By Joe Ceraulo
Men’s Basketball Beat Writer
Coming off a 40-point performance in Duquense Saturday night, senior standout Jaylen Adams scored 44 in the Bonnies 79-56 win tonight over St. Louis.
His performance was the most efficient offensive game in the country this season for a 40-point scorer, as his 44 came on 14-18 from the field including 10-13 from three-point land.
The 10 made three pointers are a school record. Adams’s consecutive 40-point games are the first for the school since Bob Lanier did the same in 1969.
On top of his game-high 44 points, Adams also led all players with six assists. Three of those dimes went to sophomore center Amadi Ikpeze, who has seen an increase in his minutes because of a reduction in Josh Ayeni’s.
“It’s going to continue to grow,” Adams said of his relationship with Ikpeze. “I think Josh is the best pick-and-pop guy we got, and Amadi is a little better inside, so just learning their games and trying to build new chemistry with him is fun for me. We’re building that relationship out there, and it’s only going to get better.”
Senior guard Matt Mobley scored just four points, but his lone bucket of the first half gave him exactly 1,000 points as a Bonnie in just his second season.
While Adams gave the Bonnies all the offense they’d need, defense also played a key role in tonight’s win over the Billikens.
St. Bonaventure won the turnover battle by double digits, forcing 16 while only squandering four.
“Look at points off turnovers, 21-2, that’s the difference,” said head coach Mark Schmidt. “They’re a good half court defensive team, so you try to get points off defense. Even some of Jay’s threes were in transition off broken plays, and that’s what we try to do.”
Schmidt also emphasized his team’s excellent ball protection tonight.
“The goal is to keep turnovers below 10 and four is terrific,” Schmidt said.
Adams capped off a two-minute stretch in the second half which featured three straight threes, some that were closer to midcourt than the three-point line, with an emphatic fast-break dunk bringing the Reilly Center crowd to its feet as he did all night.
“The coaching staff and players joke with me a lot actually and ask if I can even dunk, so I looked back, he wasn’t chasing me, and I got one real quick,” Adams said of the flush.
Between consecutive 40-point performances and his Philadelphia Eagles taking home the first Lombardi Trophy in franchise history, it’d be hard to imagine a better five days for Adams.
The Bonnies next game is this Saturday, Feb. 10 at 4 p.m. when the team takes on Richmond in front of a sold out Homecoming Weekend crowd.