St. Bonaventure Starters: G Kyle Lofton, G Nelson Kaputo, G/F Courtney Stockard, F LaDarien Griffin, C Osun Osunniyi
Updated Records: St. Bonaventure 5-10 (1-1); Saint Joseph's 7-8 (0-3)
Three Keys To The Game:
- St. Bonaventure started fast and dominated the entire first half, opening a 27 point lead by halftime.
- The Bonnies limited Saint Joseph's to 12 first half points on 18 percent shooting, and the Hawks only finished the game making 29 percent from the field.
- Senior LaDarien Griffin, playing his fourth game since returning from a knee injury, looked more like himself, scoring 19 points to go with seven rebounds.
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – St. Bonaventure led from start to finish in a dominating, 73-47 win over Saint Joseph's on Wednesday at the Reilly Center.
The Bonnies evened their Atlantic 10 Conference record at 1-1 as they snapped a five-game losing skid.
Playing at home for the first time since Dec. 8 seemed to be just the cure for the Bonnies' recent struggles, especially on the offensive end. Led by senior Nelson Kaputo, St. Bonaventure started out hot, making five of its first six shots to open an 11-1 lead less than four minutes into the game. Kaputo scored seven points in that opening run. Freshman Osun Osunniyi added a layup, Courtney Stockard made two free throws and LaDarien Griffin drained a jumper that pushed the lead to 17-1 by the 14:21 mark.
As the Hawks continued to miss shots, the Bonnies were unrelenting, feeding off their defense. The lead grew to 25-5, then 32-9. Griffin put an exclamation point on the lopsided first half when he made a three-pointer with just one second left that sent the Bonnies into the locker room ahead 39-12. It was the fewest points allowed in a half by St. Bonaventure this season.
In the first half, the Bonnies were 17-30 (56 percent) from the field while Saint Joseph's, which was chosen second in the Atlantic 10 preseason poll, was just 5-27 (18 percent).
While the teams played a fairly even second half, the Bonnies' lead never dipped below 20 points.
Griffin and Osunniyi controlled the paint, combining for 29 points and 19 rebounds with a pair of blocks. Griffin scored 19 points while Osunniyi recorded the second double-double of his young career with 10 points and a season-high 12 rebounds. Thanks in large part to the duo, St. Bonaventure enjoyed a 30-18 edge in points in the paint.
Kaputo finished with 12 points while Kyle Lofton and Stockard both ended with 11. Freshman Dominick Welsh, seeing his first extended action since returning from a foot bruise, made a pair of three-pointers.
Quotes From St. Bonaventure Coach Mark Schmidt:
"We hadn't played at the Reilly Center in over a month, we were on a five-game losing streak, I don't think we've won in a month, and we challenged the guys. It was really good to see they came out with some energy, some fire. Some things we've been working on — defending, rebounding, taking care of the basketball — we did an exceptional job, especially in the first half. We played extremely well and we needed to. This was a big game. As I told the team, it was a must-win if we want to compete in the conference."
"There's no secret to success. You have to earn it. And you earn it by getting in the gym, getting in the weight room, and working. When things aren't going well, you can go one of two ways, you can either lay down or you keep on fighting. And it was good that our guys kept on fighting. It showed when you fight you can have some success, and that's what we did tonight."
- St. Bonaventure has now won 14 consecutive home games over Atlantic 10 opponents.
- The Bonnies improved to 5-2 at home this season.
- Griffin's 19 points were a season high and just two short of his career high set last season against Fordham.
- 2018 St. Bonaventure graduate and 2017-18 Atlantic 10 Co-Player of the Year Jaylen Adams was in attendance.
- In a series that still favors Saint Joseph's, the Bonnies have now won nine of their last 10 meetings with coach Phil Martelli's Hawks.
Up Next: St. Bonaventure will host Fordham this Saturday, Jan. 12, at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, N.Y. Tip-off will be at 4:30.
- By Steve Mest, Associate Director of Athletics
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.