The ball went half way down, then it bounced out.
St. Bonaventure (2-1) bounced back in dramatic fashion after a home loss against Canisius by finding a way to beat Oklahoma State (1-2) 66-64 at Barclays Center Thursday night.
It wasn’t easy. And every Bonnies supporter in Brooklyn collectively held their breath as OSU’s Javon Small got a great look for a 3-point attempt at the buzzer to win the game. But the ball popped out and a revamped Bonaventure team’s season was back on track.
Daryl Banks III was fouled on a 3-point attempt of his own with St. Bonaventure down two with just 20 seconds remaining. He sank all three free throws to take the lead, putting the onus on the defense to secure a win.
Neither Kyrell Luc or Moses Flowers played for the Bonnies due to injury. A slimmer rotation had to maximize minutes while working to stay out of foul trouble. Chad Venning fouled out late in the second half and Charles Pride found himself hovering close to the foul limit also. Noel Brown and Barry Evans impacted the game off the bench as Bona’s went seven players deep missing Luc and Flowers.
Mika Adams-Woods, the transfer from Cincinnati, led the way with 17 points. Assa Essamvous made three 3-pointers and grabbed seven rebounds. Starting hot from the perimeter, he garnered additional attention from the Oklahoma State defense which opened up more scoring opportunities for his teammates.
Banks finished with 14 points, none bigger than the three clutch free throws in the final seconds. He sank his only 3-point make of the night to put the Bonnies up three with just above eight minutes remaining. This led to an Oklahoma State timeout as momentum shifted in favor of the Brown and White.
Evans was strong on the defensive side of the floor, grabbing three steals and forcing the Cowboys into tough looks during clutch time.
Now, head coach Mark Schmidt’s group have a win to build off of. They will have an immediate opportunity against another Power 5 opponent after just one night’s rest. Neither Luc or Flowers will be available for the quick turnaround, according to SBUnfurled.
The Bonnies play the winner of Auburn and Notre Dame Friday at 7 p.m. ET at Barclays Center in the Legends Classic championship game. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.
(Featured Photo Courtesy of St. Bonaventure Athletics, @BonniesMBB on X, formerly Twitter)
— Bonnies Men's Basketball (@BonniesMBB) November 17, 2023