Box Score (PDF)
FAIRFAX, Va. – A 2-0 start to Atlantic 10 play would feel good by itself for any conference team. For St. Bonaventure men's basketball, though, that beginning to A-10 action tastes even sweeter considering the circumstances – opening with two straight road games, the Bonnies rallied from 15 down to win at George Mason Wednesday night, 61-49.
Kyle Lofton led the scoring with 17 points, adding a familiar impressive stat line of five assists and five rebounds along with three steals. Osun Osunniyi filled the stat sheet with eight points, 18 rebounds, five blocks, four assists and three steals.
It was all Mason (11-4, 0-2) in the early going as the Patriots showed why they opened the season with 11 wins in their first 13 contests. After a Welch layup started the scoring, the Patriots delivered the game's next 11 points over the opening four minutes. It was a 19-4 break at the start for Mason, which opened 7-for-13 from the floor and 5-for-7 from deep.
The Bonnies would do their best to erase that start by chipping away the rest of the half, using a 9-1 run to cut within 31-27 deficit at the break.
2:37 1H | Chipping away ... chip ... chip ... chipping away ��— Bonnies Men's Basketball (@BonniesMBB) January 9, 2020
Mason 30, SBU 22 pic.twitter.com/5tJcoqHKoS
Bona (10-5, 2-0) continued to stay hot into the second period as sprints of 7-0 and 8-0 pushed the visitors ahead, 44-39, with just over 10 minutes to play. Mason countered with a three to close within one possession, but the Bonnies put the game away with a 13-3 run as the SBU fans in attendance roared in approval.
LET'S GO BONA'S chants real loud in here rn pic.twitter.com/IXxiQoSyUZ— Bonnies Men's Basketball (@BonniesMBB) January 9, 2020
After Mason began nearly untouchable from distance, the hosts would finish 3-for-13 down the stretch as the Bonnies defense locked in.
Conversely, Bona went 6-for-12 from deep during the second half when they outscored Mason 34-18.
AJ Wilson and Justin Kier each had 11 points for Mason.
Nearly +6 in rebounding margin in games played by Osunniyi this season entering the night, the Bonnies dominated the glass with a 44-24 cushion.
- St. Bonaventure is 2-0 in Atlantic 10 play for the first time since 2015-16 and for just the second time since 1999-2000.
- The Bonnies used a starting lineup of Kyle Lofton, Dominick Welch, Alejandro Vasquez, Osun Osunniyi and Justin Winston for the second consecutive game.
- Bobby Planutis finished with six points in 28 minutes off the bench.
- Bona received important bench minutes from both Matt Johnson (14) and Alpha Okoli (eight) with Jaren English sidelined due to injury and Welch in foul trouble during the second half.
- Osunniyi's four assists are a career-best.
- Since a 1-4 start to the year, Bona has won nine of its last 10 games.
- SBU moved to 9-3 all-time vs. the Patriots.
QUOTES FROM HEAD COACH MARK SCHMIDT
Coach Schmidt talks about tonight's win at George Mason �� pic.twitter.com/FVyFv0CtGx— Bonnies Men's Basketball (@BonniesMBB) January 9, 2020
The Bonnies finally return home after more than three weeks without a game at the Reilly Center, hosting Fordham Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.
For the latest news on St. Bonaventure athletics, stay connected on social media. Follow the Bonnies on Twitter @GoBonnies and get men's basketball updates @BonniesMBB. Keep up with the Bonnies on Facebook /GoBonnies and on Instagram @GoBonnies.