St. Bonaventure Starters: G Kyle Lofton, G Dominick Welch, G/F Courtney Stockard, F LaDarien Griffin, C Osun Osunniyi
Updated Records: St. Bonaventure 7-12 (3-3); UMass 7-12 (0-6)
Three Keys To The Game:
- A 15-2 run midway through the second half broke open what had been a close game
- The Bonnies played one of their best defensive games of the season in earning their first road win.
- Freshman point guard Kyle Lofton showed why he is one of the A-10's most impressive rookies, scoring 24 points to lead all scorers.
AMHERST, Mass. – Thanks to stellar defense and a season high 24 points by freshman guard Kyle Lofton, St. Bonaventure earned a 65-51 win at Massachusetts on Wednesday at the Mullins Center.
The Bonnies evened their Atlantic 10 Conference record at 3-3 as they won on the road for the first time this season.
St. Bonaventure led by just two points at halftime but wound up outscoring UMass 40-28 in the second half. The Minutemen were 19-54 (35 percent) from the field on the night while the Bonnies, who got off to a shaky start, wound up making 44 percent of their shots including 7-18 from three-point range.
Midway through the second half, the Bonnies led 41-36 before going on a 15-2 run to take control. Freshman Dominick Welch hit a three-pointer and Lofton made two free throws that pushed the lead to 46-36 with 8:23 remaining. After a UMass score, Osun Osunnoyi and LaDarien Griffin scored back-to-back. Following a turnover by UMass, Welch found Lofton in the corner for a three-pointer that pushed the lead to 53-38. Courtney Stockard capped the Bonnies' run with a three-pointer of his own with 4:10 left.
The lead grew to as many as 21 points.
In the first half, UMass took a nine-point lead midway through the frame. A pair of three-pointers by Kieran Hayward made it a 20-11 game. It was a 23-15 game when the Bonnies rallied, holding UMass scoreless over the final 4:38 of the opening half. St. Bonaventure scored 10 unanswered points, capped by Kyle Lofton's layup with 1:04 left in the stanza.
Lofton's 24 points topped his prior high of 23 set in a double-overtime game at Vermont. He was 8-13 from the field and 5-6 at the free throw line. Welch finished with 11 points and four assists. Stockard just missed a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds as the Bonnies out-rebounded UMass 33-27.
Quotes From Coach Mark Schmidt
"Especially coming off the two overtime game (a loss) with Dayton, this was a really good win. Our half-court defense was the reason we won. Defense has to be a staple and it was for us tonight. We guarded them well and it was a team effort. We didn't have breakdowns."
"(Kyle Lofton) had one of the best games of his young career. He was terrific. He and the other freshmen aren't freshmen any more, per se. They have played in pressure situations. They know what it takes. We don't think about the future with them, we think how good they can be right now."
- St. Bonaventure has now won seven straight meetings with UMass including four in a row in the Mullins Center.
- For the second straight game, senior guard Nelson Kaputo and junior guard Jalen Poyser both sat out due to head injuries.
- Coach Mark Schmidt now has 199 wins as St. Bonaventure's head coach, pulling him within three of Larry Weise's career record.
- St. Bonaventure overcame its largest deficit of the season in a win (nine by UMass in the first half)
- Dominick Welch set a season high with four assists.
Up Next: St. Bonaventure will visit Richmond this Saturday for its only meeting this season with the Spiders. Tip-off will be at 6:00 at the Robins Center.
- 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.