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Bonnies Outlast Loyola in Double OT Thriller

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St. Bonaventure defeated Loyola Chicago 75-74 in double overtime this evening. The Bonnies went on an 11-0 run over the final 6:06 of regulation to force the extra frame. Daryl Banks III and Philip Alston both dropped 22 points in the win while five other players scored at least 11 points. The Bonnies won this game with defense and foul shooting as the team went 27/31 from the line. On the other side, Loyola’s 18/27 clip from the charity stripe may have cost them their season. Here’s how this evening’s wild Atlantic 10 Quarterfinal went down

This evening’s game got off to an extremely slow start. After a handful of empty possessions to begin the game, the Ramblers were the team to strike first with Miles Rubin laying one in off a feed from teammate Braden Norris. Loyola would then get to the foul line two possessions later as Moses Flowers fouled Philip Alston. The 6-foot-6 forward made both his free throws to put his team up 4-0 early. The Ramblers continued to push early as Sheldon Edwards was next to score in transition. It was a typical St. Bonaventure slow offensive start. The Bonnies finally scored for the first time four minutes into the game as Noel Brown went to work down low. Loyola Chicago led 6-2 six minutes into the game.

Mika Adams-Woods would get involved for the first time on the offensive end as he drove to the hoop for a pair before Dame Adelekun responded with a lay in of his own. The scoring continued to move at a snail’s pace as Alston finally splashed the first three of the game. He was answered by Venning who cashed in a fade-away mid-range before Rubin got a pair of free throws to drop. Loyola Chicago led 13-6 midway through the first half.

The Ramblers then went back to the free throw line as Alston was fouled. He made the first but missed his second free throw. Des Watson grabbed the rebound off the miss and fed Alston inside for a layup. Brown countered on the other end with a bucket in the paint before Edwards bottomed a triple. The Ramblers had their largest lead of the night at 19-8. That lead would extend following the under-eight media timeout as Norris cashed in a corner three. The Bonnies broke the 6-0 Loyola run as Venning split a pair of free throws but was immediately answered by Rubin at the rim.

Charles Pride finally got the Bonnies into double figures with a layup as just under six minutes remained in the first half. Bonas scored again with Adams-Woods down the lane but was once again answered on the next possession. This time it was a Watson three. The Ramblers then worked their way back to the free throw line as Mwamba split a pair of free throws. Loyola had stretched their lead to 28-13 with four minutes to go in the half.

As the half ticked down, Daryl Banks III got into the scoresheet with a tough midrange jumper before Assa Essamvous banged a wing three. The Bonnies would continue to fight as Assa hit a pullup jumper soon after. It was suddenly a 7-0 Bonas run, and the deficit was trimmed to eight. Next it was Pride cleaning up an Adams-Woods blocked attempt as it was 9-0 Bonnie run. The Ramblers had the chance to change the momentum at the end of the half as they possessed last. Loyola did just that as Alston banged a three to end the run and put his team up 31-22 at the break.

Alston led all scorers at the half with 11 points and was the only player in the game in double figures. Rubin sat second in the game with six points while Edwards had totaled five in the first 20 minutes. Assa led the Bonnies in scoring after the first with five points. The Ramblers shot 10/30 (33.3%) from the field, 5/12 (41.7%) from deep and 6/9 (66.7%) from the charity stripe. Bonaventure went 10/28 (35.7%) from the floor, 1/8 (12.5%) from three and 1/2 from the line. Loyola outrebounded the Bonnies 23-18 in the first half while both teams committed five turnovers.

The Bonnies struck first in the second half as Venning ducked out of a double-team with a strong rip down low before getting to the right side of the rim for a layup. However, the Ramblers immediately responded as Rubin flushed back-to-back dunks. Next it was Pride’s turn for a fastbreak layup off his own steal. The early scoring continued as the Ramblers grabbed a pair of offensive rebounds which led to Adelekun tipping in a shot. Banks would get to the line on the ensuing possession and sank both his free throws. The Rambler lead remained at nine four minutes into the second half.

Brown made something happen out of the first media timeout of the half as he converted on an old-fashioned three-point play. However, he was once again immediately answered by Adelekun at the rim on the other end. The fast pace continued as Assa knocked down another midrange before Lyola punched back with an Alston wide-open dunk and a Watson corner three. Pride was next to score with an and-one layup but missed the free throw. The Bonnies grabbed another bucket on their next possession as Adams-Woods got to the hoop but was again immediately answered. This time Tom Welch hauled in an offensive rebound and laid it back up. No ground had been gained with over eight minutes gone in the second as Lyola led 46-37.

The bucket trading continued as the clock approached the 10-minute mark. Jalen Quinn blew by Banks for an easy layup before Adams-Woods got to the rim with the foul. He made his free throw to complete the three-point play. Evans was then whistled for a questionable foul which sent Quinn to the line. He split from the line as the Rambler lead went back to nine. Quinn continued to score as he knocked down a midrange jumper before Assa was fouled. The sophomore made both free throws as the lead continued to sit at nine with just over eight minutes to play.

