ALLEGANY – St. Bonaventure freshman center Osun Osunniyi blocked a Kellen Grady layup out of bounds, taking a brief moment during the ensuing stoppage in second-half action to stare and nod emphatically toward the roaring student section.
The Bonnies were clinging to a one-point lead with 5:19 to play.
But Grady got the last laugh, scoring the next eight points and finishing with a game-high 29 as Davidson handed St. Bonaventure a 75-66 nationally-televised defeat on Friday night at the Reilly Center, the Bonnies’ second consecutive home loss and first-ever here against the Wildcats.
Grady answered Osunniyi’s block with a layup and two 3s, and Davidson (16-5, 7-1) continued on a 14-2 run to take control, turning a 57-56 deficit into a 70-59 lead before securing its fourth consecutive victory, tying George Mason for first place atop the Atlantic 10 Conference standings.
“I feel like with us, once teams start getting on runs, we stop being aggressive,” Bonnies freshman point guard Kyle Lofton said. “So that hurts us. And then people weren’t making shots. We had open looks. We weren’t hitting them.”
St. Bonaventure (8-13, 4-4) was outscored 41-22 in the second half after a remarkable 22-point swing before the break, when the Bonnies rallied from an early 12-point deficit to take a 44-34 lead at halftime.
But Davidson quickly wiped out that advantage, opening the second half by hitting four of five 3s to tie the score at 48-48 with 14:38 remaining.
The teams traded the lead five times before the Wildcats pulled away.
“We were up by 10 and guys were positive going into halftime,” St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt said. “You tell the guys the first 10 possessions of the second half, the first five minutes, the lead is going to go from 10 to 20 or 10 to zero, and we come out and the first possession, it was a deflection, we couldn’t get the ball, they hit a 3 and it went down from there.”
Lofton led the Bonnies with 24 points, three rebounds, three assists, no turnovers and four steals. He scored 17 points in the first half.
Courtney Stockard had 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists. LaDarien Griffin added 10 points. Osunniyi contributed eight points and four blocks.
Grady scored his 29 points on 10 of 17 shooting, hitting five of nine attempts from 3-point range to pace the Wildcats.
Jon Axel Gudmunsson added 19 points and eight rebounds. Luke Frampton also scored 19 points and hit five of nine 3-point attempts.
Davidson shot 46.9 percent overall and 46.7 percent from 3 point-range, hitting 14 of 30 from long range. Schmidt said the Bonnies had hoped to hold them to fewer than nine 3s.
St. Bonaventure shot 43.9 percent overall and 27.3 percent (6 of 22) from behind the arc. But its second-half performance was in stark contrast to the first.
The Bonnies shot 56.7 percent from the field in the first half, but just 29.6 percent the rest of the way.
“We went to the zone … in the second half and sure enough, it paid dividends for us,” Davidson coach Bob McKillop said. “It broke their rhythm. They had gotten a great rhythm in the first half. They were getting driving lanes, they were getting open shots, they were making shots, we were taking the ball through the net, we had no pace to our game … and we were lucky to only go down by 10 at halftime.”
The loss snapped the Bonnies’ modest two-game winning streak and left Schmidt stuck on 200 career wins in his 12 seasons at St. Bonaventure, the second-most in program history and just two behind Larry Weise.
St. Bonaventure has lost five of the last six games against Davidson, but had been undefeated against the Wildcats at the Reilly Center, with the lone victory in that stretch last season’s triple overtime victory here on Feb. 27.
“In terms of effort, I’ve got no complaints,” Schmidt said. “The guys are playing for each other. They’re sharing the ball. They’re playing hard. we’re just not executing to the level that we need to at times. It’s almost like every time we made a mistake, Davidson made us pay for it. … And it snowballs a little bit. But I thought our guys, we didn’t hang our heads. I thought we continued to fight. And that’s what we’re going to do.”
Story topics: St. Bonaventure men's basketball