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Bonnies Hold Off San Diego, 70-61, in Boca Beach Classic Opener

Alejandro Vasquez sinks a jumper Sunday night vs. San Diego. (Photo: Scott Eddy)
Alejandro Vasquez sinks a jumper Sunday night vs. San Diego. (Photo: Scott Eddy)
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BOCA RATON, Fla. – A week ago, both Jaren English and Osun Osunniyi were still on the sidelines after suffering injuries at the outset of the season.

Sunday night in the Boca Beach Classic, the sophomore duo was instrumental in powering a 70-61 victory over San Diego in front of a Bonnies-dominated crowd on the campus of Florida Atlantic University.

With the win, St. Bonaventure advances to the Boca Beach Classic Hall of Fame Bracket Championship Game Monday night at 8 p.m. vs. host FAU which defeated Illinois-Chicago by a point in the earlier semifinal.

Osunniyi was dominant – he posted his second consecutive double-double since returning from injury, finishing with 15 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks. English, meanwhile, made his first Bonnies start and delivered 12 points and four rebounds.

In all, four Bona players reached double figures – Dominick Welch helped seal the game late with his 16 points and six rebounds as Kyle Lofton added 11 points and five assists.

St. Bonaventure (3-4) started the night shooting nearly as hot as the 80-degree weather outside, powered by the underclassmen combination of Alejandro Vasquez, Jaren English, Dominick Welch and Justin Winston. Bona's lead grew to 27-20 at the seven minute mark of the first half, but San Diego responded with fierce shooting of its own.

The Toreros (3-6) started 7-for-11 from long distance, pushing ahead with 2:02 remaining in the half, 33-31, on a jumper at the top of the key from James Jean-Marie.

In all, the first 20 minutes saw San Diego shoot 58 percent from distance and 46 percent overall to lead by a bucket, 35-33.

The contest remained a two-possession ballgame until Osunniyi and English sparked a Bonnies burst.

Osunniyi established dominance inside on both ends of the court, running up his block total while throwing down multiple thunderous dunks. A monstrous jam by English brought the Bonnies faithful in attendance to life with a 57-49 advantage with 7:50 to play.

The Toreros would not go away quietly, however. San Diego closed to within one possession, 59-56, on a dunk from Jean-Marie, and a missed field goal attempt on the other end could have sent the ball the other way. Instead, Osunniyi won a loose ball and kept the possession alive. Lofton responded with a jumper for a five-point lead with 2:28 remaining and San Diego never got closer.

Joey Calcaterra led all scorers with 18 points for USD.


  • For the first time this season, the Bonnies used a starting lineup of Kyle Lofton, Dominick Welch, Jaren English, Osun Osunniyi and Justin Winston.
  • Osunniyi entered the night with 96 career blocks and surpassed the 100 mark with his effort. He passed Jerome Spellman '94-96 for sixth all-time in program history (97).
  • Osunniyi was one off a career-high in swats. He finished with seven blocks vs. Jackson State last season. His double-double marks the eighth of his Bonaventure career.
  • Vasquez provide seven points off the bench.
  • Bobby Planutis registered six rebounds and two assists off the bench as well.
  • The Bonnies shot 47 percent from the floor (27-57), their second-best effort of the year behind only the 49 percent shooting in a win over Rutgers. San Diego shot 43 percent from the floor for the night and made 10 3s, but went just 3-for-11 from deep in the second half.
  • SBU won the battle of the boards, 38-30.

"I thought we played well. We struggled a bit in the first half, but we did a better job of keeping them in front in the second half and we were solid rebounding the ball. Osun makes a huge difference for us on the boards. I thought Jaren came in and really gave us a lift. Bobby in the second half played well. We had four guys in double figures, 13 assists and outscored them 34-18 in the paint. We played hard. It's a good win."

"We have a long way to go, but it's exciting to get those guys back. AJ made some shots in the first half. The young guys are going to be up and down, but we're getting better. Tomorrow night FAU is going to be playing in their home gym in front of a good crowd, but we had a great crowd of supporters here tonight. We came down here to get two wins and we have more work ahead of us." 

The Bonnies face Florida Atlantic in the Boca Beach Classic Hall of Fame Bracket Championship Game Monday night at 8 p.m.