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Bonnies Remain Unbeaten in A-10 Play After 64-44 Win Over Fordham

Box Score (PDF)

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – St. Bonaventure limited Fordham to 24 percent shooting from the floor, pulling away late for a third straight Atlantic 10 victory, 64-44, Saturday afternoon at the Reilly Center.

The Bonnies have now won 10 of their past 11 games to improve to 11-5 overall and 3-0 in A-10 play.

Kyle Lofton delivered 17 points and seven assists, sinking six of his seven field goal attempts while a returning Jaren English made an impact with 16 points and six assists. Osun Osunniyi again dominated the boards with 14 rebounds, adding six points and three blocks.

In the early going, the Bonnies threatened to blow the game wide open as they launched a 13-0 run to grab a 31-17 advantage.

Fordham (6-9, 0-3) trailed by 14 at the break, but would make things interesting down the stretch.

A cold spell from the hosts left the door open for the Rams to narrow the gap as they closed within 45-40 with nine minutes to play.

English helped end the Rams rally effort, working to the line for a pair of free throws and then found a cutting Bobby Planutis in front of the basket to stretch the lead to nine. A free throw from Matt Johnson and a drive to the rim from English pushed the advantage back to 12 and the Rams would never threaten again.

Bona's defense kept the Rams locked down all afternoon as the visitors shot just 13-for-54 from the floor and while they made nine threes to remain close for a time, those makes came on a whopping 40 attempts from deep.

St. Bonaventure, meanwhile, hit 51 percent of its shot attempts and won the battle of the boards by a 36-31 margin.

Ivan Raut led Fordham with 12 points.

GAME NOTES

  • The Bonnies are 3-0 in Atlantic 10 play for the first time since 2016 and for just the third time since joining the conference, also along with the 2000 team. 
  • Planutis added nine points and six rebounds off the bench. 
  • Osunniyi had his sixth game this year of double-figure rebounding.
  • Lofton, who entered the game leading the Atlantic 10 at over six assists per game, has had six or more assists in seven of the last nine games.
  • St. Bonaventure moved to 10-2 when leading the rebounding battle.
  • The Bonnies had 17 total assists on 24 field goals.
  • English, who missed the last two games due to injury, had a career high in assists.
  • SBU has held two straight opponents to under 50 points and are allowing just 53.0 ppg in three A-10 wins.
  • The 24 percent shooting turned in from Fordham is the lowest against the Bona defense this season and second time an opponent has shot under 30 percent for the game (Hofstra, Dec. 7, 28 percent).

QUOTES FROM HEAD COACH MARK SCHMIDT

"I thought it was a struggle. If you look at the stats defensively, we did a really good job – 24 percent (field goal shooting), 22 percent from threes. They only took 14 shots inside the three, and they only shot 22 percent from threes. We outrebounded them by five, but it was a struggle. The game was so slow, every possession counted, and we got stagnant at times. Give Fordham credit, they had a game plan. I thought they did a good job on Osun inside."

"I thought the difference in the game was when Kyle got his fourth (foul), Matt Johnson came in and gave us a lift. And I thought Jaren English did a really good job playing some point. He had some big baskets. Dom had that big shot in the corner. But we found a way. Osun got 14 rebounds, but we have to continue to work on the offensive part of it. It wasn't pretty, but we're 3-0 and we have to continue to get better. We're nowhere near where we need to be. We're about to play four really good teams coming up, so we have to improve. We're going to win games by defending, rebounding, and taking care of the basketball, and we did that for the most part today.

On English:
"He was able to score. He was able to handle the ball. He can play multiple positions, so we play him some at the two. He can take the ball to the basket. He's a winner, and we've missed him the last two games. But he brings a different dimension, some toughness, some physicality from the guard position. He did a really good job. We couldn't have done it without him."

UP NEXT
The Bonnies head to Rochester for the annual Alesco Advisors ROC City Hoops Classic vs. UMass Wednesday night at 7 p.m. inside Blue Cross Arena.

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