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Bonnies get opening night win against Saint Francis with new look team


The 2022-23 iteration of the Bonnies thankfully started their season with a win after getting the best of the Saint Francis Red Flash in the Reilly Center by a final score of 71-58.


After last week's exhibition win against Alfred, coach Mark Schmidt showed us that we will likely get a mixed bag of lineups to start the season, and that did end up carrying over to the regular season opener.


Both Kyrell Luc and Daryl Banks III were mainstays on the floor in the backcourt, with Luc logging 38 minutes and Banks going the full distance. The Bonnies were thin at guard with Brett Rumpel out due to injury and Moses Flowers ruled out somewhat surprisingly as the game neared. Flowers suffered a concussion in practice Sunday, and Schmidt hopes he can return to action Saturday at Canisius. Even as Flowers and Rumpel return, Banks and Luc will seemingly play as many minutes as they can as Bona's offensive leaders.


The Bonnies will continue to work to gel after struggling with the Red Flash and finding themselves in a tied ball game at halftime. Nevertheless, getting to see this new team play meaningful basketball gives us some things to monitor over the next few games and others we can only hope will continue moving forward.


Three positives from St. Bonaventure's opening night win over St. Francis


Kyrell Luc's energy and efficiency

Luc was the leading scorer for the Bonnies on an efficient night from the field. He finished his SBU debut with 23 points, 5 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 steals.


After Banks was hot early and struggled from the field for the rest of the game, Luc helped generate scoring when it was needed most. Noticeably, his first step is amazingly quick, which allowed him to beat defenders on numerous occasions allowing for easier scoring opportunities.


Luc was also able to get to the line and take advantage of those opportunities, going 7-for-8 at the free throw line on the night.


Chad Venning's strong presence off the bench

Venning was first off the bench for Bona's, trying to contain St. Francis big man Josh Cohen who took advantage of Schmidt's smaller lineup early on. He immediately came in and grabbed a couple of boards, giving Cohen a tougher time down low.


Venning also started the second half, which was a bit out of the ordinary for Schmidt to stray from the starting lineup. He did put up productive minutes to help Bona not get into any further trouble.


"Overall I thought Chad Venning was a big factor in the game, especially in the second half." Schmidt said.


It will be interesting to see whether he continues to be the first man up to support the Bonnies first group. If he is able to contribute and bring a big presence to the floor like he did during the opener, Venning will continue to have a huge role for this team.


Barry Evans bringing the house down

Coming into his freshman season, Evans' athleticism was definitely something that fans could look forward to in the Reilly Center. Evans' first bucket in the brown and white was a dunk. He then came up with a late steal and slam dagger late in the game that was a huge exclamation point to seal the opening night win.