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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bonnies Shut Down Siena for
Franciscan Cup Win

The St. Bonaventure men's basketball team (5-2) used an 11-2 run in the second half to break away from Franciscan Cup rival Siena (2-7) for a 58-43 victory on Tuesday night in front of a national TV audience at the Reilly Center.

Demitrius Conger posted 12 points and eight rebounds, and Chris Johnson added 10 points for the Bonnies, who have now won the Franciscan Cup game in each of its three years of existence.

Marquise Simmons delivered his second double-double in the last four games – and also second of his career – with a 12-point, 10-rebound performance in his second starting role of the campaign.

The Bonnies led, 39-38, when the decisive run began with 12:22 remaining. Conger scored six points during the stretch and his lay-up with 5:37 left gave Bona a 50-40 advantage. Siena would get no closer than seven points the rest of the game, and the 15-point winning margin represents the largest lead SBU has had through its first seven contests.

Bonaventure shot 19-55 from the field (a season-worst 35.1 percent) and 2-20 on 3-pointers (10 percent) but made up for it with a strong defensive effort. Siena's 43 points are the fewest by a Bona opponent since Nov. 20, 2009, when the Bonnies held Binghamton to 40 in a 66-40 victory.

SBU also made up for its shortcomings from the floor as it turned the ball over a season-low five times, including just two giveaways in the final 33 minutes of the contest. Additionally, just one game removed from missing a season-high 16 free throws, the Brown and White knocked down 16 of their 17 attempts (94.1 percent) from the stripe.

St. Bona opened up a seven-point lead at the half, 33-26, following a Conger one-handed slam, but Siena countered by beginning the second half on a 7-0 run to immediately pull even with the Bonnies, 33-33. However, a pair of Charlon Kloof free throws on Bona's next possession gave the Bonnies a lead they would not relinquish the remainder of the night.

Kloof scored just eight points, but his presence was felt more on the defensive side of the ball as he matched up primarily with Siena's leading scorer – Evan Hymes – and held the sophomore to just five points on 2-10 shooting, nearly 10 points below his average. Bonaventure's 2-3 zone also limited the Saints to 4-15 (26.7 percent) from 3-point range.

Entering the contest, SBU knew it would need to keep O.D. Anosike in check as he entered leading the nation in double-doubles with seven and ranked second in the country in rebounding at 13.1 per game. Anosike got his rebounds – a game-high 14 – but tallied just seven points on 3-11 from the floor.

St. Bonaventure returns to action on Saturday when it travels south to battle Arkansas State at 3 p.m. The Bonnies will be looking to avenge a 58-52 home loss to the Red Wolves last year.

GAME NOTES: The 9 p.m. game was broadcast on the NBC Sports Network … among those in attendance: Siena President Fr. Kevin Mullen, O.F.M., Siena Athletic Director John D'Argenio, St. Bonaventure President Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F and Atlantic 10 Associate Commissioner Jay DeFruscio … Eric Mosley came off the bench and knocked down SBU's only two 3-pointers for his six points … Conger had an all-around game as he also added four assists and eight rebounds … Bonaventure was out-rebounded for the second game in a row, 40-36 … Siena shot 17-52 (32.7 percent) from the floor … the Bonnies had 10 fastbreak points compared with none for Siena.

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