St. Bonaventure star Jaylen Adams broke out of his second-half cold streak just in time to lift the Bonnies to a much-needed win over Saint Joseph’s, 70-67.
Adams made only one basket in the second half, but it put St. Bonaventure ahead with 19 seconds to go. Saint Joe’s was called for an offensive foul on its next possession, and Courtney Stockard hit a late free throw to help seal the win.
What it means: The Bonnies got an ugly but much-needed win that they hope will put their brutal start to 2018 behind them and get them back on track for a potential NCAA bid. They had dropped four of their first five games in 2018, beating only lowly Fordham.
FINAL: St. Bonaventure ends its slide with a 70-67 win over Saint Joseph’s. Jaylen Adams hit the winning shot, his first bucket of the second half, with 19 seconds left. pic.twitter.com/4HKOn2jQma
— Nick Veronica (@NickVeronica) January 25, 2018
Game ball: Stockard. Bonaventure’s 6-foot-6 forward scored 14 points and logged a career-high 13 rebounds. It was the second career start for the junior who was limited the last two seasons by a foot injury.
Adams’ cold streak: Adams led all players with 13 points at halftime but missed his first four shots of the second half while being hounded by defenders. He didn’t score after halftime until a free throw with 5:34 left and logged only one second-half assist.
First half: St. Bonaventure committed its seventh foul with 12:53 left in the first half, putting Saint Joseph’s in the bonus early. But the Bonnies cleaned up their defense and were only called for three fouls the rest of the half. Adams led all players with 13 points at halftime the game was tied, 33-33. The Hawks, who bring their mascot on the road, had extremely balanced scoring, with no player logging more than six points. James Demery had three field goals while five others had two.
Second half: Bona used an 11-0 run, capped by a LaDarien Griffin slam dunk, just after halftime to get separation at 44-35. Bona committed its seventh foul even earlier in the second half than the first, with 13:23 to go, and put Joe's in the double bonus with 9:49 left. Bona had its biggest lead at 52-40, but Joe’s answered with a 16-2 run to make it 56-54. Bona couldn’t buy a shot down the stretch but timely three-pointers from reserve guard Nelson Kaputo kept the team in the game. Griffin tied the game at 67 with 1:16 left, putting an emphatic finish on a great passing play from Adams to Stockard. Bona got a big stop on defense with 37.4 seconds to go, before Adams’ go-ahead layup.
Foul trouble: For all things the Bonnies do right on the court, committing fouls is a continuous problem. They entered Wednesday averaging the most fouls per game in the A-10 at 20.9, ranking 316th nationally. Saint Joe’s, meanwhile, took the second fewest in the conference at 15.4, which ranked 19th nationally. They put Joe's to the line 28 times, but they converted only 16 (57.1%).
T’d up: Saint Jospeh’s Taylor Funk was given a technical foul after a small altercation in front of the SJU hoop with 1:00 left in the first half; Adams hit both shots. Saint Bonaventure’s Josh Ayeni was given a technical foul with 13:23 left in the in the second half; Funk made one free throw.
Game line: Vegas set the game line at St. Bonaventure -6.5, over/under 151. Saint Joe’s covered; the total was 137.
No shoes, no problem: Matt Mobley lost his left shoe in a scramble during St. Bonaventure’s offensive possession with just over 12 minutes left in the game. He played defense in his sock but still managed to win a defensive rebound.
500 club: Bona’s Mark Schmidt coached his 500th game last weekend. He entered Wednesday with a 260-240 career record in 17 years between Robert Morris and SBU. Schmidt entered Wednesday with 178 wins at St. Bonaventure, good for second in program history behind Larry Weise (202), who coached in the 1960s and early 1970s.
Starters: St. Bonaventure started Adams, Mobley, Idris Taqqee, Griffin and Courtney Stockard. Saint Joseph’s went with Shavar Newkirk, Chris Clover, Pierfrancesco Oliva, Taylor Funk and James Demery.
Up next: St. Bonaventure hosts George Washington (9-11 overall, 2-5 A-10) at noon Sunday. The game will be televised on NBC Sports Network.