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Banks Drops 26, Bonnies Crush Top-Seeded Loyola

St. Bonaventure defeated Loyola Chicago 79-64 tonight inside the Reilly Center. Daryl Banks III led the Bonnies and the game with 26 points including a perfect 12/12 from the free throw line. Chad Venning and Moses Flowers also scored in double figures in the win. The Ramblers were snakebit by turnovers and poor shooting in tonight’s loss. Only two visitors were over 10 points in Loyola’s loss tonight. Here’s how tonight’s game shook out.

The Ramblers opened tonight’s game by getting to the foul line just 14 seconds into the contest. Miles Rubin drew the foul on Assa Essamvous deep in the paint. The freshman center potted his first two free throws of the evening to open tonight’s scoring. Loyola then got back to the line on their second possession of the game as Philip Alston was fouled by Venning. Alston split from the line to give the Ramblers an early 3-0 lead. The visitors kept their foot on the gas as Sheldon Edwards splashed a three following his team grabbing an offensive rebound. The Bonnies finally got on the board on their sixth shot of the game as Assa hit a fade-away midrange. Bonas was lucky to only be down 6-2 only four minutes into the game.

Loyola came out of the game’s first media timeout firing as Braden Norris hit an immediate triple. However, the Bonnie offense finally woke up as they now trailed 9-2. Chad Venning made a move along the baseline before getting a reverse lay to fall. Moses Flowers would be next to score as he splashed Bonaventure’s first threeball of the evening. The Bonnies kept up the solid play as Venning got to the rack once again. It was suddenly a 7-0 Bonas run and a 9-9 game.

Photo by Dan Nelligan

St. Bonaventure continued to push the pace of the game as Daryl Banks III was fouled beyond the arc. The fifth-year senior guard knocked down all three free throws before Flowers forced a turnover and got the layup to fall in transition. The Bonnies had opened a 12-0 run and 14-9 lead in short order. Next it was Venning grabbing an offensive rebound and scoring in the paint. The 14-0 Bonnie run finally came to an end as Dame Adelekun found a bucket in close. Venning and Bonas would not wait long to respond as the redshirt junior converted an old-fashioned three-point play on the next possession. The Bonnies now led 19-11 halfway through the first.

The and-one shots would not stop there as Banks was fouled shooting a three for the second time in the half. This time, Banks’ triple would fall, and he had a chance at a four-point play. The better than 84% free throw shooter calmly hit his shot as the Bonnies now led by nine. Tom Welch found the scoresheet for the Ramblers off a slick feed from Norris on the ensuing possession before Venning was fouled again. The 6-foot-10 center knocked in both his free throws to push his team’s lead to 25-16 with just over eight minutes to play in the half.

Lyola continued to fight, cutting into the deficit with a Greg Dolan wing three and a Patrick Mwamba layup. The Bonnies punched back as Banks worked his way to the line for the third time tonight. He made his pair again to push himself to 6/6 from the stripe in the game already. Noel Brown was next to score for Bonas, finding the basket at the rim. The Ramblers would head to the line shooting a one-and-one on the following possession as Assa fouled Alston. The 6-foot-6 senior cashed in both his shots as the Bonaventure lead was trimmed back to six with just over four minutes to go.

Charles Pride got on the board on the next trip down the floor as he converted the wing triple. After a handful of empty possessions from both teams, Flowers hit the pullup jumper from just inside the three-point line. Ruben then fouled Venning following a steal by Flowers. It was his third personal foul of the game as Venning made both free throws. The Bonnies now led 36-23 with under two minutes to play in the half.

Bonaventure continued to grab defensive stops on one end of the floor as the offense continued to hum on the other. Pride was next to score as he made a contested layup and drew the foul. He completed the three-point play as the Bonnies now led by a game-high 16 points. Norris finally scored to end a 13-2 Bona run as he flushed a three. Banks went back to the line yet again on his team’s final possession of the half. He made his seventh and eighth free throws of the first half which closed the scoring in the first 20 minutes. The Bonnies led 41-26 at the half.

Venning led all scorers at the break with 13 points while Banks had 11. Flowers (7 points) and Pride (6 points) were other notable scorers for Bonas while Norris led the Ramblers with six points. Loyola Chicago shot 8/25 (32.0%) from the floor, 5/12 (41.7%) from three and 5/6 from the free throw line. St. Bonaventure went 12/28 (42.9%) from the field, 3/9 (33.3%) from deep and 14/14 from the charity stripe. The Ramblers outrebounded the Bonnies 16-14 but turned the ball over 13 times compared to only four from Bonaventure.

Loyola came out of the halftime locker room flying as Alston slammed home two dunks in quick succession off a steal and defensive rebound. Venning then got the Bonnies on the board in the half shortly after those with a layup. Alston was then fouled by Venning and split from the free throw line before Brown found two down low. The Ramblers would head back to the line on the following possession as Adelekun got the and-one layup to fall. He would miss his free throw, but Loyola had cut the deficit down to 45-33.

