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St. Bonaventure takes down Canisius men's basketball, 70-55

Jonathan Sanks

CANISIUS COLLEGE ATHLETICS



Game Recap
St. Bonaventure used a 23-6 run to close the first half and a 10-0 run midway through the second half to help push the host Bonnies to a 70-55 victory over Canisius Wednesday night in the Reilly Center in Olean, N.Y. The win moves St. Bonaventure to 2-5 on the season, while the Golden Griffins fell to 1-6 with their sixth-straight defeat.
 
Canisius took a 17-14 lead with 8:48 left before halftime after senior Jonathan Sanks drilled a 3-point field goal from the near-side wing, but that would be the Griffs' last lead of the evening. From there, St. Bonaventure senior forward Courtney Stockard took over, scoring the game's next nine points to give the Bonnies a 23-17 lead with 6:56 left to play. Back-to-back baskets from Nelson Kaputo stretched the St. Bonaventure cushion to 10 points at 28-18, and moments later, a 3-pointer from freshman guard Kyle Lofton as the shot clock expired gave the Bonnies a 35-20 lead with 2:14 left before intermission.
 
Canisius came out of the locker room to start the second half trailing 37-23, but an 8-4 run by the Blue and Gold, capped by a dunk by junior Dantai St. Louis, made the score 41-31 with 16:32 left on the clock. The Bonnies answered that run with a scoring spurt of their own, a 10-0 run that ran for 4:24, to make the score 51-31 in favor of the home team. Canisius, which trailed by as many as 23 points midway through the second half, got the score to 63-51 with 2:12 left to play, but that would be as close as the Griffs would get down the stretch, as the Bonnies hit three free-throws in the span of 17 seconds to seal the victory.
 
Sanks led all Canisius scorers with a season-high 12 points off the bench on the power of four 3-point field goals, while sophomore Takal Molson added 10 points. Junior Malik Johnson had nine points and a team-high eight rebounds in the loss with Jibreel Faulkner adding seven points. Junior Isaiah Reese posted a team-high seven assists to go with six boards and three steals for Canisius, which shot 35 percent from the field, 23.3 percent from 3-point land and 54.5 percent from the free-throw line in the loss.
 
Stockard, who made his season debut on Wednesday night after offseason surgery, led all scorers with 19 points off the bench in 20 minutes of action. Loften chipped in 13 points and a game-high nine assists, while Kaputo and Osun Osunniyi were both good for 12 points. St. Bonaventure shot 46.4 percent from the floor, 39.1 percent from 3-point land and 692 percent from the charity stripe in the win, while ending the night with a 42-32 advantage on the glass.   
 
Head Coach Reggie Witherspoon's Postgame Comments
"I thought St. Bonaventure played really hard, especially for the last 30 minutes of the game. Give them credit, the shared the ball and they played the right way."
 
"We were dead tired tonight. This was our fifth game in 10 days, and we have some guys playing some heavy minutes. I think it really hit them tonight. We've got some guys who are sick, which didn't help, either. We're struggling to find scoring and [St. Bonaventure] made it hard for us to get in any offensive flow."
 
Game Notes
• This was the 167th all-time meeting between the two rivals in a series that dates back to the 1919-20 campaign. St. Bonaventure leads the series 101-66.
• The Griffs were credited with six steals in the losing effort, the sixth time this season the Blue and Gold have recorded five or more steals in a game.
• Sanks' four made 3-point field goals ties a career high. He also hit four treys in a road win over Saint peter's Feb. 4, 2018.
• Molson extended his streak of scoring 10-or more points in a game to 10 straight, dating back to last year.
• Freshman Jordan Henderson scored a career-high five points off the bench. He also hit his first career 3-pointer in the game.
• Freshman Ivan Hadzic came off the bench to play in his first collegiate game.

Up Next
Canisius will return to action on Wednesday, Dec. 5 when the team plays host to Robert Morris in the Koessler Athletic Center. Game time is set for 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN3. The radio call can be heard on WECK-Radio Buffalo, GoGriffs.com and the TuneIn app.