Adams-Woods was the next to be fouled as the Bonnies were in the bonus. The guard hit both free throws to trim the Rambler lead to seven. Assa was the next to be fouled and made his free throws. Loyola’s lead was now only five. However, Alston made a pair of free throws and Edwards a fastbreak dunk to immediately push the lead back to nine. The whistles continued as Brown split from the line before Quinn made a pair of free throws. The Ramblers kept stacking points from the line as Alston split a pair of throws. It was 58-47 Ramblers with six minutes to play.

Evans, Banks and the Bonnies would not quit, though, as Evans hit a three and Banks made a pair of free throws. The lead was back to six with the Bonnies desperately needing a stop. The Bonnies would get that stop but Banks missed a three on the other. However, Bonas grabbed another stop before Banks missed a layup. Pride grabbed that offensive rebound, though, and kicked to Banks who was fouled shooting a three. The St. Peter’s transfer calmly hit all three free throws. Loyola had not scored since 6:02 remained in the half and now only led 58-58 with two minutes to play.

The Bonnies continued to stand strong on the defensive end as they made another stop. Brown would then score at the rim off a behind-the-head pass from Banks. Brown was fouled going up and completed the three-point play. The game was now tied at 58 with just one minute to play. The Ramblers had multiple chances within the final minute to win the game thanks to three offensive rebounds but could not finish at the rim. Regulation ended with the Bonnies on an 11-0 run and Loyola scoreless over the final 6:06.

Overtime began with more of the same from the Rambles on the offensive end. Loyola went empty on their first three possessions and Bonaventure went empty on their first two possessions. The first points of overtime came from a pair of free throws from Banks. He struck again just 11 seconds later as he picked Quinn’s pocket and took it to the house for two. Bonas led 62-58 with just under three to play in the extra period. Loyola finally scored for the first time in over eight minutes on the next possession as Watson was fouled. He split from the line to cut his team’s deficit to three.

The Ramblers then struck again in quick succession. Alston flushed a dunk following an Adams-Woods turnover and then another after a missed layup from Assa. Suddenly Loyola had retaken the lead. Banks would turn the ball over on the next Bonnie possession as he stepped on the sideline. However, that was followed by Norris doing the same for the Ramblers. The Bonnies had another chance to take the lead as Pride was blocked by Rubin on the drive with 34 seconds to play. That loose ball found Brown who kicked to Adams-Woods who found Banks. He made no mistake and splashed a go-ahead triple with 29 seconds remaining.

The Ramblers would have a shot to tie win the game, though. Following a timeout, Alston got down low and drew a foul on Assa. He missed both his free throws but grabbed his own miss and slammed home a go-head, put-back dunk. Adams-Woods would be the one to take the final shot of overtime as he semi-open three was long. The teams would go to double overtime tied at 65.

The Bonnies won the tipoff to begin double overtime which led to Adams-Woods being fouled well away from the hoop. He sank both his free throws to put Bonaventure up 67-65 just 13 seconds into the second extra period. The Ramblers went to the line next as Watson was fouled by Pride. He split from the line which allowed Brown to grab the rebound and get fouled. The center stepped up to the line and knocked down his two free throws like he has been doing it his whole life. After a pair of turnovers, the whistles continued on the other end of the floor. Brown had picked up his fifth foul on Adelekun. Brown’s most complete and impactful game of the year had come to a premature end. Adelekun made both his free throws to pull Loyola back within one with 2:44 remaining in double overtime.

On the next possession, the Bonnies bled the shot clock down to near its end when Banks sank another massive three pointer. Bonaventure now led 72-68. Now it was turn for Loyola to punch back again. Rubin got to the rim for two before Adelekun added a layup to tie the game back up, this time at 72 apiece. The Bonnies would turn the ball over on the ensuing possession which led to Adelekun drawing the foul on Venning. He once again sunk both his free throws as Loyola now led 74-72 with 32 seconds left.

The Bonnies had yet another chance to tie or win the game on their final possession of the evening. The play was drawn up for Banks who appeared to not have a good look. However, he drew a foul on Rubin beyond the arc and was awarded three shots. Banks calmly sunk all three free throws as the Bonnies now led 75-74 with 12 seconds remaining. The Ramblers advanced the ball and then called timeout with nine seconds left before the Bonnies smacked the ball out of bound with just under four to play. Watson would take the last shot from way downtown. His airball was the last action of the game as the Bonnies survived and took home a 75-74 double overtime victory.

Banks led the team in scoring as he dropped 22 points in the win. Alston also had 22 for the Ramblers in the game. Brown (13), Adams-Woods (13) and Assa (11) all totaled in double figures for the Bonnies while Rubin (12) and Adelekun (12) did the same for Loyola. The Ramblers shot 25/75 (33.3%) from the floor, 6/23 (26.1%) from deep and 18/27 (66.7%) from the line. Bonas went 22/60 (36.7%) from the floor, 4/18 (22.2%) from three and 27/31 (87.1) from the line. Loyola outrebounded Bonaventure 49-45 (including 23-12 on the offensive glass) while committing 12 turnovers compared to the Bonnies’ 17.

The Bonnies survive and advance to the Atlantic 10 Semifinals Saturday. Bonas will play the winner of Dayton/Duquesne. As a seven seed, the Bonnies are the second lowest remaining in the A10 Tournament. The job is halfway done.


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