Bonnies make statement, down VCU 75-53
ST. BONAVENTURE — St. Bonaventure returned home to the Reilly Center for the first time in over a month in a rematch of last year’s Atlantic 10 Championship Game vs. VCU as part of ESPN’s Friday Night Showcase at the Reilly Center.
For the Bonnies, it became something of a Friday night statement.
St. Bonaventure (10-3, 2-0 A-10) employed a 21-4 run spanning the end of the first half and the opening minutes of the second to establish control and never looked back.
Jalen Adaway fueled the charge with a career-high 25 points on 8-of-14 shooting, adding eight rebounds. Jaren Holmes registered 17 points and Kyle Lofton chipped in 13 points, six assists and five steals.
With the win, the Bonnies snapped what was a seven-game winning streak for a red-hot Rams squad.
The Bonnies replicated the success they created against VCU in their A-10 Championship meeting last March in the early going.
Adaway posted seven of Bona’s first nine points and the hosts grabbed a 23-14 advantage with just over 12 minutes gone.
VCU (10-5, 3-1) would close within a point with 90 seconds left before halftime, but the Bonnies used a quick sprint for a 34-28 advantage at the break.
Holmes kept the momentum out of the locker room, drilling a shot from long range on the second half’s first possession for a nine-point edge. Two at the line from Adaway and the Bonnies had their largest lead to that point, 39-28, thanks to a 10-0 run.
Bona’s sprint extended, encompassing the end of the first half and first five minutes of the second period, as the lead grew to 16.
While the Bonnies may have seemed sluggish at times in Tuesday’s return to competition after a 25-day layoff, no such problem plagued the defending A-10 champs Friday night.
St. Bonaventure continued the attack, forcing VCU into foul trouble as leading scorer Vince Williams picked up his fourth early in the half.
A cold spell allowed the Rams to close within 63-49, but an emphatic dunk from Osunniyi with three minutes left quelled VCU’s rally effort. In all, the home team would lead for over 36 minutes of game time and VCU’s only leads of the night came at 2-0 and 4-2.
The Bonnies shot 43 percent from the floor and held VCU to 38 percent shooting including 34 percent after halftime.
Marcus Tshonis led VCU with 14 points and Williams registered 12.