Box Score (PDF)
RICHMOND, Va. – Foul trouble and cold shooting put St. Bonaventure into a hole Friday night at VCU, but the Bonnies still nearly found a way before coming up one shot short, 67-64.
It seemed like an uphill battle for much of the night with nearly all of Bona's regular starters battling foul issues at one point or another.
Still, St. Bonaventure erased a double-digit second point deficit to close within three, 62-59, with 1:30 to play. After a jumper from Jalen Adaway in the lane cut the deficit to one possession, the Bonnies got a defensive stop and an opportunity to tie following a timeout with under a minute to go. A step-back jumper just inside the line from Adaway fell short, with the rebound lost out of bounds. Forced to foul, the Bonnies sent Bones Hyland to the line and he pushed the edge back to two possessions with a pair of free throws.
A traditional three-point play from Alejandro Vasquez gave the Bonnies one last gasp. Another foul sent Hyland back to the line for a 66-62 lead, but the Bonnies refused to quit. A floater in the lane from Kyle Lofton cut the deficit to two with six seconds left, and one of two at the line from Vince Williams left the game separated by just one possession.
Out of timeouts, the Bonnies inbounded following the made free throw and a full-court pass to Dominick Welch left the Bona junior with a chance for the tie, but a desperation three attempt went off the iron as time expired.
Adaway kept the Bonnies in the game with an outstanding performance. The redshirt junior produced 23 points, eight rebounds and shot 9-for-13 from the floor in his second consecutive 20-point effort.
Osun Osunniyi filled the stat sheet, especially during the second half, with 11 points, eight rebounds and five blocks. The junior fouled out with just over three minutes to play, though, in a huge blow for Bona's efforts.
Welch added 10 points and seven rebounds.
Bona (10-3, 8-3 A-10) led early behind the power of Adaway.
Fresh off a 20-point game in Tuesday's win over La Salle, Adaway opened the game hot, scoring the Bonnies' first nine points.
VCU (15-4, 8-2) would grab its first lead, 13-11, at the 9:32 mark of the first half, and would establish a bit of control as the Bonnies faced a barrage of fouls.
Jaren Holmes was forced to sit just four minutes in with two fouls. Welch picked up his second foul at the 8:45 mark. Kyle Lofton was whistled for his second at 6:07. Vasquez, playing extended minutes with Holmes sitting due to foul trouble, got called for his third foul at the 4:44 mark. Finally, Lofton had to sit the final 2:07 of the half after being charged with his third personal.
The foul trouble plaguing SBU helped VCU pull away before the half, opening up a 9-2 run to grab a 33-26 advantage at intermission.
The Rams kept the momentum going out of the locker room, immediately extending their lead to double digits early in the second half. Welch helped stem the tide with a three to pull within 47-41 with 13 minutes remaining and, later, Osunniyi backed down his defender in the post for a 53-51 score with nine minutes left.
Bona then went cold, though, as the fouls continued to mount and an 8-0 run from the Rams gave them a 61-51 lead as the Bonnies would be fighting from behind the rest of the way.
Hyland delivered 22 points and eight boards, but he went just 5-for-16 from the floor and did most of his damage by going 9-of-10 at the line, though he did drain three treys. Williams added 11 points and nine rebounds for VCU.
QUOTES FROM HEAD COACH MARK SCHMIDT
"Our kids really fought back and made some plays. Give VCU all the credit, but we were right there. We didn't do a good job on some block outs; we need to fix some stuff. But to be down by 10 and have a chance to tie the game at the buzzer says a lot about the character of the team."
"VCU is a good defensive team and we knew it would be a challenge. But we gave ourselves a chance which is what you always want to do on the road. You look at the stats and we shot 44 percent to their 36 percent, but they got more shots because of the offensive rebounds."
"We didn't cover down and do a good job blocking them out, but even so it wasn't our defense, it was more their 19 offensive rebounds and just getting extra shots. It was the second chance points that were the difference."
- Like in the first meeting when the Bonnies stifled the Rams during the second half of their win Jan. 20 at the Reilly Center, Bona held VCU in check during the second half. The Rams shot just 11-for-32 from the floor after intermission and finished at a 36 percent clip for the game.
- VCU's key stat: 19 offensive rebounds, leading to 16 second chance points. In all, the Rams held a 43-34 advantage on the glass.
- The teams were even with scoring in the paint, 34-34.
- Bonaventure averaged just 11.8 turnovers per game entering the night, but committed 15 miscues Friday which led to 18 points of offense for VCU.
- Vasquez chipped in eight points and three rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench.
- Welch moved past Patricio Prato '03 for 12th place all-time in Bonnies career 3-pointers with 143.
St. Bonaventure's schedule for this coming week will be announced by conference officials in the coming days.
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