ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – After yet another slow start, the Bonnies managed to race past the Loyola Maryland Greyhounds in the second half to win by 13.
Bona outscored Loyola 46 to 30 over the final 20 minutes, shooting a remarkable 72.9% from the floor in doing so.
Senior guards Jaren Holmes and Jalen Adaway led the way, as they each scored 22 points. The two stars combined to shoot 18 of 26 from the field, which equates to 69.2%.
Holmes played terrific, as he bounced back beautifully after going 3 of 17 from the field against Buffalo. To go along with his 22 points, the Romulus, Michigan native dished out nine assists, which is a new career high.
He did this all playing out of his position.
Due to Kyle Lofton’s ankle injury, Holmes has had to fill-in as the floor general over the past two games. If anyone had any doubts about his ability to run the point, they should not have any anymore. Those question marks are gone now. Tonight may have been the best game Holmes has had in a brown and white uniform. He scored effectively, distributed the ball beautifully, and as always, hustled for all 40 minutes.
Alongside Holmes, was Jalen Adaway, who also played terrific once again. Adaway seemed to drain everything: fade-away jumpers, turn-around jumpers, floaters, and the occasional three-pointer. He made 9 of his 14 attempts from the field, which includes two three-pointers. Nicknamed “Flight 33,” Adaway also snagged five rebounds and played solid defensively in the second half.
Dom Welch chipped in with 16 of his own. Along with Holmes, Welch was the only other Bonnie to play a full 40 minutes. The Cheektowaga, New York native drained four of his ten attempts from beyond the arc. He is a terrific shooter as he has one of the best strokes in the conference. However, he needs to work on getting his feet set before pulling the trigger. For instance, on the first possession of the game, Welch had a wide open look from the left wing. But he rushed his shot and did not have his feet set. He missed. On his next three attempts, all within the first five minutes of the game, Welch set his feet, squared his shoulders, and thus drained each of his attempts.
Welch also had seven assists and recorded four steals. Overall, he played spectacular. He will need to replicate this performance on Saturday, when the Bonnies take on #15 UCONN.
Quadry Adams, who got the start in place of the injured Lofton, finished with 12 points, which is a new career high. He shot an effective six of seven from the field, but missed all three of free-throws attempts.
The only Bona starter to not score in double-figures was Osun Osunniyi, who finished with eight points. He also grabbed seven rebounds and recorded two blocks. Those back issues that lingered earlier in the season seem to be gone for now.
But with all of those impressive statistics, the Bonnies did not play up to their potential.
They were trailing by three points at halftime.
Loyola’s Princeton offense was working to perfection for the first 20 minutes of the game. The Greyhounds made eight three-pointers in the first half. The Bona defense was giving them wide open looks.
But as the old saying goes, teams “live and die by the three.” Loyola was alive in the first half, but they regressed back to the mean over the final 20 minutes. The Greyhounds shot 28.4% from deep in the second half, which is just a tick below their season average of 29%. Bona played much better defensively in the second half too.
Coach Schmidt definitely wants to work with his team on that. He wanted Loyola to make no more than seven three-pointers. They made 12.
Four Greyhounds finished in double-figures with Jaylin Andrews leading the way with 20 points. Cam Spencer finished with 13, which is almost six points beneath his season average. The Ilic Brothers, Milos and Veljko, each had 13 points. The Serbian twins will be causing trouble in the Patriot League for years to come; they certainly gave the Bonnies some fits tonight.
Next up for the 8-1 Bonnies will be a trip to the Garden State on Saturday afternoon.
Bona will take on #15 UCONN in the Never Forget Tribute Classic at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.
Jack Milko received his B.A. in Political Science from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. He is now working to get his M.A. in Sports Journalism from St. Bonaventure University. A lifelong fan of the Bonnies, Jack covers the team for @A10Talk. Follow him on Twitter for more Bonnies coverage at @Jack_Milko.
Featured image courtesy of Dan Nelligan, St. Bonaventure Class of 2020, who serves as a photographer for @A10Talk.