You could call it Jaren English’s coming out party at St. Bonaventure.
The sophomore junior college transfer from Detroit scored a career-high 21 points Wednesday night as the Bonnies (15-8, 7-3 A-10) blew out George Washington, 72-47, in their Atlantic 10 Conference game at the Reilly Center.
English, who came to Bona after helping Ranger Community College in Texas to the National Junior College Division I championship game last March, has had a rocky start to his career at a four-year school.
Contending for a starting role to open the season, English missed the first five games of the season with a hand injury. Later he missed the Bonnies’ first two A-10 games with a concussion.
It appears to be clearer sailing now.
English had 12 first-half points, including a pair of 3-pointers, to help Bona to a 39-27 lead over the Colonials. He had nine more in the second half as the Bonnies built their lead to as many as 26 points, 63-37 with 7:49 left in the game.
The offense on both teams slowed down after that as GW outscored Bona, 10-9, the rest of the way.
English has been at his best in A-10 games. In fact, he took over the team lead in scoring (13.9) in conference games, moving in front of Kyle Lofton (12.7).
English played 31 minutes in Wednesday’s game, made 7 of 14 field goal tries, including 3 of 4 from beyond the arc. He also had six rebounds.
Sophomore center Osun Osunniyi had 16 points, seven rebounds and one block. Freshman Justin Winston and sophomore Dominick Welch had 11 points each. Lofton, another sophomore, finished with five points. He did not score until he came through with an old-fashioned three-point play with 12:12 to go for a 57-37 Bona lead. A layup and a dunk by Osunniyi and a jump shot by Lofton made it 63-37.
George Washington (10-13, 4-6 A-10) got a 19-point performance from Jameer Nelson Jr., who threatened to keep the Colonials in the game for a while in the first half when he had 14 points.
Former Williamsville North star Maceo Jack played 37 minutes for the Colonials and had six points on two 3-pointers. He also had three rebounds and a steal.
Next for the Bonnies is a nationally televised (NBCSN) Saturday afternoon game against old rival Duquesne in Pittsburgh.
The Canisius women’s team, which has lost its last three by an average of 22 points, will try to end its eight-game losing streak against Iona (4-14, 3-6 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Koessler Athletic Center.
The Golden Griffins have been decisive losers since a pair of close losses on the road to Fairfield and Quinnipiac last month.
Junior Danielle Sanderlin has averaged 13.8 points and 8.7 rebounds in league games so far, including three 20-point performances.
After an overtime loss at Richmond on Sunday, the St. Bonaventure women (5-17, 2-7 A-10) return to action at 7 p.m. Thursday against George Washington (9-12, 3-5) at the Reilly Center.