Bonnies Race Past Siena

St. Bonaventure’s Jalen Poyser looks to score between two Siena defenders during Wednesday’s nonconference game at the Reilly Center. P-J photo by Tim Frank

ST. BONAVENTURE — St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt called Wednesday’s win over Siena his team’s most complete game of the season. An 82-40 final score certainly bears that out.

The Bonnies took control late in the first half and cruised to a win in the annual Franciscan Cup game at the Reilly Center. It was St. Bonaventure’s third straight win — turning around a 1-5 start to the season — as well as third consecutive win over Siena.

“I thought this was the most complete game we’ve played to this point. We played really well tonight, especially on defense. (Siena freshman guard Jalen) Pickett was playing really well as a freshman. We thought as he went, Siena went. The whole game plan was to take him out of the game, do a good job on the ball-screen,” Schmidt said. “We played, we defended, we rebounded the ball, we took care of the ball for the most part except for the couple minutes when they started pressing us. We made most of our foul shots. It was a good performance. Kyle (Lofton) and Courtney (Stockard) did a really good job. We tried to put some length on him. Our big guys shocked the ball-screen and the other three guys were in the right position. We were active. We got a lot off their turnovers.”

St. Bonaventure blitzed the Saints with two big runs in the first half. The first came with the Bonnies leading 8-6 when they rattled off 10 unanswered points to go ahead 18-6. The next was sparked by Nelson Kaputo, who drained back-to-back 3-pointers that kicked off a 22-3 run to end the first half. It was a 42-16 lead at halftime, a commanding margin that was easily the Bonnies’ largest this season.

“I thought Nelson (Kaputo) played extremely well. He made some big shots,” Schmidt said. “We need offense off the bench. … With Osun (Osunniyi) and Nelson (Kaputo), they need to give us stuff from an offensive standpoint and I thought Nelson did a great job.”

St. Bonaventure’s Osun Osunniyi grabs a rebound over Siena’s Denzel Tchougang during Wednesday’s nonconference game at the Reilly Center. P-J photo by Tim Frank

In the second half, Siena pulled to within 22 at 55-33 only to see the Bonnies answer with 10 straight points.

As the final score would indicate, the Bonnies dominated across all facets of the game. Their defense was the spark, as Siena scored just 15 field goals on 46 shots (32.6 percent) and committed 15 turnovers. Only eight of Siena’s field goals came inside the 3-point line. The Bonnies held a 38-26 edge in rebounds and committed only eight turnovers. Finally, the Brown and White made 56 percent of their shots from the field.

Kaputo (21 points) and Stockard (17) led four Bonnies in double figures. Jalen Poyser and Osun Osunniyi scored 13 points each. Freshman point guard Kyle Lofton, who guarded Pickett along with Stockard, finished with 6 points, four assists and no turnovers.

“This is a long season and we’re trying to get better. We know we have a young team, but they’re growing up,” Schmidt said. “Our goal coming back here was to win all four (of the four-game homestand). We have a big game against Buffalo. They’re terrific. We have our hands full, so we knew we needed to win this one to get some momentum.”

NOTES: The Bonnies have now won six of the nine Franciscan Cup games with Siena. … With its third straight win during a four-game home stand, St. Bonaventure improved to 4-1 at the Reilly Center. … Nelson Kaputo now has scored in double figures in four straight games, averaging 15.7 points per game over that span while going 14 of 19 from 3-point range. … Coach Mark Schmidt got the 196th win of his tenure at St. Bonaventure, moving him to within six of Larry Weise for the top spot all-time. … St. Bonaventure will host Buffalo, which is undefeated and ranked in the Top 20, this Saturday. Tip-off will be at 4 p.m.

SIENA (40)

Seymour 1-7 0-0 3, Friday 3-3 1-5 7, Degnan 1-6 0-0 3, Pickett 2-7 0-2 4, Camper 3-5 0-0 7, Morastoni 0-0 0-0 0, Huerter 0-3 0-0 0, Tchougang 0-2 0-0 0, Darwiche 0-3 0-0 0, Smithen 0-0 0-0 0, Diamond 0-1 0-0 0, Ratliff 5-7 2-3 16, Bayer 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 15-46 3-10 40.

ST. BONAVENTURE (82)

Ngalakulondi 3-9 0-1 6, Stockard 6-11 5-5 17, Ikpeze 2-3 0-0 4, Poyser 6-11 0-0 13, Lofton 2-6 2-3 6, Osunniyi 5-7 3-4 13, Lee 0-0 0-0 0, Okoli 1-1 0-0 2, Galatio 0-0 0-0 0, Kaputo 8-11 0-0 21. Totals 33-59 10-13 82.

Halftime–St. Bonaventure 42-16. 3-Point Goals–Siena 7-26 (Ratliff 4-6, Camper 1-2, Degnan 1-4, Seymour 1-7, Darwiche 0-1, Huerter 0-1, Bayer 0-2, Pickett 0-3), St. Bonaventure 6-17 (Kaputo 5-6, Poyser 1-4, Lofton 0-1, Stockard 0-2, Ngalakulondi 0-4). Fouled Out–None. Rebounds–Siena 24 (Ratliff 5), St. Bonaventure 38 (Stockard 9). Assists–Siena 6 (Pickett 4), St. Bonaventure 13 (Lofton, Stockard 4). Total Fouls–Siena 15, St. Bonaventure 13.

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