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Six Bonnies Score in Double Figures in Sixth Straight Victory, 87-70 Over Niagara

Alejandro Vasquez was one of six Bonnies to reach double-figure scoring (Photo: Nathan DeSutter)
Alejandro Vasquez was one of six Bonnies to reach double-figure scoring (Photo: Nathan DeSutter)
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Box Score (PDF)

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – St. Bonaventure grabbed an early lead and held on late, both stretching its winning streak to six straight games while snapping a two-game losing skid against rival Niagara with an 87-70 victory Wednesday night at the Reilly Center.

The Bonnies (7-4) found contributions from throughout the lineup as six players posted double-figure scoring. Dominick Welch led the way with 17 points, eight rebounds and a career-best six assists but the stat sheet was filled by a host of Bonnies.

Alejandro Vasquez chipped in 14 points off the bench; Osun Osunniyi delivered 13 points and seven rebounds; Kyle Lofton registered a double-double of 12 points and 11 assists; Amadi Ikpeze finished with 11 points and eight rebounds and finally, Justin Winston recorded 10 points and seven boards.

The Bonnies controlled from the outset, seizing an 11-2 advantage in the opening minutes.

Niagara (2-7) closed the gap to two possessions, 26-21, before the Bonnies finished the half on a 17-9 break to re-establish distance with a 43-30 cushion at intermission.

It seemed as though St. Bonaventure had things firmly in hand, stretching its lead to 64-46 with just over 10 minutes remaining, but Niagara made things interesting in the waning minutes.

The Purple Eagles roared back with a 14-2 run to close within 66-60 following free throws from Shandon Brown.

Osunniyi asserted his dominance to put the visitors away, however.

The sophomore dunked on back-to-back scoring possessions to push the lead back to double digits. A three-pointer from Welch made it a 77-64 advantage with three minutes left, effectively ending all doubt.

All the stats showed positive numbers for the Bonnies – the team shot 50 percent from the floor and tied a season-best with 12 three-pointers. The hosts also went 17-for-18 from the charity stripe and owned the undersized Purple Eagles inside with a 39-22 cushion on the glass.

Marcus Hammond delivered a game-high 21 points for Niagara.

GAME NOTES

  • Lofton has 33 assists in the past three games – he's tallied exactly 11 helpers in each of those contests.
  • The Bonnies owned a 34-18 edge in the paint.
  • St. Bonaventure now owns an 89-71 edge in the 160 meetings all-time vs. Niagara.
  • Bona held Niagara leading scorer James Towns off the scoresheet – Towns entered the day averaging 17 points per game but fouled out in just over eight minutes Wednesday.
  • Of Ikpeze's eight rebounds, six came on the offensive glass.
  • It was the first time the Bonnies had six players in double-figures since doing so in a Dec. 17, 2017 win over Vermont. Ikpeze was the only player to reach double-figure scoring that day to also do so Wednesday.
  • SBU handed out 23 assists on 29 made field goals - a season-high for the team.
  • Welch drained five three-pointers, the fourth time he's reached that mark this season. He entered the day ranking fourth in the A-10 with 29 threes on the season. 

QUOTES FROM HEAD COACH MARK SCHMIDT

"Going into the game, I thought one of the biggest keys was trying to stop their guards – Towns, Hammond, and Solomon. I thought we did a good job on Solomon. Towns got in foul trouble and made it easier for us. Hammond got off in the second half. I thought we played well in spurts, both offensively and defensively. Defensively, I thought we played well in the first half. We didn't play as well in the second half, we fouled too many times. Offensively, we had 29 field goals and 29 assists off those field goals which says a lot about our guys. We missed some easy shots that we should make, and then they converted at the other end a couple times. Give them credit, they fought back and cut (the lead) to six. And then give our guys credit, I thought they responded when it got down to sixWe dealt with adversity, which was good to see, but we have a long way to go both offensively and defensively."

"I thought Amadi was a big factor in the first half. I thought he played much better than he had in the past couple of games. That's the performance we need from him."

UP NEXT
The Bonnies will make a quick trip south to face Middle Tennessee State Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. CST, 3 p.m. EST.

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