OLEAN, NY - (St. Bonaventure Press Release) The Short Story: Homecoming weekend saw another strong effort by St. Bonaventure come up short in the closing minutes as Dayton pulled out a 72-69 win on Saturday afternoon at the Reilly Center.
In a typically hard-fought Atlantic 10 Conference game that included eight lead changes and five ties, the Bonnies led 64-59 after Jordan Gathers made a driving layup with 4:40 left. The Flyers, however, scored five straight points and tied the game on a jumper by Devin Oliver with 2:59 to play. After a miss by Gathers, Matt Kavanaugh scored on a putback to give the Flyers a 66-64 lead with 2:03 remaining.
After Andell Cumberbatch missed a three-pointer, Vee Samford made a contested jumper with 1:12 left to make it 68-64 Dayton.
Charlon Kloof's three-pointer from the left corner pulled the Bonnies back within one point with 53 seconds to play, but Dayton went 4-4 at the line down the stretch. On the Bonnies' final possession, Kloof ran into several Dayton players and lost the ball momentarily before getting off a shot that was after the horn sounded.
The loss was just the second at home this season for St. Bonaventure (9-2), and it was yet another close game that didn't fall the Bonnies' way. Of the Bonnies' 10 losses, eight have been decided by six points or less.
Kloof and Youssou Ndoye led the Bonnies with 17 points each. Ndoye also snagged seven rebounds and blocked five shots.
How It Happened:
In front of a Homecoming crowd of 5,344, the Bonnies took two charges in the first 3:00 and jumped out to a 7-2 lead.
Chris Dees added a spark with two offensive rebounds and a bucket down low to make it 9-8 with 14 minutes remaining.
After two Ndoye free throws, Denzel Gregg blocked a shot that led to a Dion Wright layup to make it 19-13 with 10 minutes left.
Ndoye slammed home a missed Dion Wright layup to make it 26-20, then proceeded to black Dayton's shot at the other end with four minutes left in the half.
Dayton, however, scored eight unanswered points in the final three minutes and take a 30-28 lead on a three-pointer by Vee Sanford with 25 seconds left in the half.
Dion Wright converted a left-handed bank shot on the Bonnies' final possession of the half to lock it at 30 going into the break.
On the first possession of the second half, Charlon Kloof converted a layup to the Bonnies ahead 32-30. The Bonnies made their first three shots of the second half and used a 7-2 run in the first two minutes of the second half to go up 37-32.
Both teams traded buckets, then Matthew Wright hit a tough baseline jumper to make it a 44-38 game with 13:38 left.
At the 11:17 mark, Dion Wright converted on a three-point play to make it 50-43 – St. Bonaventure's largest lead of the second half. But Dayton answered with a three-point play of its own, a jumper by Devon Scott plus a foul.
The Bona lead remained around five points for a stretch of nearly seven minutes. After a Dayton jumper, Jordan Gathers answered with a baseline layup off a Kloof pass to make it 64-59 with 4:40 left.
From that point, Dayton scored the next nine points of the game capped by Vee Samford's jumper with 1:12 left to make it 68-64 favor the Flyers.
Charlon Kloof hit a three-pointer from in front of his own bench to bring the Bonnies back within a point at 68-67 with 53 seconds left.
With 18 seconds left, Ndoye swatted away a drive by Sanford. With :03 seconds on the shot clock, Dayton's Jordan Sibert missed a three-pointer but teammate Oliver snagged the long rebound. The Bonnies were forced to foul Oliver and he made both free throws with 12.6 remaining to make it 70-67.
Dayton committed a fouled Kloof with 9.4 seconds left and the senior made both free throws, bringing the game to 70-69.
The Bonnies sent Oliver to the line with :07 remaining and he again made a pair of free throws.
On the Bonnies' final possession, Kloof ran into several Dayton players and lost the ball momentarily. He did get off a shot but it was after the horn sounded and off the mark.
Dayton grabbed 20 offensive rebounds for the game and outrebounded the Bonnies 39-28 in all.
After the Bonnies limited Dayton to 36 percent shooting (11-30) in the first half, the Flyers made 17 of 32 shots (53 percent) in the second half.
Matthew Wright finished with 12 points while Dion Wright had nine.
Quotes from St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt:
"(Dayton) is a good team. It was a great ball game. It was disappointing that it ended the way it did. (Vee) Sanford hit and NBA shot (with 1:12 left to make it 68-64). He pulled up, and we contested it. Give him credit. He made a play. That's Atlantic 10 basketball."
"In the Atlantic 10, it's always going to come down to one or two possessions … but we can't lose hope. We have to continue to work."
On Youssou Ndoye: "He was effective, especially from a defensive standpoint. I thought he was a big presence blocking shots and on the offensive glass. I don't think we would've been in the game if it weren't for his 17 points."
Beyond the Box Score:
St. Bonaventure's bench was outscored by Dayton 28-13.
Points in the paint were even at 36-36.
Youssou Ndoye's five blocked shots were one short of his career high and the most he's ever had against an A-10 opponent. He now has 52 on the season, which is tied for seventh most in team history.
Charlon Kloof continued his improved three-point shooting by going 3-4 on Saturday; he is 11-19 over his last four games.
The Bonnies' -11 rebound deficit was their second-largest this year (-13 at Saint Louis).
The crowd of 5,344 was the largest at the Reilly Center this season.
Up Next: The Bonnies will play their next two games away from home beginning next Wednesday night when they visit Fordham. Tipoff at Rose Hill Gym will be 9 p.m. and the game will be televised on SNY.