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Bonnies Score 74-65 Homecoming Win Over George Mason

Box Score (PDF)

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – A 15-2 run from the St. Bonaventure men's basketball team changed the complexion of Saturday's contest vs. George Mason and sent the Bonnies to a 74-65 victory on Homecoming Weekend.

After a back-and-forth first half, Mason came out of intermission hot, using a 9-3 run to push ahead, 41-38.

The Bonnies responded though with their break, ultimately stretching the sprint to 25-7 to take a commanding 63-48 advantage with five minutes to play.

From there, the Bonnies never gave up control.

On a weekend where the Super Bowl takes center stage, it was Bona's "quarterback" who led the charge – Kyle Lofton was outstanding, turning in 17 points and seven assists on 6-of-11 shooting. Fellow sophomore Dominick Welch put together his second double-double of the week with 14 points and 13 rebounds, just one off a career high on the glass set just three days prior.

Both teams shot a matching 48 percent (13-for-27) from the floor as they exchanged five ties and four lead changes in the first half. Bona's four-shot advantage at the free throw stripe allowed the hosts to take a 37-34 edge to the break.

George Mason started the second half on its quick spurt to push aheadbut back-to-back threes from Welch and Lofton put the Bonnies back in front at the 15:15 mark.

That set the tone for what would turn out to be a game-changing run.

Mason briefly got back within a point at 44-43, but a rim-shaking dunk from Osun Osunniyi brought the near sell-out crowd to its feet. Alejandro Vasquez followed with a traditional three-point play, then, after a bucket from Justin Winston, Vasquez got to the line for two free throws and a double-digit cushion.

Winston produced a solid effort of 13 points and seven rebounds in one of the best performances of his rookie season – he put home six of his eight shot attempts in 27 minutes of play. Vasquez nearly matched his frosh teammate, putting home 10 points off the bench. Osunniyi, meanwhile, finished with 10 points and five rebounds and drew seven fouls from the Patriots defense.

Javon Greene showed the way for Mason (13-9, 2-7) as he delivered 17 points. Jordan Miller tacked on 15 for the visitors.

GAME NOTES

  • The Bonnies shot 48 percent from the floor while the Patriots finished at 40 percent – but just 33 percent during the second half.
  • George Mason held a narrow 37-36 edge on the boards.
  • SBU improved to 10-3 all-time vs. George Mason and completed a season sweep of the Patriots after a 61-49 win in Fairfax last month.
  • Welch led the Bonnies on the boards for the ninth time this season.
  • Lofton produced his 19th career game of six or more assists and played the full 40 minutes for the 11th time this season alone.

QUOTES FROM HEAD COACH MARK SCHMIDT
"I thought our effort was better in the second half. I thought the first half, especially the first 10 minutes, we couldn't keep them in front of us."

"I thought Dom is playing much better, not just in terms of shooting the ball, but his overall game. He's going to the offensive glass, it's the second game in a row that he's had a double-double, which is critical for us. We're not the best shooting team, we're not the best offensive team, so the more offensive rebounds we can get the better."

"I thought Kyle did a really good job, especially in the first half, of scoring the basketball. AJ gave us a lift. I thought Justin did a really good job. It was a team effort. We had five guys in double figures, and we took care of the basketball a little better in the second half. I'm disappointed that we got outrebounded. We were plus five at halftime, and we did a bad job in the first three or four minutes of the second half. But it was a good win against a very good team; a very well-coached team. We knew it was going to be a battle, it was an Atlantic 10 game. But we found a way to win, and that's what we needed to do.

UP NEXT
The Bonnies remain at home to host George Washington Wednesday night at the Reilly Center. Tip is set for 7 p.m.

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