By Joe Ceraulo, Sports Staff
The Niagara Purple Eagles pulled off the upset last night, defeating the St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team 77-75. The loss was coach Mark Schmidt’s first in a home opener in his 11 years at SBU.
Niagara jumped out to a 34-25 lead at the half, proving to be too much for St. Bonaventure to overcome.
The Purple Eagles were led by senior point guard, Kahlil Dukes. The former USC Trojan scored 23 points and was an shot 6-8 from beyond the arc.
The heavily favored Bonnies were without its starting point guard Jaylen Adams, the A10 Preseason Player of the Year, in last night’s game.
After the game, Schmidt noted that the team had one first-half assist. The Bonnies finished with just seven total.
When asked about the impact Adams’s absence had on the team’s ball movement, Schmidt replied, “We didnt move the ball, and when you shoot 39% you’re not going to have a lot of assists.”
SBU took their first lead in the second half, as junior Courtney Stockard hit a three to put the Bonnies up 56-55 with just under eight minutes remaining. However, that lead would be short lived as Niagara responded with a 15-7 run.
“We did a better job in the second half of making baskets and getting some energy, but I thought we came out tight, nervous and we didn’t play the way we were capable of playing. In the second half we had some chances, but we didn’t capitalize,” Schmidt said.
Senior guard Matt Mobley stepped up majorly in Adams’s absence, leading the way for either side with 29 points.
St. Bonaventure’s next game is Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. vs Maryland Eastern Shore.