By Cameron Hurst @CameronNHurst
Down late in the second half, St. Bonaventure’s men’s basketball team closed out the game with a 13-3 run, beating the Hofstra Pride 81-75, Tuesday evening.
After closing out the first half on an 11-2 run en route to a 48-36 halftime lead, the Bonnies struggled to continue the momentum coming out of the half. Sloppy play resulting in nine second half turnovers helped the Pride get back in the game. The Pride would take advantage of the Bonnies difficulty in handling the ball and open up the half on a 16-6 run, helping them tie the game at 54 with 14:14 left in the game.
Hofstra, led by 20 points from junior Rokas Gustys, took a 72-68 lead with 5:12 left in the game. However, the combination of Jaylen Adams’ 31 points, and Matt Mobley’s 12 rebounds, spearheaded the Bonnies rally and ultimate victory.
The loss snaps a four-game-win streak for the Hofstra pride, who now sit at 6-4 and face No. 6 Kentucky, Sunday at the Barclays Center, in the Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival.
For the Bonnies, the victory gives them their fifth win in a row, matching their longest streak from last season. The victory also instills the worth of Adams, the Co-Atlantic 10 Player of the Week, and fellow guard Mobley, whose ability to score and rebound gives him a versatility that makes losing last year’s leading scorer Marcus Posley a little easier.
The Bonnies face their biggest test at home against NCAA tournament team UNC-Wilmington on Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Reilly Center. The Seahawks, under the guidance of head coach Kevin Keatts, a former assistant at Louisville under Rick Pitino, return nearly their entire team and sit at 7-1 on the season, most recently a 126-113 victory over Pfieffer University.
The Bonnies will need to prove themselves on Saturday for the first time against a top non-conference team in order to show their legitimacy to the rest of the Atlantic 10. Losses to both Arkansas Little Rock and Florida have caused questions about the Bonnies’ ability to face higher tier competition.
Despite that, with a strong home crowd and momentum on their side, the Bonnies have all the tools to get their first top-70 win of the season.