St. Bonaventure dominates men’s basketball in second 20-point A-10 loss

Media Credit: File Photo by Arielle Bader | Senior Photo Editor

Freshman guard Jameer Nelson Jr. drives to the basket. He notched a team-leading 19 points against the Bonnies, but it wasn't enough to climb out of a 20-point deficit.

St. Bonaventure completed the season sweep over men’s basketball Wednesday, holding the squad to its lowest point total all season and handing it its second consecutive Atlantic 10 loss.

Sophomore guard Jaren English’s 21-point effort lifted the Bonnies (15-8, 7-3 A-10) over the Colonials (10-13, 4-6 A-10) 72–47. A combination of turnovers, a lack of defensive rebounding and a struggle to hit shots at the end of possessions stunted GW’s comeback attempt.

“Our offense has been really good this year, being able to get shots every time down the floor, because we have a lot of guys that can space the floor and make decisions, make plays,” head coach Jamion Christian said. “We just weren’t able to do that.”

He added that redshirt senior guard Armel Potter, who is sidelined with an injury, is “day-to-day” and working himself back, senior guard Justin Williams is still on concussion protocol and junior forward Javier Langarica, who was benched with a hand injury, had his cast removed last week.

The Colonials shot at a similar clip to the Bonnies, netting 41.9 percent from the field to St. Bonaventure’s 49.2 percent. But the Bonnies, who attempted 59 shots, limited GW’s attempts from the floor to just 43. The number of attempts is GW’s lowest all season and nearly 13 shots below its season average of 55.5 shots from the field per game.

The squad also attempts 17.1 free throws per game, but it shot seven from the charity stripe against the Bonnies. Over its last two games, the Colonials tabbed 13 combined free throws.

The Bonnies also dominated the boards on both sides of the ball. Overall, St. Bonaventure outrebounded GW 38-20 and ripped 12 more offensive rebounds for 18 second chance points. GW recorded 19 defensive rebounds, down from its season average of 25.6.

“Usually we’re a much better defensive rebounding team,” Christian said. “Coming into the last week, we’re a top four, five in the league in defensive rebounding. So in the last week, we’ve struggled a little bit and just haven’t done as good a job as we have been doing earlier in the year.”

The Bonnies jumped out to a 10-point lead to start the contest with a pair of three-point shots, a jumper in the paint and a dunk. Freshman guard Shawn Walker Jr. put the Colonials on the board and broke St. Bonaventure’s streak with a drive to the hoop, finishing the play with a slam.

Freshman guard Jameer Nelson Jr., who finished with a team-leading 19 points, netted his first points of the contest, nailing a drive to the rim and completing the opportunity at the free throw line. GW’s next points also came from Nelson Jr., who nabbed a steal and finished with a one-handed jab through the rim.

Shots from the perimeter dominated a two-minute stretch in the first half, with English starting the spree from beyond the arc. Three Colonials – freshman forward Jamison Battle, Nelson Jr. and junior guard Maceo Jack – then hit straight shots from deep to bring GW within one.

On the night, the Colonials connected on 7-of-20 from the three-point line and held the Bonnies to 5-of-16 shooting.

Battle matched a St. Bonaventure jumper to keep the deficit at one with about 11 minutes to play. But the Bonnies continued to pack the paint and sink shots, netting 48 points in the paint to the Colonials’ 26 by the end of the night.

Nelson Jr. continued his dominance in the first half, netting six straight points for the Colonials on drives to the basket until a 9-0 run quieted GW. The Colonials entered the locker room down 39–27 at the half.

The Bonnies opened the second half outscoring the Colonials 4-1 with all four points coming from the hands of English. Freshman forward Chase Paar netted all four of his points on successive pick-and-roll plays to cut the lead down to 13 points.

But Winston, English and sophomore center and forward Osun Osunniyi stretched the lead to 20 before Jack notched his second triple of the night to cut the lead to 17. He finished the game with six points on 2-of-6 shooting from the field.

Despite 10 turnovers in the first half, GW limited the statistic in the second frame, finishing the night with 14.

A 9-0 spin from St. Bonaventure worked the deficit up to 26, its highest of the night. Nelson Jr., Battle and sophomore forward Mezie Offurum took the team on an 8-0 run of their own. The run marked the final points of the Colonials, who let St. Bonaventure score seven unanswered points.

The final buzzer sounded on the Colonials’ largest loss since Vermont Dec. 31 and its second 20-point loss in A-10 play after dropping the game against Richmond by 22 points Saturday. The Bonnies, who won by just five points the first time the two teams met, bested the Colonials 72–47.

“We need to be ready,” Christian said. “They’re a good team. They’re one of the best teams in our league and we need to be ready to step up with physicality and toughness.”

The Colonials return home Saturday to take on Rhode Island. Tipoff is slated for noon and will be broadcasted on CBS Sports Network.

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