St. Bonaventure overcame early foul trouble and 28 points by Massachusetts freshman Tre Mitchell in an 74-59 Atlantic 10 Conference victory over the Minutemen on Wednesday night at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester.
The Bonnies led nearly the entire game but had to sweat out some moments late in the first half when Mitchell seemed to take over. The 6-9 center from Pittsburgh scored 10 of UMass’ last 12 points in the period, bringing his team within seven points, 40-33.
That was with Bona’s 6-10 sophomore center Osun Osunniyi on the bench after he had picked up his second foul with 10:33 left in the half. Bona led 24-18 at the time and built the lead to 15 points, 38-23, until Mitchell began to score inside.
The UMass freshman then hit a 3-pointer to start the second half, but Bona responded with a 21-7 run to stay in charge.
Sophomore Kyle Lofton scored 19 and had six assists the Bonnies. Jaren English and Bobby Planutis had 12 points each and Cheektowaga’s Dominick Welch had 11 points and led the Bona rebounding with 10.
Osunniyi ended up playing only 22 minutes with six points, three rebounds and three blocked shots.
Besides his 28 points, Mitchell had only six rebounds and two blocks, but he made 11 of 19 field goal attempts, including his only 3-pointer.
It was the fourth straight win for Bona (12-5), all in the A-10, matching its best start ever in conference play. Also, the Bonnies have won 11 of their last 12. UMass (7-10, 1-3 A-10) has lost the last eight against the Bonnies.
Late rally wins it for UB
In trouble late against an opponent that was winless in Mid-American Conference play, the University at Buffalo women’s team (11-4, 2-2 Mid-American Conference) went on a 12-0 run behind freshman Dyaisha Fair and defeated Bowling Green, 65-59, Wednesday night at Alumni Arena. Bowling Green is 7-9, 0-4 in the MAC.
Fair, who sat out the Bulls’ loss to Ohio at home on Saturday, made big play after big play upon her return from a one-game suspension for “violating a team rule.” She scored 26 points in the victory, including six of UB’s final 14 points. BG led, 56-51, after two free throws by Angela Perry with 5:30 left, but the Falcons did not score again until Kadie Hempfling’s 3-pointer with 14 seconds left. Fair then closed it out with a pair of free throws with 7 seconds left.
Two baskets by Fair started a 6-0 UB run to end the first half and put the Bulls up, 36-24. The visiting Falcons led, 45-44, entering the fourth quarter after Fair had hit a three to tie the game at 44-all, then another three to tie it at 49 in the fourth. Her jump shot tied it again at 51.
The dagger for UB was a 3-pointer by freshman Loren Christie with 20 seconds left, increasing the Bulls’ margin to 63-56.
Fair had seven rebounds and three steals in addition to her 26 points.
St. Bonaventure’s women’s team never led and lost at Saint Louis, 72-51, in an Atlantic 10 game in Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis. After an 8-8 tie, the Billikens took charge led by 24 points from guard Myia Clark, who made 4 of 6 3-pointers.
Kendra Wilken had 14 points and 12 rebounds for Saint Louis.
Emily Calabrese led Bona with 14 points. Asianae Johnson had 13.