Even career-high 35 points by Jaylen Adams couldn't lift St. Bonaventure over Dayton Saturday afternoon intheir Atlantic 10 Conference game before a sellout crowd of 13,455 at the Dayton Arena.
The host Flyers came back from a 15-point first half deficit to defeat Bona, 76-72 and put a crimp in the losers' chances of gaining a first-round bye in the conference tournament next month.
In Loudonville, Siena pulled away late in a 76-70 victory over Niagara in their Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference clash.
Bona, which was in front 26-11 before a 9-0 Dayton run still led at the half, 34-28, but could not hold off coach Archie Miller's team. After falling behind 42-39 early in the second half the Bonnies regained the lead briefly on a layup by Adams, 43-42, but the first of two layups in a row by Kyle Davis put the Flyers in front for good. Dayton's largest lead the rest of the way was only eight points as Adams kept his team in it.
The junior guard scored 19 of his points in the second half, when he was 3 for 8 on field goal tries, 2-5 from three-point range and 11 of 13 at the foul line. Adams scored 10 of his points in the last 36 minutes of the game, two threes and four free throws. His last three made it 74-72 with 3 seconds left. Davis made two free throws for the Flyers with 1 second left. Adams also had six assists as did teammate Matt Mobley.
Despite Adams ability to draw fouls, Dayton outscored Bona 28-21 at the line. The Flyers had 39 free-throw attempts as Bona was whistled for 30 personal fouls to 19 for Dayton. Two Bonnies (Idris Taqqee and Mobley) fouled out and three others finished the game with four fouls. Only one Dayton player has as many as four personals.
Guard Scoochie Smith led Dayton with 19 points, including two three-pointers and 11 of 14 from the foul line.
The loss dropped Bona to 8-6 in A-10 play and 16-10 overall. The Bonnies are tied for fifth place in the conference with George Mason and La Salle, one game in front of Davidson. Richmond and Rhode Island are tied for third place at 9-5.
Dayton, which has won all seven of its conference home games, tied VCU for first place in the A-10 at 12-2. The Flyers are 21-5 overall.
In Niagara's loss, Brett Bisping of Siena hit a three-pointer coming out of timeout to snap a 58-58 tie with 7:55 left and coach Jimmy Patsos Saints (14-156, 11-7) MAAC) took if from there to gain a split with their season series with Niagara.
The Purple Eagles (9-20, 6-12 MAAC) were outscored 15-4 over a 6-minute stretch and never recovered. It was 61-60 in favor of Siena after Kahlil Dukes made a pair of free throws for Niagara with 6:38 left. Siena then hit three straight threes - two by Marquis Wright and one by Ahsante Shivers to take a 70-62 lead with 3:09 to play. It was 76-64 in the final minute before Niagara scored the last six points of the game.
Dukes led the Purple Eagles with 23 points. Matt Scott had 16. Wright had 21 points and Bisping 17 for Siena.
Canisius is coming off wins over Iona at home and Rider on the road.. Marist (6-22, 3-14) has lost nine in a row, sits in last place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and was routed by Canisius, 91-58, at the Koessler last month.
Slam dunk for the Griffs, right?
Not so fast, my friend.
The Red Foxes could spell trouble if the Golden Griffins are not careful. Marist is coming off perhaps its most impressive performance of the season in a 95-88 loss to Iona on Friday in McCann Arena. Marist led late in the game, before Iona took the lead for good on a three-point play with 2:10 left. Khallid Hart, a fifth-year senior guard, led Marist with 26 points. He made 9 of 11 free throws. Sophomore forward Ryan Funk (Clarence) had 20 points and sophomore guard Brian Parker had 14 points 11, rebounds and seven assists. Sophomore guard Richie Mitchell, making his first start at Marist, had seven points and five steals.
It's the last regular season road game for the Griffs, who will close out their schedule with home games next week against Fairfield and Saint Peter's.
Canisius (17-11, 10-7 MAAC) will be looking to enhance its chances of gaining a first-round bye in the conference tournament March 2-6 in Albany. Kiefer Douse led five Griffs in double-figure points in the win at Rider