Bonnies Hold Off Wildcats For Key A-10 Win, 56-53

Osun Osunniyi swats a shot during Wednesday's win. (Photo by: Tim Cowie)
Osun Osunniyi swats a shot during Wednesday's win. (Photo by: Tim Cowie)
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DAVIDSON, N.C. – St. Bonaventure completed a home-and-home sweep of Davidson, holding off the Wildcats late for a 56-53 victory Wednesday evening to move back into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 standings.

The Bonnies (12-3, 10-3 A-10) continued to prove this to be a special campaign. Sunday afternoon, the Brown and White vanquished the demons of recent seasons vs. Davidson by snapping a four-game skid against the Wildcats. Wednesday night, the Bonnies picked up just their second win all-time at Davidson and their first since 2015.

In so doing, the Bonnies reached double-digit A-10 victories for the seventh straight season, the longest active streak in the conference.

Bona had three players in double figures, led by Jaren Holmes who scored 16 points. Dominick Welch added 15 points and seven rebounds while Jalen Adaway posted 14 points and seven boards.

The visitors led for over 34 minutes of game action but had to fight off a charge from Davidson during the second half.

St. Bonaventure used an 18-4 run over a 9:14 stretch spanning the end of the first half and beginning of the second to open up a 46-32 cushion with 15:34 to play.

Davidson (11-7, 6-4) would counterpunch, answering with a 9-0 break of its own as the Bonnies went cold for stretches of the half.

Luke Brajkovic brought the Wildcats all the way back with his spin move underneath for a 53-53 tie with 2:29 remaining.

On the next possession, the Wildcats defense left Adaway alone in the far corner and he made them pay, taking an Osun Osunniyi pass and depositing it for what turned out to be the game-winning 3-pointer.

After Adaway's clutch shot, the teams went scoreless for the final 1:56 of play as defense took over. The redshirt junior added another key play as Adaway swatted away a three-attempt from Hyunjung Lee with 52 seconds to go.

Davidson had the ball and called timeout with 12 seconds left, but a look from three by Brajkovic with just over two seconds left was deflected by Osunniyi as time expired.

St. Bonaventure built a double-digit lead at the break on the strength of some terrific three-point shooting, in particular a red-hot start from Welch.

The junior guard hit four of his first five attempts from beyond the arc and five total during the opening 20 minutes as the Bonnies went 8-for-14 from distance.

The Bonnies broke open a tie game with an 11-0 run over the final four-plus minutes of the half to take a 39-28 advantage to intermission.

Bona pushed the lead to 41-28 following a putback from Adaway for the first points of the second half, eventually building its lead to 14 before Davidson reeled the Bonnies back in for the finish.

Carter Collins paced Davidson with 16 points while Brajkovic posted 12. Bona's defense held star Davidson guard Kellan Grady in check as the preseason First Team All-Conference player went 1-for-7 from the floor for just two points. The Bonnies made strong adjustments on Lee as well who finished with nine points after hitting six threes on Sunday. 

QUOTES FROM HEAD COACH MARK SCHMIDT

"(Adaway) was struggling, but he hit the game-winner and had a huge deflection. It just shows he's a team guy. He didn't get disappointed; when it really mattered he hit the big shot for us."

"We played well on Sunday, but the guys did a really good job defensively tonight. We played well offensively in the first half, struggled in the second half, but it didn't impact our defense. To hold that team to 53 points is an incredible effort."

"We could have folded. They tied it up and we could have folded, but we got the stops when we needed to get the stops. Offense is fickle; the staple has to be defense and rebounding and that's what we did tonight." 

GAME NOTES

  • The Bonnies matched their season-high in three-pointers made, equaling the total from Sunday as they went 11-for-21 from distance. Davidson, meanwhile, finished 8-for-28 from deep, breaking a streak of six straight games where the Wildcats had hit 11 or more three-pointers vs. the Bonnies, averaging nearly 14 treys per game during that stretch.
  • Davidson entered this past weekend as one of the Atlantic 10's top rebounding teams at over a +7 rebounding margin for the season, but for the second straight game the Bonnies won the battle of the boards, 33-30.
  • Davidson also averaged over 74 points per game for the season entering this twinbill, but scored just 58 and 53 points against the Bonnies defense.
  • SBU posted its 24th game of holding an A-10 opponent under 60 points since the start of 2018-19. The Bonnies are the top-ranked defense in the league, allowing under 63 points per game.
  • Davidson entered the day ranked No. 78 in the NCAA NET rankings, giving the Bonnies their fifth Top 100 win of the year.
  • Lofton, Holmes and Welch all played the full 40 minutes while Osunniyi played 39.
  • Osunniyi paced the Bonnies with eight rebounds, adding two blocks.
  • St. Bonaventure was outscored in the paint for just the second time this season, 24-18.

UP NEXT
The Bonnies have a very quick turnaround and will be back in action in less than 48 hours by hosting George Washington at the Reilly Center Friday night at 6 p.m. on ESPN+.

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