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Bonnies Fall In A-10 Championship Game, 55-53

Bonnies Fall In A-10 Championship Game, 55-53

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 18-16  |  Saint Louis 23-12

Keys To The Game:

  1. St. Bonaventure struggled to score in the second half, going 6-23 from the field as Saint Louis overcame the Bonnies' nine-point halftime lead.
  2. The Bonnies trailed by eight points with 3:45 remaining but rallied to pull within two, only to see two shots in the last 16 seconds miss the mark.
  3. Playing in what turned out to likely be the final games of their careers, seniors Courtney Stockard and LaDarien Griffin led St. Bonaventure with 22 and 10 points, respectively. Griffin had 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the A-10 Tournament.

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – St. Bonaventure's season came to the most heartbreaking possible ending on Sunday afternoon as the Bonnies lost to Saint Louis, 55-53 in the championship game of the Atlantic 10 Tournament at Barclays Center.

The Bonnies were down eight points, 55-46, with 3:45 remaining but rallied to pull within two. Courtney Stockard's three-pointer with 56 seconds left pulled the Bonnies back to the 55-53 score. Saint Louis guard Fred Thatch missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw and the Bonnies called timeout with 45 seconds left. None of St. Bonaventure's three shots over the final stanza would fall, however, as Dominick Welch's three-pointer, Kyle Lofton's layup and then a three-pointer by Nelson Kaputo all missed the mark. 

Thanks mainly to the scoring of Stockard and LaDarien Griffin, the Bonnies controlled the first half, opening a 15-point lead at 34-19 on Griffin's jumper with 3:34 left until halftime. Saint Louis, which went 9-32 from the field in the first 20 minutes, was still able to trim the lead to 34-25 by halftime.

At the start of the second half, the Bonnies' lead dropped to six at 41-35, then down to 41-40 after five more Billikens points. The game stayed close, then Saint Louis grabbed its first lead of the day on Hasahn French's score inside with 6:58 to play.

The momentum had swung to Saint Louis at that point and the Billikens scored on three consecutive possessions to go ahead 54-46 with 3:45 left.

Stockard got the Bonnies their first points in over four minutes when he drove the lane with 3:13 remaining, making it a 54-48 score. The score stayed that way until under 1:21 when Bonnies were forced to go into foul mode. The strategy worked as the Billikens missed a free throw, then Osun Osunniyi converted two free throws with 1:16 left to close the gap to 54-50.

Fred Thatch made one of two free throws with 1:08 left for Saint Louis' final points of the game.

Stockard led the Bonnies with 22 points. He was 6-9 from three-point range. Griffin's 10 points and 11 rebounds were his second double-double of the A-10 Tournament.

Freshman point guard Kyle Lofton was named to the All-Tournament Team. He scored six points and had four assists Sunday.

St. Bonaventure ended its season 18-16. The trip to the A-10 final capped a remarkable resurgence from what had been a 4-10 start.

Game Notes

  • St. Bonaventure limited Saint Louis to 37 percent shooting for the game and held a 42-39 edge in total rebounds.
  • Osun Osunniyi's four blocks gave him 92 for the season, which is the second-best total in school history behind only Caswell Cyrus' 99 in 1997-98.

- By Steve Mest, Associate Director of Athletics

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