St. Bonaventure 94 Niagara 60: News n' Notes

Following a slow start in the early minutes, St.Bonaventure caught fire and went on to a resounding 94-60 over Niagara. Wednesday’s game at Niagara’s Gallagher Center saw the Bonnies, winners of four straight, improve to 6-2. Host Niagara is now 1-6 having dropped three straight in the friendly confines of Gallagher Center.

Possessions: 64

Offensive efficiency: St. Bona 147, Niagara 94- A totally off the chart offensive performance for Bona. Put it in perspective- the nation leader in offensive efficiency is Baylor at 123.

Four Factors:

eFG pct: St. Bona 77, Niagara 47- Bona shot a white hot 67% from the floor, 63% from downtown. Niagara connected on 37%of their attempts including 33% from three point range.

FT rate: Niagara 38, St. Bona 16- One area Greg Paulus’ Purple Eagles came out ahead. Bona was whistled for 18 personals, Niagara 11.

OREB pct: St. Bona 42, Niagara 8- Complete domination glass as Bona outrebounded Niagara 30-13 (8-2 in offensive boards).

TO rate: St. Bona 14, Niagara 17- Slight edge for Bona in a category where both had acceptable under 20% numbers.

End to end. First few minutes saw Bona trail 8-2. They then embarked on a 38-9 run including 19 straight during that stretch. At the half, Bona led 45-20 and never looked back. At one point in their second half the lead expanded to 43 points as Niagara was unable to put together any run.

"We had a shaky start in the first four minutes then our guys really locked in," coach Mark Schmidt told "We shared the ball and shot the heck out of the basketball. Defensively we did a really good job…We stayed committed to every possession and the results speak for themselves."

Mika Adams-Woods scored a career high 25 points. The MVP shot 10 of 11 from the floor (5 for 5 beyond the arc).

Chad Venning (14 points, 4 boards) and Noel Brown (15 points) utilized Bona’s inside advantage.

Barry Evans, starting in place of injured Charles Pride, scored 4 points. The 6’8" sophomore grabbed a game high 10 rebounds, rejected two shots and provided a wealth of intangibles the stat sheet cannot measure.

Moses Flowers (14 points) and Daryl Banks III (10 points) also scored in double digits for the Bonnies.

Assa Essamvous added eight points, six rebounds.

This was Bona’s second largest margin of victory over Niagara in the 161 (90-71 Bona lead) game series. Only a 104-68 victory by the Final Four team of ‘70 had a larger difference. Interestingly this was the first meeting of the ‘Little 3’ rivals since 2019.

Niagara was led by freshman Ahmad Henderson III with 13 points. Randy Tucker and Tre Bullock each added 10 for the Purple Eagles.

Foot on the gas. In last Saturday’s win at Buffalo, the Bonnies built an 18 point lead. They prevailed by 15 (80-65) but there was a feeling of the Bonnies easing up the final twenty minutes. Against Niagara that was not the case.

‘As a group we know that we are starting to get more comfortable together," Adams-Woods told ‘Going into this game we knew that we had to finish."

The Bonnies did just that in impressive fashion.

Next up, another MAAC battle as the Bonnies host Siena on Saturday at the Reilly Center. Carmen Maciariello’s Saints are 2-7 with wins over Holy Cross and Rider to their credit. Bonnies are starting to jell and one must believe this is not the same team that was upset by Canisius four weeks ago. Regardless, don’t sell Siena short as this is another rivalry game and not to be considered an easy out.

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