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Bonnies Find Their Offense, Trounce Joe’s at Home

Photo by Dan Nelligan

St. Bonaventure defeated St. Joseph’s 91-71 tonight inside the Reilly Center. The Bonnies were led by three players who totaled more than 20 points. Daryl Banks III led the game in scoring with seven three pointers and 29 points. Five Hawks were also in double figures but none had more than 16 points. The Bonnies made 12 triples and shot 58.1% from the field in the win. Here’s how tonight’s offensive breakout went down.

The game began fast with points coming from everywhere. Both big men got their teams on the board first as Christ Essandoko and Chad Venning both scored in close. Venning would find the next bucket before Erik Reynolds II found the first Hawk three of the night. The teams would continue to trade baskets as Moses Flowers, Rasheer Fleming and Lynn Greer III all scored in succession. Greer and Flowers once again traded buckets before Venning knotted the game at 12 with a layup as the game hit its first media timeout.

Mika Adams-Woods checked into the game for the first time following the timeout. Essandoko and Assa Essamvous then proceeded to trade threes before Flowers connected again to give the Bonnies the lead. Xavier Brown, Cameron Brown and Anthony Finkley then combined to put the Hawks on an 11-2 scoring run. Flowers was the only Bonaventure bucket during the run. St. Joe’s led 25-19 with under 10 minutes to play in the first.

The Hawks would strike first out of the under-12 media timeout as Reynolds’ layup pushed the run to 13-2. Daryl Banks III broke the Bonaventure scoring drought with a wing triple to pull the Bonnies back within five. Banks then struck again with a deep two before Kyrell Luc worked his way to the free throw line. He made both his shots to pull Bonas back within one with 7:29 left in the first half.

Essandoko found a layup following the foul shots but not before Daryl Banks III took over the game. Banks cashed in an and-one three where he completed the four-point play to put the Bonnies back in front. After Barry Evans nabbed a steal, Banks hit another three. St. Joe’s head coach Billy Lange had seen enough and took the timeout 30-second timeout. The Bonnies were on a 14-2 run. Essandoko halted the St. Bonaventure run with a three before Banks found nylon again from inside the arc. Flemming and Venning traded buckets before Flowers got to the hole in transition.

Next, it was Reynolds’ turn to hit from deep again but was answered by the hot hand of Banks. Reynolds and Essandoko then both grabbed layups as Schmidt took his “use it or lose it” timeout with 1:03 to go. Adams-Woods got himself on the board following Schmidt’s timeout with a three as the shot clock expired. The Bonnies held tight on the final defensive possession of the half to take a 45-41 lead into the locker room.

Banks led all scorers with 17 points in the first 20 minutes. Essandoko led the Hawks with 12 while Flowers had also totaled 12 points. Other notable scorers were Reynolds with 10 and Venning with eight. The Hawks shot 17/31 (54.8%) from the field, 7/13 (53.8%) from deep and did not attempt a free throw in the first half. The Bonnies went 18/32 (56.3%) from the floor, 6/15 (40.0%) from three and 3/3 from the foul line. Both teams grabbed 14 rebounds in the first half while Joe’s committed eight turnovers compared to Bonaventure’s five.

Cameron Brown scored for the Hawks on the first possession of the second half. Venning then worked his way to the line on Bonaventure’s first possession and made one of his two free throw attempts. Greer quickly added a layup before Venning flushed a two-handed slam. Cam Brown hit a wing triple to tie the game at 48 and the second half was off and running just as the first had been.

The lightning pace continued as Greer, Venning and Essandoko all scored before Banks cashed in his fifth triple of the night. Xzayvier Brown got home for two but was answered by Flowers from beyond the arc. Lange took his first timeout of the second half as the Bonnies led 56-54 with just under 15 minutes to play. Reynolds responded to his coach’s timeout by hitting a tough mid-range jumper to re-tie the game.

Flowers went back to work on the other end as he sank a floater to push his point total to 17 for the game. Noel Brown found his way onto the scoresheet with a two-handed flush off a nice pass from Banks. Greer would immediately answer with a pullup jumper before Banks hit his sixth three of the evening. The Bonnies forced a turnover before Flowers potted a corner three to push his point total to 20 in the game. St. Bonaventure led 66-58 with under 12 minutes to go.

Flemming went to the free throw line following the under-12 media timeout and sank both his shots to cut the Bonnie lead back to six. Flowers then responded once again with a corner triple to extend the lead to nine. The Hawks turned the ball over which led to a Barry Evans poster dunk before Banks was fouled beyond the arc. He sank all three free throws. The 8-0 Bonaventure run ended as Cam Brown tipped back a missed shot for the Hawks. Banks responded on the following possession with his seventh triple of the game. The Bonnies led by 15 with 7:10 remaining in the second half.

Venning scored in tight as the clock ticked below seven before Fleming found the bottom of the net on a three for St. Joe’s. The Bonnies then began to slow the game down and chew the clock on every offensive possession. Venning continued to eat as he grabbed his own miss twice before finally scoring on his third try. A quick empty possession led to an Adams-Woods layup in transition. Lange called his second to last timeout with 4:14 remaining in the game and the Bonnies leading 83-65.

The Hawks rushed a three-point attempt out of the timeout before the Bonnies burned another 30 seconds of clock which ended in a Venning bucket. The redshirt junior then blocked Reynolds on the other end before Evans threw down his second poster of the game. Lange would use his final timeout with his team now trailing by 22.

Greer grabbed the layup following the pause before the Bonnies broke the press and found Venning for a two-handed slam. Fleming cut the lead back to 20 but was once again answered. This time Adams-Woods grabbed the mid-range as the game ticked under two minutes to play. Cameron Brown added a triple as a formality as the Bonnies took home a 91-72 victory.

Banks led all scorers with 29 points in tonight's game. Flowers and Venning were also over 20 points as Flowers tallied 23 and Venning totaled 21 points. The Hawks were led by Cam Brown with 16 points while Essandoko tallied 14. Fleming, Reynolds and Greer all had 12 points for the Hawks as well. St. Joe’s shot 30/58 (51.7%) from the floor, 10/24 (41.7%) from deep and 2/2 from the free throw line. St. Bonaventure went 36/62 (58.1%) from the field, 12/27 (44.4%) from three and 7/8 from the charity stripe. The Hawks outrebounded the Bonnies 28-24 tonight but also turned the ball over 17 times compared to only seven for Bonas.

Coach Schmidt praised his team’s response following a pair of road losses. “I thought it was a great bounce back game and we showed a lot of character tonight,” he said. The head coach then gave high remarks to Barry Evans. “The MVP of the game tonight was Barry Evans. He was what we call a stat stuffer tonight. He did the blue-collar stuff tonight and that’s how you win basketball games,” Schmidt said. Finally Schmidt touched on the overall offensive performance from his team. “We did a great job of sharing the ball tonight and didn’t turn the ball over much. We played Bonaventure basketball tonight,” he said.

Banks then spoke on his potential breakout game. “It feels good to see the ball go in and get hot,” said Banks after his 29-point performance. Flowers added to that on his own game saying he “just continues to stay confident and plays his game.” Flowers then also praised Evans. “He’s athletic, he can dribble and he can make plays. It’s nice to go into our offense and have him everywhere on the court,” he said. Banks finished with a comment on the Atlantic 10. “To win the A10 you have to win on your home court and steal a few on the road,” said Banks.

The Bonnies improve to 12-7 overall and 3-4 in the Atlantic 10 with the win. St. Joe’s falls to 13-7 overall and 3-4 in conference play. The Bonnies are back at home Tuesday against VCU in another important conference game.


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