Lofton Powers Bonnies Over Mason; Schmidt Now Bona’s All-Time Coaching Wins Leader

Lofton Powers Bonnies Over Mason; Schmidt Now Bona’s All-Time Coaching Wins Leader

Box Score (PDF)

 

St. Bonaventure Starters: G Kyle Lofton, G Dominick Welch, G/F Courtney Stockard, F LaDarien Griffin, C Osun Osunniyi

Updated Records: St. Bonaventure 10-14 (6-5); George Mason 15-11 (9-3)

Keys To The Game:

  1. St. Bonaventure started hot, taking a 16-0 lead less than five minutes into the game, and never trailed on the way to its seventh Atlantic 10 win of the year.
  2. Led by freshman point guard Kyle Lofton, the Bonnies made 11 of 19 three-pointers (58 percent). Lofton went 7-8 from long range on his way to a career high 32 points.
  3. The Bonnies' defense was almost as efficient as Lofton, holding the Patriots to 38 percent shooting and just 56 points, tied for their lowest total in a game all year.

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – The stars seemed to align for St. Bonaventure and coach Mark Schmidt on Sunday afternoon at Reilly Center.

Schmidt became the Bonnies' all-time coaching wins leader as his team rolled past third-place George Mason, 79-56. Freshman Kyle Lofton dazzled with a career high 32 points and seven assists. Senior Courtney Stockard finished with 17 points.

Schmidt, who is in his 12th season at St. Bonaventure, now has 203 wins in charge of the program. He passed Larry Weise, who guided St. Bonaventure to 202 wins over 12 seasons from 1961-73.

The Bonnies seemed fully intent on giving Schmidt the win right from the start. They had their hottest start of the season, holding the Patriots scoreless over the first four minutes and scoring 16 unanswered points by the first media timeout. During that stretch, Lofton scored 11 points including a trio of three-point field goals.

The Patriots' first field goal came at the 15:45 mark, and they did close to within 18-11 after a Jason Douglas-Stanley three-pointer at the 12:26 mark. But the Bonnies would continue their strong play on both ends of the court, holding the Patriots to just 9-of-25 from the field in the first half en route to a 42-25 lead at halftime.  

In the second half, Lofton combined with seniors LaDarien Griffin and Stockard. Back-to-back buckets from Stockard to open the half, paired with another bucket from Lofton gave the Bonnies their largest lead of the day at 48-25 at the 17:30 mark.

Mason used a 12-3 run to narrow the game to within 10 with 4:44 left. But a trey by freshman Dominick Welch, who finished the game with 10 points, followed by buckets from Stockard and Griffin and back-to-back threes by Lofton left no doubt as to the game's outcome.

The wire-to-wire victory was the Bonnies' 11th overall and moved them to 7-5 in the Atlantic 10. It also snapped a three-game home losing skid.

Lofton was 10-15 from the field including 7-8 from three-point range and 5-5 at the line. He added three rebounds and two steals. He is believed to be the first St. Bonaventure freshman since Essie Hollis in 1974 to reach the 30-point mark. Hollis scored 30 against Belmont Abbey. 

Classmate Osun Osunniyi had six points, 11 rebounds and five blocks. 

Mark Schmidt Post-Game Quotes
"We got out 16-0 and we couldn't have played better defensively. And we couldn't have played better offensively. Even though we didn't play great the entire (first) half, I thought we defended really well. We out-rebounded them, we took care of the basketball."

"To beat (George Mason), you have to keep them out of the paint, you have to keep them off the foul line, and I thought we did those two things."

"It was a good defensive effort, and we played well enough offensively. We took care of the ball, and we shot the ball really well from three. We shot the ball really well and Kyle (Lofton) couldn't have played better. Courtney got us off to a good start, but Kyle was terrific throughout the game."

For Schmidt's perspective on breaking the coaching wins record, see additional coverage in our video sections on GoBonnies.com and You Tube.


Game Notes

  • With the win, St. Bonaventure moved into a half game of fifth place in the Atlantic 10 standings behind Saint Louis and Duquesne, who are both 8-5.
  • The Bonnies' 11 three-pointers are their second-highest total in a game this season and their 58 percent shooting from behind the arc is their best this year.
  • Lofton's seven made three-pointers are the best by a Bonnies player this season.
  • Lofton now has six games of 20 points or more and Osunniyi has six games with 10-plus rebounds.
  • Over the past two games, the Bonnies were 19-38 (.500) from three-point range, turning around a shooting slump from the prior two weeks.

Up Next: St. Bonaventure will host La Salle at the Reilly Center on Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m.

- By Steve Mest, Associate Director of Athletics

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