, Mo., native tied the game with a three-point play. He then drained a three-pointer from the left corner and, just 17 seconds later, converted another three-point play. His nine straight points put St. Bonaventure ahead 23-17, and Stockard's club never trailed again.
St. Bonaventure extended its lead to 37-20 by the 1:04 mark in the first half. The Bonnies outscored the Griffs 23-6 over the final 7:47 of the opening period to take a 37-23 lead into halftime. Senior guard Nelson Kaputo also sparked the Bonnies with 11 points in the first 20 minutes, going 3-4 from three-point range.
In the second half, Canisius pulled to within 10 points at 41-31, but the Bonnies responded with a 10-0 spurt to take control for good.
Four Bonnies finished in double figure scoring led by Stockard. Lofton finished with 13 while Kaputo and Osunniyi each totaled 12 points. Osunniyi posted the first double-double of his young career, ending with a game-high 11 rebounds.
Quotes From St. Bonaventure Coach Mark Schmidt:
"I thought it was a good performance. It was good having Courtney (Stockard) back. He gave our players some courage, some confidence. I thought Nelson (Kaputo) had a big first half. He made some big threes for us. I thought Kyle (Lofton) was terrific, a freshman point guard playing 40 minutes, being pressured like he was and not having a turnover. I thought Osun (Osunniyi) was really good inside, he gave us some easy baskets. Overall, I thought we defended decently. We did a good job defending the three. We took care of the ball for the most part. Hopefully, it's something we can build off of."
"Anytime you can get easy baskets in the paint, it helps your offense. Good offenses always go inside out. If we can have Osun do what he did today on a consistent basis, it'll make it easier for our perimeter guys and strengthen our defense. Osun isn't a selfish player, he will still kick it out. He's still learning and still young, but it is a good first step."
- Lofton's nine assists are a season high for the freshman from Hillside, N.J. He played all 40 minutes and did not commit a single turnover.
- St. Bonaventure held Canisius to 30.8 percent shooting, its second-best defensive field goal percentage of the early season.
- The Bonnies outrebounded the Griffs 42-32, their most positive rebounding margin this season.
- With Stockard back the Bonnies had eight scholarship players available, up one from the previous two games.
- St. Bonaventure now leads the all-time series with Canisius 101-66. The teams have played at least once every year since 1947
Up Next: St. Bonaventure will host Delaware State this Saturday, Dec. 1, in the second game of its four-game home stand. Tipoff will be at 4:00 in the Reilly Center.
- By Steve Mest, Associate Director of Athletics
First career double-double for the big fella! pic.twitter.com/Ano5NJi1qv— Bonnies MBB (@BonniesMBB) November 29, 2018
The frosh has been �� pic.twitter.com/205bkhatGq— Bonnies MBB (@BonniesMBB) November 29, 2018
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. 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.