FAIRFAX, Va. — What started off as an ugly 15-point, first-half deficit turned into a 12-point, 61-49 victory for the St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team over the George Mason Patriots. It was a tale of two halves.
The game couldn’t have started any worse for the Bonnies, as George Mason walked all over them early. In the first half, the Bonnies shot 11-30 from the field and 2-8 from the three-point territory and turned the ball over 11 times. Yet, the resilient Bonnies found a way to chip away at the Patriot lead and found themselves within striking distance at the break, trailing by four, 31-27.
In the second half, it was all Bonnies in every facet of the game.
Fueled by stellar zone defense, the Bonnies used a 34-18 second half to smother the Patriots, forcing nine turnovers while grabbing 21 rebounds to George Mason’s 11. The Bonnies' offense improved, too; the team shot 6-12 from the three-point territory and 14-34 from the field.
Once again, Bonnies sophomore stars Kyle Lofton, Osun Osunniyi and Dominick Welch rose to the occasion, leading the comeback effort.
Lofton, who played a full 40 minutes for the seventh time this season, tallied 17 points, five assists, five rebounds and three steals. The guard shot 7-18 from the field and 2-4 from long range.
Osunniyi, who only scored eight points in the game, showed up in other ways. The 6-foot, 10-inch center grabbed 18 rebounds and blocked five shots. On the season, Osunniyi has blocked three shots or more on five occasions. In those games, the Bonnies are 4-1.
And Welch, who struggled offensively early, hit three timely 3-pointers in the second half to all but secure the victory for the Bonnies.
After two consecutive road wins to open up Atlantic 10 Conference play, the Bonnies will return to the Reilly Center for a Saturday matinee against Fordham at 2 o'clock.
Sign Up for E-News to get top stories delivered daily to your inbox.