ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – (St. Bonaventure) Andrew Nicholson paced the Bonnies (13-10, 5-5 Atlantic 10) with 24 points, Marquise Simmons recorded a new career high 18 and Demitrius Conger added 15 in the second half as St. Bonaventure cruised to an 82-61 win over La Salle (12-14, 4-7) Saturday afternoon at the Reilly Center.
Simmons notched nine points and tied a career high with nine rebounds in nine first-half minutes to pace the Bonnies to a 10-point lead, 37-27, at the break. Conger came alive in the final stanza - scoring 13 of the Bonnies’ first 15 second-half points – to help SBU gain a key conference victory.
Bonnies’ senior G Ogo Adegboye chipped in 13 points, eight rebounds and seven assists with no turnovers in 36 minutes. La Salle’s Aaric Murray finished with a team-high 20, but shot 5-for-20 from the field, including 1-of-8 in the second half.
The Explorers cut the Bona to six on three separate occasions in the second half, the last of which came on Sam Mills’ 3-pointer at the 13:04 mark. Conger responded on consecutive trips with a 3 and a two-handed jam off a pass from Adegboye to build the lead back up to 11.
Leading 57-47 two minutes later, Simmons sparked a 13-2 run over the next 4:06 that yielded a 21-point lead and effectively locked up the Bonnies’ third win in four games.
After a tight early going to start the game, Simmons scored six straight points in an 11-2 push that helped build the lead to double digits for the first time.
St. Bonaventure concludes its three-game homestand on Wednesday against Saint Louis.
NOTES: Head coach Mark Schmidt celebrated his 48th birthday … the 21-point margin of victory marked the first win by 20 or more over an A-10 team since defeating Saint Louis, 70-50, Mar. 1, 2008 … Nicholson passed George Carter to move into 21st on the all-time scoring list (1,338 points) … he also moved into third place, ahead of Tom Stith, on the single-season free throw attempts list (179) … Scouts from the Memphis Grizzlies and Cleveland Cavaliers were in attendance … 4,581 is the largest listed attendance for a game at the RC this season.