Balanced Scoring Attack Leads Bonnies Past Explorers, 86-73

Box Score (PDF)

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – Five players scored in double figures, led by Jalen Adaway's 20 points as the St. Bonaventure basketball team got back into the win column, 86-73, vs. La Salle Tuesday night at the Reilly Center.

The victory maintained Bona's first-place standing in the Atlantic 10 with a record of 10-2 overall and 8-2 in conference play.

Adaway was successful on seven of his nine field goal attempts, also going 6-for-7 at the foul line while adding eight rebounds.

Kyle Lofton produced an outstanding effort as well of 18 points and eight assists including going 3-for-3 from long range, snapping what had been a cold streak from distance. Osun Osunniyi chipped in with 17 points, eight rebounds and three blocks; Jaren Holmes finished with 15 points and Dominick Welch posted 10.

In the early going, La Salle (8-12, 5-8) looked every bit the dangerous squad which had previously knocked off the top three teams in the A-10 preseason poll with wins over Richmond, Saint Louis and Dayton. The Explorers came out rolling, hitting four of their first five three-point attempts to build a 22-13 advantage.

The Explorers led for the first 8:46 of game time, but the Bonnies rallied back before intermission.

The tide turned with three technical fouls called against the Explorers, including back-to-back with just under eight minutes to play. Bona would take its first lead of the day following four free throws awarded following the technical.

That launched a 9-0 Bonnies run as the hosts took a double-digit lead to intermission on a step-back three-pointer by Lofton just over three seconds before the halftime buzzer.

In the second half, it seemed at times the Bonnies couldn't miss.

The hosts went 15-for-24 from the field after halftime, including 5-for-6 from beyond the arc. When all was said and done, the Bonnies shot nearly 61 percent for the day (28-46) and 64 percent from long range (9-14).

St. Bonaventure stretched the lead to 18 at the 7:04 mark of the second half, but La Salle cut back within 10, 81-71, with 2:54 remaining. A free throw from Osunniyi followed by an Adaway layup put the game on ice, though.

Sherif Kenney led all scorers with 22 points for La Salle while Jhamir Brickus added 13.

QUOTES FROM HEAD COACH MARK SCHMIDT

"They're a really good one-on-one team, they space you out, and that was the key, trying to keep them in front of us. At times we did a good job and others we didn't contest the way we needed to. That team had beaten the top three teams in the preseason poll; that's a talented team over there. Kyle got his three-point shot back; Jalen Adaway did a tremendous job, all of our five starters. I thought Eddie Creal came in during the first half and gave us a lift. AJ made a couple baskets. We're going to need those guys. We're going to need to continue to work, but we got better today."

"We did a better job on the ball screen stuff; we played better. Our defense, we kept them under 40 percent shooting and that's one of our goals. We didn't rebound in the first half, but we did a better job in the second half. We answered their runs and dealt with adversity."

GAME NOTES

  • La Salle started the first half 4-for-5 from deep, but finished the half 4-for-12 from beyond the arc.
  • St. Bonaventure went 15-for-18 at the foul line during the first half alone. The Bonnies finished 21-for-25 from the stripe for the game.
  • The teams were equal in rebounding, 29-29, but the Bonnies owned a 36-22 advantage with points in the paint.
  • Lofton moved to 35th in career scoring with 1,120 points, passing Sam Stith '60 (1,112), Rob Samuels '85 (1,112), Patricio Prato '03 (1,110) and Paul Hoffman '72 (1,103) on the Bonnies all-time scoring list.
  • The last time the Bonnies had five players finish in double-figure scoring was last season's home finale vs. Saint Joseph's in March 2020.
  • Bona improved to 6-0 in the Reilly Center this year.

UP NEXT
The Bonnies have a quick turnaround, traveling to play at VCU Friday night on ESPN2 in the Atlantic 10 Friday Night Showcase.

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