St. Bonaventure Starters: G Kyle Lofton, G Nelson Kaputo, G/F Courtney Stockard, F LaDarien Griffin, C Osun Osunniyi
Updated Records: St. Bonaventure 16-15 (12-6 Atlantic 10); Saint Louis 19-12 (10-8)
Keys To The Game:
- Seniors Courtney Stockard and LaDarien Griffin led St. Bonaventure's come-from-behind win, combining for 21 of the Bonnies' 44 points in the second half.
- The Bonnies were 12-for-22 from the field in the second half including 4-7 from three-point range as they overcame a five-point halftime deficit.
- Playing in the final home games of their careers, Stockard scored 20 points to go with seven assists and five rebounds while Griffin had 10 points, five rebounds and three blocks.
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – Fittingly, it was two seniors who took the game over in the second half for St. Bonaventure on Saturday afternoon at the Reilly Center, as Courtney Stockard and LaDarien Griffin led the Bonnies to a 66-57 win over Saint Louis.
St. Bonaventure (16-15) finished 12-6 in the Atlantic 10 Conference and clinched fourth place, thus earning a double-bye into the quarterfinals of next week's A-10 Tournament in Brooklyn.
Stockard scored 20 points and Griffin had 10 to lead the Bonnies, who trailed 27-22 at halftime.
The win came as hard-earned as expected against a Saint Louis team that was picked to win the A-10 this year and had won its last two contests. The Billikens limited the Bonnies to just eight field goals in the first half. Saint Louis led by as many as eight points in the first.
St. Bonaventure gradually clawed its way back, pulling within 35-34 on two Griffin free throws. Griffin then gave the Bonnies their first lead of the second half when he drained a jumper to make it 36-35 at the 12:12 mark.
Saint Louis responded with back-to-back scores to go ahead 40-36, but Kyle Lofton and Amadi Ikpeze sparked a 6-0 run that put the Bonnies back in front, 42-40, with 7:23 remaining. Lofton scored four of the six points while Ikpeze had a bucket and a key defensive rebound.
After a Hasahn French layup tied the game, Lofton made two free throws, then he drained a three-pointer that ignited the home crowd and put his team ahead 47-42 with 6:15 left.
After a Saint Louis score, Stockard made one of two free throws, then he sank a three-pointer with 4:55 left that pushed the Bonnies' lead to 51-45. Griffin blocked Saint Louis' next shot, and on the other end of the court Stockard scored in the paint to make it 53-45. Jordan Goodwin scored for SLU, but Stockard struck again, drawing a foul and sinking two free throws to make it eight straight points for the senior, who is a native of St. Louis.
It was a 55-49 game when freshman Dominick Welch hit a three-pointer from in front of his own bench with 3:19 left. The Bonnies forced two missed shots by the Billikens, and then Griffin followed with a dunk that pushed the lead to 60-49 with 1:33 to play.
The Bonnies held Saint Louis to 33.9 percent (21-62) shooting including 5-19 from three-point range.
Lofton, despite being closely guarded all day, scored 14 points with three rebounds and two steals. Welch finished with nine points and four rebounds, while Osun Osunniyi had nine points, six rebounds and three blocks despite being limited to 21 minutes with foul trouble.
- The Bonnies have now won seven of their last eight games. Over that stretch, they held their opponents under 60 points seven times.
- Osun Osunniyi rejected three Saint Louis shots, giving him 81 for the season. He is now tied for most blocks by a freshman in program history with Andrew Nicholson.
- St. Bonaventure won its fourth in a row at home and ended the season 9-5 at the Reilly Center.
Up Next: The Bonnies will play in the Atlantic 10 Tournament next week at Barclays Center in Brooklyn as the No. 4 seed. Their first game will be on Friday, March 15, at 2:30. The final A-10 standings will not be determined until the completion of the Dayton-Duquesne game Saturday night.
- By Steve Mest, Associate Director of Athletics
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