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NCAA Tournament: Adams and Mobley overcome struggles in St. Bonaventure’s win over UCLA

The Bonnies will face the Florida Gators later this week.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Four-St. Bonaventure vs. UCLA Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The first of the more highly-anticipated First Four games kicked off tonight with the St. Bonaventure Bonnies emerging victorious over the UCLA Bruins, 65-58.

These two squads faced off in what was a surprisingly low-scoring affair, given what we have come to expect from these teams whose entire identity is based around having a solid offense.

For UCLA, it was a characteristically hot three-point shooting night that kept them hanging tight with the Bonnies, who had more difficulty finding their long range game than Louisville had getting an at-large bid.

However, it was the foul shooting that gave St. Bonaventure a chance in spite of their poor shooting from the field. Going 15-21 from the free throw line allowed the Bonnies to hang tight and weather the storm that UCLA brewed up.

Despite everything else, it was about as bad a night as St. Bonaventure could’ve ever imagined. It was no doubt Mark Schmidt’s worst nightmare, manifested on the court before scores of the viewing public.

Lucky for them, Courtney Stockard managed to bring his A-game, scoring 26 points and keeping the Bonnies in it until Adams and Mobley could take over.

That happened within the final 6 minutes.

Finally, Matt Mobley began to shoot himself out of a slump, channeling his status as college’s version of J.R. Smith (our own Chris Schutte came up with this stunningly accurate comparison). He was finally able to showcase exactly what he’s capable of—what we had been waiting for all game long.

The skilled backcourt tandem we all know and love managed to score all of St. Bonaventure’s points after Stockard gave the Bonnies a 53-51 lead, and the win was sealed after two offensive fouls were committed by Aaron Holiday in the final 22 seconds.

Thankfully, we are going to get to see the careers of Mobley and Adams continue for a few more days. These are two incredibly gifted players, and seeing their careers end tonight would have been horrible. Hopefully they got their NCAA Tournament jitters out of the way now and are ready to storm onward.

If that’s the case, Florida should be very worried.