Pride provided a much-needed response for the Bonnies as he splashed a corner three. The whistles would continue on the other end of the floor, though, as Assa picked up his third foul to join Brown who also had three. Alston knocked in his pair of shots before Watson was fouled. The Davidson transfer split from the stripe but the Bonnies had already committed five team fouls less than four minutes into the half. Banks provided another necessary answer for Bonaventure as he made a deep two. The game finally hit its first media timeout of the half with Bonas up 50-36.

Venning and Adelekun traded buckets out of the timeout before Jayden Dawson knocked down a deep three. Barry Evans was next to get on the board in an emphatic way as he flushed a monster, two-handed slam off a feed from Adams-Woods. Rubin then picked up his fourth foul of the game on Loyola’s next defensive possession. Foul trouble would not be limited to the Rambler center, however, as Adelekun, Assa and Brown all had three fouls with just under 12 minutes to play.

The scoring slowed over the next 2:30 before Banks saw a three bottom out to push the Bonaventure lead back to 16. The Bonnies continued to score as Banks hit another triple to push his game total up to 19 points. Welch would answer with a three of his own before Brown went to the line. He made both his free throws to keep Bonas up 18. Evans would send the Bonnies in transition on the ensuing possession as he blocked Welch. Flowers took the ball coast to coast and drew the foul. His free throw pushed the lead to its largest of the night at 21 points with just over nine minutes remaining.

Norris would go to the line next for the Ramblers as he split his free throws before Watson grabbed a reverse layup. Head coach Drew Valentine called the timeout with 7:13 to play and his team trailing 65-47. Venning would be next to go to the line as he split his opportunity. The miss of the second free throw by Venning snapped Bonas perfect 18/18 clip from the line in the game. Watson then took over the next 40 seconds of the game as he grabbed a pair of free throws and a three to cut the Bonnie lead back to 13. However, Watson would get overzealous as he fouled Banks in the backcourt. Banks drained both free throws to push himself to a perfect 10/10 from the line on the game.

Dawson was next to cash in a triple as the Ramblers kept hanging around, cutting the lead to 12. Dawson committed the foul shortly after making his show which led to Adams-Woods hitting a pair of free throws. Flowers was next to hit the free throw line as the Bonnies continued to take care of business. The fifth year knocked down both shots to push the home team’s lead to 72-56 with just over four minutes to play.

The Ramblers continued to work, though, as Norris banged a corner three. Flowers was then trapped in the corner where he turned the ball over. Banks fouled Dawson to prevent the easy layup which gave the sophomore guard a one-and-one opportunity from the free throw line. Dawson missed the front-end, Banks grabbed the board and Brown eventually flushed a dunk on the other end. Alston answered quickly on the other end of the floor before Norris split from the line to cut the Rambler deficit back to 12.


Banks had seen enough of Loyola tonight as he drilled what felt like a dagger three from the far corner right next to the Bonaventure bench. He would then be fouled after Mwamba airballed a three. Banks sunk both free throws to make him 12/12 from the line on the night. Adelekun added a dunk to formally push the final score to 79-64 Bonnies.

Banks led all scorers in the game with 26 points. Venning’s 18 points and Flowers’ 12 points filled out the Bonnies that were in double figures. Alston led the Ramblers with 12 points while Norris totaled 11 in the loss. Loyola went 21/55 (38.2%) from the floor, 10/31 (32.3%) from three and 12/21 (57.1%) from the line. St. Bonaventure shot 23/51 (45.1%) from the field, 7/17 (41.2%) from deep and a stellar 26/29 (89.7%) from the charity stripe. The Bonnies outrebounded the Ramblers 35-34 while turning the ball over 14 times compared to Loyola’s 19.


Bonas head coach Mark Schmidt was pleased with his team’s overall effort tonight. “I thought we came out well defensively and couldn’t have played better on that end,” he said. Schmidt continued about Bonas, and specifically Banks, offensive production. “We got to the foul line and Daryl hit some big shots tonight which helped us beat a really good team,” he said.

Schmidt then touched on what it meant to earn his 300th win at St. Bonaventure. “It means we have really good players. I’m a lucky guy and I have good coaches that bring in good players. They’re not my wins, they’re my player’s wins,” he said.

The Bonnies improve to 18-10 overall and 9-7 in conference play with tonight’s win while Loyola Chicago drops to 20-8 overall and 12-3 in A10 play with the loss. Bonaventure has all-but solidified a single bye in March’s Atlantic 10 Tournament and currently sits fifth in the conference. The Ramblers drop to third in the A10 but have already clinched a double bye at Barclays Center. Bonaventure will be back in action next Wednesday in their final road game of their year at George Washington.


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