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Lofton's 28 Powers Bonnies Past Duquesne on Friday Night Showcase

Box Score (PDF)

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – On a night where he was honored in pregame for joining the program's 1,000-point club, St. Bonaventure junior Kyle Lofton proved on a national stage why he already has a spot in the Bonnies record books by leading the way with a game-high 28 points as his squad stifled Duquesne, 62-48, in front of a national audience.

Lofton came through with his season-high in scoring, frequently working himself to the line by drawing eight fouls and going 12-of-14 at the charity stripe. The nation's ironman last season, he played all 40 minutes during the Atlantic 10's Friday Night Showcase on ESPN2. More impressively, 23 of his points came after halftime.

Reigning Atlantic 10 Player of the Week Jaren Holmes posted 11 points and nine rebounds while sophomore Alejandro Vasquez chipped in 11 key points off the bench for a season-high of his own.

With the win, the Bonnies stand atop the A-10 standings at 6-1 overall and 4-1 in league play. Duquesne, meanwhile, falls to 3-5, 2-4.

Both teams had cold spells during the early going. Duquesne took advantage of a three-minute scoring drought from the hosts to take an 11-8 advantage.

The Bonaventure defense then held Duquesne without a point for over five minutes, using a 13-2 run to take a 21-13 advantage with 5:20 before the half.

Neither team reached 40 percent shooting for the first half and the Bonnies went to intermission up four, 27-23.

The Bonnies expanded their lead to double digits for the first time of the night, 37-27, at the first media timeout of the half, but the Bonnies would go one for their next 11 from the floor as Duquesne trimmed within a point, 43-42, with nine minutes left.

When Bona needed an answer on this night, it looked to its floor general. Lofton hit a step-back jumper on the next possession, and connected again at the 7:15 mark for a 47-42 margin.

From there, the Dukes never cut it under two possessions.

The Brown and White began to slowly pull away, powered by a thundering dunk from Jalen Adaway off a Holmes feed. Another jumper from Lofton stretched the lead to eight with 5:40 remaining.

An eight-point lead felt more like 18 on this evening when both teams – each coming off games just over 48 hours prior, or in Duquesne's case, even less. The Bonnies defense held Duquesne to 19-for-53 from the floor, though the hosts were at a 20-for-55 clip themselves. Bona forced the Dukes into 16 turnovers, however, and despite being outrebounded by a 39-37 clip, managed to lead the visitors 16-3 in second chance points.

Michael Hughes paced the Dukes with 14 points while Marcus Weathers added 12 points and nine rebounds.

The Bonnies again owned the paint, scoring 28 points and working to the line for 27 attempts compared to Duquesne's nine.

QUOTES FROM HEAD COACH MARK SCHMIDT

"We challenged our guys and they passed the test. I thought Kyle was tremendous and Osun really had his bounce back tonight. To hold Duquesne to 48 points and to hold (Tavian) Dunn-Martin to six points; it was a tremendous defensive game. Offensively it was a struggle, but thank goodness we had Kyle and he hit some big shots for us."

"We did a good job in the post. Osun and Jalen did a good job. We doubled different ways to keep them off balance. Osun did a really good job defensively. It was a physical game and we passed the test."

GAME NOTES

  • The Bonnies have their best start since a 6-1 opening to the 2014-15 campaign. The last time the program had a better beginning to a season was an 8-1 run to begin the 2000-01 season.
  • St. Bonaventure wore its new gray jerseys – a throwback to a look from the 1980s – for the first time.
  • Osunniyi recorded four blocks, the 14th time in his Bonaventure career he has logged four or more blocks in a contest. He surpassed Eric Stover '83 for fourth-place in the Bona record books with 166 career swats.
  • Bona moved to 65-60 all-time vs. Duquesne, but has won nine of the past 10 meetings. Head coach Mark Schmidt improved to 19-9 vs. the Dukes.
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