The St. Bonaventure men's basketball team hoped to carry over some of the momentum from its first Atlantic 10 Conference win when it played at La Salle on Wednesday night. Steven Smith made sure that did not happen.
La Salle's All-America candidate scored a game-high 22 points to lead the Explorers to a 74-62 win over the Bonnies in Tom Gola Arena in Philadelphia. Smith's production and an offensive drought by the Bonnies late in the first half were keys to the game.
The Bonnies (7-16, 1-11 Atlantic 10) started well and led, 13-9, on Michael Lee's fast-break lay-in at the 15:33 mark. It was a 19-17 game when the Bonnies' shooting touch went cold. With 8:32 left in the half, Bona's Paul Williams went to the bench after he was called for his second foul, and La Salle began to pick up momentum. The Explorers closed the half with a 16-6 run to open a 44-31 lead.
La Salle picked up where it left off by scoring 11 of the first 16 points of the second half to go ahead, 55-36.
"We were getting shots while (La Salle) was making that run, but they just weren't going down," said Bonnies coach Anthony Solomon.
La Salle shot 47 percent from the field and committed only seven turnovers. St. Bonaventure connected on only 35 percent (24 of 69) of its shots.
Ahmad Smith led the Bonnies with 17 points, while Lee added 15 and Williams scored 11.
Jermaine Thomas scored 17 points for La Salle, which improved to 16-7 and 8-4 with its fifth straight win.
St. Bonaventure will face Massachusetts in the Reilly Center on Sunday at 2 p.m.
SWIMMING: St. Bonaventure's women won the 200-yard medley relay as the Atlantic 10 Conference championships got underway at the Flickinger Center. The Bona team of Taryn Ahern, Aureli Johnson, Meghan King and Stephanie Bell was clocked in 1:45.10. The Bonnies were also second in the women's 800 freestyle relay, and third in the men's medley relay and the men's 800 freestyle relay.
The Bonnies stand second in both the men's amd women's team scoring. The men trail Massachusetts, 115-114, while the women are behind Richmond, 74-72.
MEN'S VOLLEYBALL: Medaille came back from a first-game loss and defeated D'Youville, 3-1. Erik Hartman (Hamburg) had 20 kills for the Mavericks (7-8, 4-0).
TRACK AND FIELD: Oneonta senior Musu Jackson-Buckner (Buffalo Seminary) was named SUNYAC Women's Track Athlete of the Week. She set a school record in the long jump and helped set a school record in the 1,600-meter relay.