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Jaren Holmes Leads Bona Past St. Joe’s

The Lead: St. Bonaventure 83, St. Joseph’s 57

On one of the darkest days in American history, St. Bonaventure’s Jaren Holmes had the game of his life. He scored a career-high 38 points, which led the Bonnies to an 83-57 rout of St. Joseph’s in Olean.

Holmes fired away from deep, connecting on 8 of 12 3-point field goal attempts. He said that he “was just trying to find holes in the zone, and then get good looks from there.” He certainly did get good looks as it “was an amazing night” for him. His humility was on display in the postgame as well as he felt “so thankful for his teammates” for giving him such great opportunities.

Furthermore, to go along with his 38 points, Holmes recorded his sixth career double-double in corraling ten boards. With 11:24 to play, Holmes, who plays with such grit and determination, launched himself toward a loose rebound, collected it, then saved it to his teammate Kyle Lofton, away from a lurking Hawk defender. This would go down as his tenth rebound of the afternoon. St. Bonaventure Coach Mark Schmidt called this a “blue-collar play.” He added that “guys making blue-collar plays is what helps us win.” Holmes’ ten rebounds marked the second-highest on the team, as Osun Osunniyi led the game in snagging 12. Holmes not only exploded offensively but he truly had a terrific, all-around performance. It goes to show that Holmes is not just a one-dimensional scorer, but a potential All-Conference candidate.

Speaking of Osunniyi, Schmidt stated that he was the “biggest key” in this game. Coach added that “he did a terrific job defensively” as the Junior big-man recorded three blocks to go along with seven points. Schmidt also remarked that he was the key reason as to why the Bonnies dominated the glass. The Bonnies outrebounded the Hawks 46-32.

The 6’10’ Junior had an injury scare in the first half, as he landed awkwardly after making a tremendous block. Thankfully, Osunniyi re-entered the game with just under eight minutes to go in the opening period. Hopefully, nothing lingers going forward, as he seemed fine after re-entering the game.

As I noted yesterday, the Bonnies would need to have three-double digit scorers to secure a victory. Instead, the Bonnies got two players to combine for 62 points, more than the entire Hawk team. That obviously works. To go along with Holmes’ 38, Jalen Adaway had a career-high 24 points on a superbly efficient 11-12 from the field. On numerous occasions, Adaway found himself available in the middle of the 2-3 zone. He nailed a handful of jumpers from the free-throw line area and also had some terrific finishes down low. Adaway was a key piece in attacking the St. Joseph’s zone and instrumental in the Bona victory.

Perhaps nobody more instrumental to this team is Junior Guard Kyle Lofton, the hero from last Saturday’s dramatic victory in Richmond. Lofton did not make a field goal, as he recorded four points on four free throws. Nonetheless, he recorded 11 assists, as he continues to lead the conference in sharing the wealth. He also snagged 8 rebounds.

Coach Schmidt remarked that “Kyle doesn’t care about the scoring. He’s a team guy. He played terrific. He’s the leader. It doesn’t matter if it’s one point or 25 points. He just wants to win.”

Well, the Bonnies dominated today, especially in the second half. Everyone on the team contributed. Considering Bona’s “Big Three” of Lofton, Osunniyi, and Dominick Welch combined for only 19, and the team won by 26, should make Bona fans smile about the potential and depth of this team. Thus, if the Bonnies can have multiple guys contribute like they did today, then the sky is the limit for the Brown and White.

Up Next: George Washington

On Saturday, the Bonnies will play host to George Washington. The Colonials were slated to play the UMASS Minutemen tonight in Foggy Bottom, but the game was postponed due to the events that transpired in our nation’s capital. The game tips off from the Reilly Center at Noon on NBC Sports Network, in what will be a huge day for Western New York Sports, as the Buffalo Bills host its first playoff game in over 25 years on Saturday as well.

Unfurl.