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Bonnies Ride Venning to Convincing Win over Buffalo

St. Bonaventure defeated Western New York rival Buffalo 80-65 this afternoon. Chad Venning led the way for the Bonnies as he tied his career high with 23 points. Mika Adams-Woods scored a season-high 20 points while Sy Chatman led the Bulls with 20 points of his own. The Bonnies won this afternoon without leading scorer and rebounder Charles Pride and pivotal bench player Kyrell Luc. Both are listed as day-to-day with ankle injuries. Here is how Bonaventure’s fifth win of the season went down.

The Bonnies came out strong both on the boards and on the defensive end of the floor. After winning the opening tipoff, Chad Venning grabbed an offensive rebound and laid it in to open the scoring. Buffalo’s Zaakir Williamson answered back a few possessions later with a layup of his own and both teams were on the score sheet. Daryl Banks III would get on the board with a triple before Anquan Boldin Jr. responded with a bucket of his own.

St. Bonaventure then opened a 7-0 run with Venning notching five straight Bonaventure points. Flowers grabbed the final two points of the run along with the next three after Jonnivius Smith knocked down a jumper to end the run. The scoring then slowed as only six points were scored (including Flowers’ three) in the middle six minutes of the half. The only other points of that stretch came with Banks drawing a foul and sinking all three free throws to put the Bonnies up 18-6.

Smith would hit a mid-range for the Bulls to break a 5:35 scoring drought. Banks would immediately answer Smith with a deep three to push his point total to nine. Smith would get UB into double digits with another jumper before the Bonnies yet again went on a run. Flowers hit one from beyond the arc, Venning scored in the paint and Mika Adams-Woods knocked down a three to make up the 8-0 run.

The Bulls answered the Bonaventure run with a 6-0 stint of their own. Boldin, Sy Chatman and Kanye Jones all found buckets in the paint. However, Barry Evans and Mika Adams-Woods would immediately responded with buckets of their own. Evans then cashed in a triple between Buffalo free throws. The Bulls’ final points of the half came from a Jones layup while the Bonnies final points came from Flowers hitting another three. St. Bonaventure led Buffalo 39-21 at the half.

The Bonnies were 14/30 (46.7%) from the field in the first half. Mark Schmidt’s team shot 7/17 (41.2%) from beyond the arc and a perfect 4/4 from the free throw line. Buffalo struggled from the floor shooting 9/28 (32.1%) and failing to make a three on eight tries. The Bulls were 3/6 from the charity stripe. UB turned the ball over eight times in the opening 20 minutes compared to Bonaventure’s three but outrebounded the Bonnies 20-16. Moses Flowers led all scorers with 11 first-half points while Banks and Venning each tallied nine.

The first four minutes of the second half was dominated by Venning. The redshirt junior tallied Bonaventure’s first six points of the half which pushed him to 15 on the game. Williamson and Smith would carry the load for the Bulls. Williamson potted the first four points of the half before Smith tallied the next six for Buffalo. With the lead cut to 15, Banks silenced whatever momentum the Bulls had with a transition three to push the lead back to 1.

The scoring continued to come at the quickest pace of the game as Chatman worked his way to the free throw line, sinking both, before Adams-Woods earned the layup and the foul. He completed the old-fashioned three-point play to push the Bonnie lead to 19. Smith grabbed the layup on the other end before newly checked in Venning scored his 16th and 17th points of the afternoon on the next possession. Buffalo found its first three-point field goal of the game with 12:23 remaining in the game as Shawn Fulcher put his name on the scoresheet. The teams hit the under-12 media timeout with Bonaventure leading 53-37

Venning had a bucket disallowed during the media timeout as it was deemed not to be goaltending on Chatman. He would grab those two points back after the TV timeout to push the Bonaventure lead back to 18. The Bonnies would then get sloppy with the basketball as Chatman cashed in back-to-back fast break buckets off turnovers. The back-to-back turnovers prompted Schmidt to take a timeout to regroup his team.

The timeout worked as the Bonnies responded with a quick bucket to push his total for the game over the 20-point threshold. After a stop on the defensive end, Adams-Woods buried a triple to push the Bonnie lead back to 19. Kanye Jones drew a foul on the other end and sunk both free throws before Venning notched his 23rd point to tie his career high with 8:56 remaining in the second half. Zaakir Williamson laid one in for the Bulls to cut the Bonnie lead to 62-45 as the game went to another media timeout.

Buffalo came out of the timeout with Chatman hitting a three. Adams-Woods responded with a layup, but the Bulls kept pushing. The Bonnies continued to play sloppy as Jones knocked down a pair of free throws before Flowers was called for a clear path foul. Luckily for St. Bonaventure, Fulcher missed both his free throws and UB came up empty on the ensuing possession. Flowers then took over for the Bonnies as he drew a pair of fouls, sunk three of four free throws and drew a charge. Adams-Woods then banged a three to push the lead back to 20.

Jones knocked down a pair of free throws and Adams-Woods added a layup to push his game total up to 18. Evans missed a pair from the line as the game slowed with fouls on both ends. Chatman and Flowers exchanged free throws as the Bonaventure lead continued to hover in the 16-20 range with three minutes remaining. Chatman continued to pad his stats as he slammed home an and-one over Venning to push his total to 18 points. Adams-Woods then broke into the 20-point plateau with a pair of free throws. The teams traded layups and free throws over the final two minutes to get the final score to 80-65.

Venning led all scorers with 23 points while Adams-Woods and Chatman registered 20 points each. Flowers’ 16 points along with Banks’ 14 points gave four Bonaventure players double figures on the afternoon. Smith and Jones were also in double figures for the Bulls with 14 and 12 points respectively.

The Bonnies ended the game shooting 28/58 (48.3%) from the field, 10/24 (41.7%) from beyond the arc and 14/19 (73.7%) from the free throw line. Buffalo shot 22/58 (37.9%) from the floor, 2/17 (11.8%) from three and 19/27 (70.4%) from the charity stripe. St. Bonaventure outrebounded the Bulls 26-24 while UB turned the ball over 14 times compared to Bona’s 12.

Bonaventure moves to 5-2 on the season while the Bulls fall to 1-7. The Bonnies will be back in action at Niagara University. Tip is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Wednesday against the little-three rival.


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