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Assa, Brown Lead Bonnies Over Fordham

St. Bonaventure defeated Fordham 85-67 tonight. The Bonnies we led by Assa Essamvous’ 23 and Noel Brown’s 18 points. Both players set new career highs in scoring. Chad Venning also had a solid day scoring 15 points in limited action due to foul trouble. Everything seemed to go right for Bonaventure tonight as the team shot 60.0% from the floor and made 12 threes. Here’s how it went down tonight.

Chad Venning won the opening tip before scoring at the rim on the game’s first possession. Just as quick as the Bonnies opened the scoring, the Rams answered. Romad Dean splashed a corner triple for Fordham to get his team on the board. The teams then went empty for multiple consecutive trips before Venning scored with the left down low. The Rams would substitute for the first time in the game which led to Abdou Tsimbila grabbing a layup. Tsimbila was then fouled on the next possession and made one of his two free throws.

Venning quickly went back to work for the Bonnies on the other end. This time it was a fadeaway jumper to tie the game at six. Josh Rivera earned a trip to the free throw line on the ensuing possession as Venning picked up his second foul less than five minutes into the game. Next it was Noel Brown’s turn to shoot free throws as he was fouled in the paint. Brown made both before grabbing a defensive rebound on the next Ram miss. Charles Pride would get on the board with a triple as the Bonnies led 11-7.

Assa Essamvous was next to find the scoresheet with a midrange jumper. Japhet Medor would end the 7-0 Bonaventure run with a corner three but was answered quickly by a Brown layup. Barry Evans would be the next Bonnie to score as he found himself all alone in the paint. Evans flushed the dunk to push the Bona lead to seven. The Bonaventure offense continued to produce as Brown scored again in close. The run had stretched to 13-3 as the lead ballooned to nine.

Elijah Gray broke the run with a floater that hit nearly every part of the rim as the shot clock expired. Pride would then be whistled for the travel before Gray was fouled. He split from the line as the Rams trimmed their deficit back to six. Evans quickly got to the rim on the following possession and converted the layup before Gray went back to the free throw line. He cashed in both his shots. Brown and Gray then traded layups before the Bonnies grabbed five more quick points. This time it was Assa with a three and Flowers with a midrange. Keith Urgo had seen enough and called the timeout with his team now trailing 28-17.

Bonaventure continued to work out of the Fordham timeout as Brown got to the hoop yet again. However, the Rams began to show some life. Will Richardson splashed a three before making a jumper less than 30 seconds later. The Bonnies responded after the final media timeout of the half as Flowers hit another midrange jumper. Assa then knocked down a three to push the lead back to 13. The Rams again responded as Rivera and Rose combined for five quick points to cut their deficit back into single digits.

The Bonnies responded to the Fordham push just as quick as the Rams had scored. Assa banged back-to-back threes for his third and fourth triples of the night before Daryl Banks III cashed in a corner three to end the first half. St. Bonaventure led the Fordham 44-27 after the first 20 minutes of play.

Assa led all scorers at the break with 14 points while Brown was the only other player in double figures with 10. Gray led the Rams in scoring at the half with seven points while Venning totaled six points in only five minutes of playing time. Fordham shot 9/23 (39.1%) from the floor, 4/12 (33.3%) from three and 5/10 from the free throw line. St. Bonaventure went 17/25 (68.0%) from the field, 5/6 (83.3%) from deep and 2/3 from the charity stripe. The Bonnies outrebounded the Rams 11-9 while Fordham turned the ball over six times compared to Bonaventure’s seven.

Dean and the Rams struck first in the second half as he worked around Venning in close. Venning was fouled on the ensuing possession as he made one of his two free throws. Next it was Medor splashing the wing triple for the Rams before Venning went back to work inside for two. Mika Adams-Woods and Dean traded buckets on the next two offensive looks before Assa hit his fifth three of the game. Antrell Charlton quickly responded with a three of his own before Assa splashed yet another one in from deep. He was up to 20 points and six triples with 15 minutes left in the game. The Bonnies now led 55-37.

Richardson tried to settle the game down with a foul-line jumper, but Adams-Woods promptly banged a three in response. Medor and Venning then traded points as the Bonnie lead remained at 19. Pride would go to the free throw line where he made both shots. The game went to the under-12 media timeout with the Bonnies leading 62-41. Brown got back on the board with a layup before Richardson cashed in a three. Brown quickly went back to work on the other end before he was again cancelled out, this time by Tsimbila. Banks then got back on the scoresheet with a three as the Bonnies led by a game-high 23 points.

Jahmere Tripp scored for the first time in the game with a pair of free throws before Brown was fouled once again. Brown hit both free throws as he was up to 16 points in the game. Assa then found his career-high seventh three and 23rd point of the game with the deep triple. Rose responded with a three of his own which cut the Bonaventure lead back to 23.

Following another media timeout, Brown flushed a put-back slam for his career-high 18th point of the night. Rose was next to score in close before he made a jumper two possessions later. Banks then worked his way to the line where he split his free throws. The Rams continued to foul the Bonnies as Flowers went to the line and split as well. Next it was Fordham’s turn to get to the charity stripe as Tripp knocked in a pair. The Rams came out in a press which was swiftly broken and led to a Venning and-one layup. He completed the three-point play as the Bonnies led by 24 with less than five minutes to play.

Venning continued to add to his total as he was fouled yet again. He split from the line as he was up to 15 points in just 13 minutes of play. Gray grabbed the jumper as the game hit the final media timeout of the evening. St. Bonaventure led 82-59 with just under four minutes to play. Flowers was next to bang a triple as he splashed down from the corner. The teams continued to trade buckets as Tripp made a pair of free throws. Charlton then added two free throws as the walk-ons began to enter the game. Tripp and Noah Best both added buckets to push the final score 85-67 Bonnies.

Assa led all scorers with 23 points tonight while Brown trailed close behind with 18 points. Venning also added 15 points in limited action. Richardson and Rose tied for the Fordham lead in points with 10 apiece while Gray totaled nine. The Rams shot 23/54 (42.6%) from the floor, 8/25 (32.0%) from deep and 13/18 (72.2%) from the line. The Bonnies went 30/50 (60.0%) from the field, 12/18 (66.7%) from three and 13/20 (65.0%) from the free throw line. Bonaventure hauled in 26 rebounds compared to Fordham’s 23 while turning the ball over 16 times compared to only 12 from the Rams.

The Bonnies improve to 15-9 overall and 6-6 in conference with the win while Fordham falls to 10-14 overall and 4-7 in the Atlantic 10. Bonas returns home for both alumni and 80’s weekend as the Davidson Wildcats come to the Reilly Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.  


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