Jaylen Adams Returns, But Defense Leads To Win At Buffalo
St. Bonaventure Starters: #3 G Jaylen Adams, #2 G Matt Mobley, #1 G Idris Taqqee, #15 F LaDarien Griffin, #33 F Josh Ayeni
Jaylen Adams' return from injury was the most welcome news Saturday, but defense was the reason that St. Bonaventure won again.
The Bonnies held Buffalo without a field goal for eight minutes and off the scoreboard completely for almost four minutes down the stretch, pulling away for a 73-62 victory at Alumni Arena.
The win moved St. Bonaventure to 5-2 on the season with its third win away from home while Buffalo fell to 4-3.
Matt Mobley turned in his fourth 20-point performance of the young seaon, leading all scorers with 25 points while Courtney Stockard added 13 points and nine rebounds.
The Bonnies spread the wealth as eight different players scored, perhaps highlighted by the return of Adams. The preseason All-America candidate made his first appearance of the year after missing the first six games with an injury, registering nine points, four rebounds and two assists in 28 minutes of action.
The first half was one of consistent foul issues for the Bonnies, who were called 14 times in the first 20 minutes. Despite Josh Ayeni and LaDarien Griffin playing only 10 minutes combined and Adams picking up two fouls, the Bonnies hung close for most of the frame. Izaiah Brockington drained a three-pointer and Nelson Kaputo scored soon after that on a put-back to give St. Bonaventure a 19-14 lead.
Buffalo then scored seven points in a row to grab a 21-19 edge, eventually pushing their lead to as many as six points before taking a 35-32 lead into halftime. Adams scored four points in 12 minutes in the first half.
Mobley helped St. Bonaventure regain the lead by starting the second half hot. He scored six straight to put the Bonnies ahead 38-37 less than two minutes into the half.
The game remained close and hotly contested the rest of the way. It was a 51-51 tie at the 9:31 mark when the Bonnies went ahead with four consecutive points, the latter a floater off the glass by Nelson Kaputo.
From that point on, the Bonnies' defense clamped down on UB. After CJ Massinburg's layup with 8:39 to go pulled Bulls to within 55-54, Buffalo did not manage another field goal until Nick Perkins made a three-pointer with 39 seconds left.
It was still a close game at 60-57, though, when Mobley made an off-balance shot with 3:08 left. After a missed UB shot, Griffin made a jumper in the lane at the 2:17 mark to put the Bonnies in control at 64-57. St. Bonaventure sealed the game with free throws down the stretch.
Stats Of The Game
St. Bonaventure limited the Bulls to 33.9 percent shooting from the floor (19-for-56) on the day and 7-of-29 (24.1 percent) from beyond the arc. The Bonnies defense really locked in during the second half as Buffalo went 7-of-29 from the floor and just 3-of-17 from distance after halftime as Bona took control.
The Bonnies also established control inside, finishing with a plus-12 margin in rebounding, 50-38. That showing helped limit Buffalo to just five second chance points while the Bonnies posted 34 points in the paint to UB's 22.
Beyond The Boxscore
This was the 12th meeting between the schools with St. Bonaventure improving to 10-2 all-time in the series including four straight victories and seven of the past eight.
Bona has now held opponents under 40 percent shooting from the field four times this season
St. Bonaventure's defense was especially impressive considering Buffalo entered the afternoon averaging 85.0 points per game through its first six contests.
Stockard turned in a career high in rebounds with nine.
Adams moved into the program's all-time top 20 in scoring with 1,386 career points.
Griffin tied his career high with three blocks.
The Bonnies owned a 29-9 margin in bench points.
Up Next: Wednesday, St. Bonaventure will play its third straight road game when it visits Canisius. Game time will be 7:00 at the Koessler Center.