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Dayton Sneaks Past Bonnies, 55-52

Alejandro Vasquez battles through traffic. (Photo by: Craig Melvin)
Alejandro Vasquez battles through traffic. (Photo by: Craig Melvin)

Box Score (PDF)

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – The St. Bonaventure men's basketball team could never quite find its footing offensively and fell in the final seconds to visiting Dayton, 55-52, Monday night at the Reilly Center.

Dayton (13-8, 9-7 A-10) led for over 19:30 of game time during the second half thanks to a 19-3 run spanning the end of the first half and the open of the second period.

The Bonnies (13-4, 11-4) clawed their way back after falling behind by 12 with 11:46 to play.

Jalen Adaway gave the Bonnies some life, scoring on back-to-back possessions to cut the deficit to single digits, and a pair of free throws by Kyle Lofton made it a 49-42 score with 7:19 to play.

Another trey from Adaway made it a 50-46 margin with still 4:50 left, but Ibi Watson responded with a fastbreak bucket to stem the tide. AJ Vasquez later made one of two at the line before a trey from Dominick Welch pulled the Bonnies within a bucket, 52-50.

A layup from the Flyers made it a 54-50 game, but a runner in the lane from Kyle Lofton put the game back at a two-point differential with 2:07 to go.

Unfortunately, the Bonnies would not score again.

Watson left the door open by making one of two at the stripe with 1:05 on the clock, but missed shots on each of Bona's last two possessions sealed the victory for the Flyers.

Adaway paced the Bonnies with 17 points while Osun Osunniyi had 10 points, 15 rebounds and matched a career-high with seven blocks.

Dayton led in the early going, but the Bonnies pushed ahead with their largest lead of the opening half, 26-18, with 4:19 left before intermission. It would be the Flyers, though, that seized momentum going into the break, as Jalen Crutcher tallied his first points on a floater just before the halftime buzzer to pull within 27-26.

The Flyers stretched their run to 15-1 by sprinting out of the locker room with the first seven points of the second half, forcing the Bonnies to call timeout with a 33-27 visitors advantage.

Dayton would continue to surge as the Bonnies went ice cold. Bona went 4-for-22 from the floor over the first 12 minutes while the Flyers stretched their cushion to 12.

Bona held Jalen Crutcher to six points as he fouled out in just over 22 minutes, but Watson delivered a team-best 14 while R.J. Blakney added nine.

QUOTES FROM HEAD COACH MARK SCHMIDT
"We didn't do a good job executing, making shots. We seemed sluggish, a little heavy-legged. Dayton played well enough to beat us, give them credit. We were down 12 and had a shot at the end to tie the game. They did a good job of keeping us out of the paint and at times we took quick shots."

"Dayton kept us out of the paint, made a few threes. We played hard enough to win, we just didn't play well enough to win. But, our guys didn't quit. We were just sluggish and didn't have a lot of energy, four games in nine days is a lot to ask. We'll get some rest and hopefully play better on Friday."

(on the passing of University President Dr. Dennis DePerro) "Not only did we lose our president, we lost a great man. I'm heartbroken for his family. He was a great man and a great leader who did amazing things here. He was a friend and a terrific man and it breaks my heart. I could walk into his office at any time and talk to him. He really supported athletics and particularly men's basketball. He will be hard to replace. It was a hard day today."

GAME NOTES

  • St. Bonaventure wore special patches on their jerseys to honor the memory of the late Dr. Dennis DePerro, university president.
  • Despite the loss, the Bonnies will own the top seed in the Atlantic 10 Tournament as the conference's regular season champion.
  • Lofton finished with nine points and six assists, passing David Vanterpool for eighth all-time in program assists (406).
  • With two threes on the night, Welch tied Marcus Posley and Tyler Relph for ninth all-time in program history with 158.
  • The Bonnies finish the year 8-1 at home, just missing becoming the first Bona team to go undefeated on home court since the 1976-77 NIT championship squad.
  • Alejandro Vasquez provided eight points and three steals in 18 minutes off the bench.
  • Dayton became just the third team to outscore the Bonnies in the paint this year, 24-20, and won the battle of the boards, 36-32.

UP NEXT
The Bonnies will now focus on the Atlantic 10 Tournament. The top seed in the tournament bracket, Bona will play in a quarterfinal game Friday morning at 11 a.m. in Richmond vs. the winner of the No. 8 vs. No. 9 seed which will take place Thursday. The Bonnies' Friday quarterfinal game will air live on NBC Sports Network. Full seeding for the tournament will be released by A-10 officials Monday night.

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