No. 23 St. Bonaventure rallies late to beat Canisius 69-60

Nov 14, 2021, 2:15 AM | Updated: 6:03 pm
St. Bonaventure guard Kyle Lofton (0) drives to the hoop while defended by Canisius guard Ahamadou ...

St. Bonaventure guard Kyle Lofton (0) drives to the hoop while defended by Canisius guard Ahamadou Fofana (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Olean N.Y. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

(AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

OLEAN, N.Y. (AP) — Kyle Lofton and Jaren Holmes scored 17 points apiece and No. 23 St. Bonaventure rallied to beat Canisius 69-60 on Sunday night.

Jalen Adaway added 16 points for St. Bonaventure (2-0) in his season debut after he was suspended for the season opener for an NCAA rule violation.

Malek Green had 14 points and eight rebounds to lead Canisius (0-3) in the 169th meeting since 1920 between western New York’s “Little 3” rivals.

St. Bonaventure came back in the second half without center Osun Osunniyi, who aggravated a back injury while falling to the floor on defense. Osunniyi entered the day leading all active players in blocks, averaging 2.72.

Trailing 51-42 during a timeout with about 11 minutes remaining, St. Bonaventure’s other four senior starters huddled together.

“We looked at each other as seniors and said we are not losing,” Holmes said. “It just shows our togetherness overall, as a group.”

The Bonnies used a 15-3 run to dig out of an 11-point deficit and were up 61-58 inside of four minutes.

“We played much harder in the last 10 minutes of the game,” St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt said. “Almost like a sense of desperation. We know it’s a rivalry, and it’s always going to be a tough game.”

Canisius led for much of the early part of the game and went on a 14-3 run take a 31-26 advantage into halftime. Jacco Fritz dunked for a double-digit lead, 41-30, in the second half.

St. Bonaventure turned up its defensive pressure in the second half and scored 15 points off turnovers, mostly on fastbreaks. The Bonnies also held the Golden Griffins to two field goals over the final 11 minutes.

“We had a couple bad turnovers that we couldn’t defend,” Canisius coach Reggie Witherspoon said. “If you are looking for a momentum shift, typically it’s a couple turnovers that lead to breakaways.”

BIG PICTURE

Canisius: Beat a less-experienced Bonnies team that was battling injuries in 2019, but couldn’t hold on to upset a ranked opponent for first time in 21 opportunities since 1994. The team is searching for its first nonconference win in two seasons after opening with losses at Miami and East Carolina.

St. Bonaventure: Rallied in the second half for a second home win against an in-state rival from the lower-rated Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference — but it wasn’t expected to be such a hard-fought victory. The competition level will rise for program that is ranked in Top 25 for the first time in 50 years as it travels away from home.

SLOW STARTS

St. Bonaventure had to overcome an early 10-point deficit in its opening win against Siena. The trend carried over from a scrimmage with Kent State and exhibition game against Division III Alfred State, Lofton noted, and the Bonnies don’t want it to continue in against more challenging opposition.

“We have to come out strong,” Lofton said. “Every single game, we’ve come out slow. We have to emphasize jumping on them first before they get on us. It’s hard to come back from trailing every game.”

POLL IMPLICATIONS

St. Bonaventure might benefit from No. 20 Florida State’s loss to Florida. But struggling to separate itself from a team predicted to finish near the bottom of the MAAC won’t impress voters.

UP NEXT

Canisius: At Cleveland State on Saturday in the last of four road games to open the season.

St. Bonaventure: Plays Boise State on Thursday at the Charleston Classic in South Carolina — a multiteam event that includes West Virginia, Clemson and Marquette.

___

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Ukraine basketball players find homes at Canadian college

The squeak of their shoes and the thump of the ball on the court feels blessedly normal for Vika Kovalevska and Vlada Hozalova. Basketball provides a brief sanctuary from the ceaseless undercurrent of tension they feel about what’s happening at home in Ukraine. The game also helps ground them in their new life in southern […]
24 hours ago
This photo provided by the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne shows Sophie Hernandez compet...
Associated Press

Olympic pentathlon eyes ‘Ninja Warrior’ courses for survival

The path to saving modern pentathlon from Olympic removal may just be filled with obstacles. As in, ring swings, rope mazes, balance beams and warped walls. Imagine an “American Ninja Warrior” style obstacle course set up in the middle of the Coliseum for the 2028 Los Angeles Summer Games. That sort of scene could rescue […]
24 hours ago
Umpires look toward the sky after a drone was seen above the field during the third inning of a bas...
Associated Press

Rockies beat Dodgers 5-2 after Urias departs in last start

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Julio Urias made his final tune-up for the postseason and case for the Cy Young Award a solid one, though the Colorado Rockies went ahead after he left and beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-2 on Tuesday night. Urias pitched five innings and allowed two runs — both on solo homers. […]
24 hours ago
Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani walks to the dugout after striking out against the Oakland Athlet...
Associated Press

Langeliers’ bases-loaded walk sends A’s past Angels, 2-1

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Shea Langeliers drew a bases-loaded walk in the 10th inning, sending the Oakland Athletics past the Los Angeles Angels 2-1 on Tuesday night. “Those are the moments you practice for right there,” Langeliers said. “All the hard work you do goes in, and it shows up when you need it right […]
24 hours ago
San Diego Padres' Wil Myers celebrates after hitting a home run during the eighth inning of a baseb...
Associated Press

Padres wrap up 5th seed in NL playoffs, beating Giants 6-2

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Sean Manaea allowed only one hit in six shutout innings and the San Diego Padres wrapped up the fifth seed in the NL playoffs, beating the San Francisco Giants 6-2 on Tuesday night. “Fantastic — his pitch count, breaking ball, change-up, everything,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said about Manaea. “He had […]
24 hours ago
Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92's Victor Wembanyama, center, guards NBA G League Ignite's Scoot...
Associated Press

Analysis: Wembanyama showed the repertoire, as NBA watched

HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — Victor Wembanyama didn’t wait long to make an impression. The 7-foot-4 French phenomenon from the club Metropolitans 92 blocked shots at the rim and on the perimeter, got rebounds, ran the floor, set screens, scored on a nifty spin move, showed off his ability to dribble, dove for a loose ball […]
24 hours ago
No. 23 St. Bonaventure rallies late to beat Canisius 69-60