23rd ranked St. Bonaventure reclaims Franciscan Cup

Sports

St. Bonaventure, N.Y. (NEWS10) — St. Bonaventure scored 16 unanswered points down the stretch as the 23rd ranked Bonnies pulled away from Siena Basketball 75-47 in the season-opening Br. Ed Coughlin Franciscan Cup at the Reilly Center. Aidan Carpenter and Jayce Johnson scored 10 points apiece to pace the Saints, who have dropped 11 straight against Associated Press Top-25 teams.

Preseason All-Atlantic 10 selections Kyle Lofton and Jaren Holmes each tallied 17 points for St. Bonaventure, which improved to 7-4 in Franciscan Cup matchups since the trophy was devised by the school’s Presidents to commemorate the annual renewal of the rivalry in 2010. Fellow Preseason All-Atlantic 10 honoree Osun Osunniyi added nine points and seven blocks and his backup, Pitt transfer Abdoul Karim Coulibaly, contributed 12 on 6-7 shooting for the Bonnies who held a 44-14 advantage in points in the paint.

Colby Rogers chipped in nine points on a trio of first half threes in his debut for Siena, which fell to 6-46 all-time vs. AP Top-25 teams including 3-32 during the program’s Division I era. Anthony Gaines, Nick Hopkins, and Jackson Stormo contributed six points apiece for the shorthanded Saints who were down four scholarship players.

It was a tale of two halves as two-time defending MAAC Regular Season Champion Siena jumped on St. Bonaventure early, claiming as much as a 10-point lead at 17-7 at the 12:49 mark. But defending A-10 Regular Season and Tournament Champion and unanimous preseason favorite St. Bonaventure responded with a 9-2 spurt to end the half and take a 36-32 lead at the break.

Siena rallied to as close as 40-37 with 16:59 remaining, but couldn’t get any closer. Nonetheless, the Saints remained within striking distance, trailing just 49-42 with 10:38 left before the Bonnies embarked upon their decisive run.

St. Bonaventure reeled off its 16 consecutive points over just 5:09, turning a seven-point lead into a comfortable 65-42 cushion with 5:22 to go. The Bonnies shot 7-9 during the spurt, while holding Siena to just two shot attempts while committing five turnovers. Overall, St. Bonaventure shot 59% (16-27) in the second half as compared to just 24% (6-25) for the Saints.  

Siena makes its long-awaited regular season return to the Times Union Center Saturday, when the Saints host CAA preseason favorite Delaware as part of the inaugural Siena College Homecoming at 7 p.m.  

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