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Red-Hot Wildcats Too Much For Bonnies

ST. BONAVENTURE — A red-hot first-half shooting effort from visiting Davidson set the tone and sent the Wildcats to a 93-64 victory over St. Bonaventure Friday night in the Reilly Center.

The Bonnies (17-9, 9-4 A-10) built much of their impressive start to conference play, which came one win shy of matching the best in program history, on lockdown defense, but the Wildcats sank shots early and often to build a large lead during the opening 20 minutes.

The Bonnies led early, opening a narrow 16-13 advantage behind eight quick points from Osun Osunniyi.

Davidson then embarked on a 20-2 run that gave the Wildcats a 33-18 cushion with 7:30 left in the half.

A floater from Lofton and a drive to the bucket by English momentarily slowed the Wildcats’ roll, but the visitors remained hot from the perimeter to extend their cushion.

Wildcat shooters went 8 for 14 from beyond the arc during the first half and shot 57 percent in all from the floor to build a 47-28 lead at the break.

Bonaventure saw the Davidson lead grow to 20 early in the second half, and each attempt at a rally from the hosts was quickly turned away.

A Lofton runner cut the deficit to 52-34, but was immediately answered by a Kellan Grady 3-pointer. Another Lofton bucket go the Bonnies within 59-41 and still 11 minutes left, but the Wildcats responded with the next six points.

From there, Davidson (13-11, 7-5) remained in control.

“All the credit goes to Davidson, they outplayed us tonight from the beginning to the end. Going into the game, we needed to defend them better, not just from the 3 but in the paint. We didn’t do a good job both on the perimeter and inside. When they shoot the ball the way they shot the ball, especially in the first half, they’re hard to deal with,” St. Bonaventure head coach Mark Schmidt said. “They’re a very skilled team, more skilled than us. In order to compete with them, you have to out-tough them, and they out-skilled us and out-toughed us. They outrebounded us by 16 which is unacceptable. They took it to us. We had some opportunities. We missed some shots, and they got on a run. Some of our guys were trying to make eight-point plays. Give them credit, they played really, really well. Hats off to them.”

Five Wildcats scored in double figures and 11 players registered points in all. Grady paced all scorers with 16 points while Jon Axel Gudmunsson had a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds along with eight assists.

Lofton led the way with 15 points along with six assists. Justin Winston (12 points) and Osunniyi (10 points) also were in double figures for Bona.

NOTES: St. Bonaventure is now 9-4 in Atlantic 10 play — the program’s best-ever start to A-10 competition was 10-3 during the 1982-83 season. … The Bonnies entered the night allowing just 64.4 points on average in their first 12 A-10 games. … Davidson shot nearly 56 percent (33 of 59) for the night and finished 13 of 26 from beyond the arc. … Dominick Welch and Jaren English each had 9 points while Amadi Ikpeze added 7 off the bench.

DAVIDSON (93)

Brajkovic 6-8 1-2 13, Collins 2-8 0-0 5, Grady 5-8 3-5 16, Gudmundsson 4-8 4-4 14, M.Jones 2-3 1-2 7, Lee 4-8 3-4 14, Boachie-Yiadom 5-8 1-3 11, B.Jones 1-2 0-0 3, Kristensen 2-4 0-0 4, Wynter 2-2 0-0 5, Casey 0-0 1-2 1, Dibble 0-0 0-0 0, Freundlich 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 33-59 14-22 93.

ST. BONAVENTURE (64)

Winston 5-11 1-2 12, Osunniyi 4-8 2-4 10, English 2-7 4-6 9, Lofton 6-12 2-3 15, Welch 3-9 2-2 9, Vasquez 1-4 0-0 2, Planutis 0-3 0-0 0, Ikpeze 3-4 1-2 7, Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Okoli 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-58 12-19 64.

Halftime–Davidson 47-28. 3-Point Goals–Davidson 13-26 (Grady 3-4, Lee 3-6, M.Jones 2-3, Gudmundsson 2-5, B.Jones 1-1, Wynter 1-1, Collins 1-5, Brajkovic 0-1), St. Bonaventure 4-15 (English 1-1, Lofton 1-3, Welch 1-3, Winston 1-4, Vasquez 0-1, Planutis 0-3). Rebounds–Davidson 41 (Gudmundsson 11), St. Bonaventure 23 (Osunniyi, English 6). Assists–Davidson 24 (Gudmundsson 8), St. Bonaventure 12 (Lofton 6). Total Fouls–Davidson 16, St. Bonaventure 19. A–5,237 (5,480).

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