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Bonnies Drop Opener To Ohio, 65-53

Box Score (PDF)

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – Tuesday night brought the fanfare of a highly anticipated Centennial Season of basketball, but visiting Ohio put a damper on the celebration with a 65-53 decision at the Reilly Center.

Two players finished in double figures for the Bonnies – Alejandro Vasquez posted 12 points and Amadi Ikpeze registered 10. Bobby Planutis paced the team on the boards in his Bona debut with 10 rebounds, including six on the offensive glass.

The Bobcats controlled much of the contest, shooting 47 percent from the floor while never allowing the Bonnies to gain much of any rhythm of their own offensively. St. Bonaventure shot at a 36 percent clip for the night (20-for-55) and went 3-for-19 from distance.

It looked as though the Bonnies were primed for a rally, down only four with just under 16 minutes to play. All-conference sophomore center Osun Osunniyi went down with an injury, though, and the momentum immediately swung back in favor of the Bobcats.

Ohio closed out a 9-0 run on a jumper from Jason Preston to pull back ahead, 42-31.

The Bonnies got within 50-44 after a quick coast-to-coast sprint from Kyle Lofton with seven minutes remaining, but a pair of turnovers and two quick buckets from the Bobcats quickly extended the difference back to 11.

Jordan Dartis led all scorers with 19 points, heading up three Bobcats in double figures: Ben Vander Plas, last year's Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year, delivered 12 points and Preston chipped in with 11.

GAME NOTES

  • The Bonnies welcomed back Bob Sassone '54 and Ronald "Whitey" Martin '61 as Honorary Captains for the night as part of the program's Centennial Season celebration. Sassone keyed Bona's first two NIT teams as an All-American player in 1951 and 1952 before serving as an assistant coach for three decades. Martin was an All-American and the co-captain of the program's first NCAA Tournament team in 1961. Both men were honored in pre-game.
  • St. Bonaventure outrebounded Ohio, 37-30, and grabbed 16 offensive rebounds.
  • Kyle Lofton, Dominick Welch, Bobby Planutis, Alejandro Vasquez and Osun Osunniyi served as the team's starting five.
  • Planutis, Vasquez, Matt Johnson (2), and Robert Carpenter (2) all scored their first official points in Bonnies uniforms.

QUOTES FROM HEAD COACH MARK SCHMIDT

"I give credit to Ohio U. I thought they played really well. Going into the game, it was really important for us to control their guards. I thought Preston and Dartis were really good players.

Preston was a guy that had 13 points and 14 points against Robert Morris in their scrimmage. We knew he was a really good player; the key was to try to keep him out of the paint. He controlled the game for them. They hit some big shots, especially early in the game."

"Offensively, their zone really affected us. We didn't attack it well, we weren't aggressive. We had some bright spots, but for the most part we couldn't keep them out of the lane, and our zone offense wasn't very good."

"We need to go back to the drawing board. Hopefully this is a wake-up call, and hopefully it shows the young guys what Division I basketball is all about. It's really their first experience in playing, so hopefully it's a learning experience.

NEXT UP

St. Bonaventure faces a quick turnaround when it takes on defending America East champion Vermont Friday night at the Reilly Center. Tip off is slated for 7 p.m.

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