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NCAAB: No. 23 St. Bonaventure beats Siena after slow first half

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It took No. 23 St. Bonaventure a half to solve Siena, but the Bonnies routed the visiting Saints 75-47 Tuesday night in a season-opening matchup of conference champions from a season ago.

Kyle Lofton and Jaren Holmes scored 17 points apiece for the Bonnies, combining to shoot 13 of 27 from the floor, and Osun Osunniyi dominated inside with nine points, seven blocks and six rebounds.

Aidan Carpenter and Jayce Johnson led the Saints with 10 points each and Colby Rogers scored nine, with all of his points coming on 3-pointers.

St. Bonaventure won the Atlantic 10 Conference regular season and tournament last season, while Siena won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title in the regular season before falling in the conference tournament.

St. Bonaventure, which shot only 41.9 percent in the first half, shot better than 52 percent in the first 12-plus minutes of the second half, going on a 16-0 run to open up a 65-42 lead with 5:22 left in the game.

Holmes scored six points in the burst, coming on a 3-pointer and a traditional three-point play. Abdoul Karim Coulibaly and Dominick Welch added four points each during the run.

St. Bonaventure shot 59.3 percent from the floor in the second half and 50 percent for the game, compared to Siena’s 34 percent overall. The Saints shot 44 percent in the first half, which they led most of the way. Only a late burst gave the Bonnies a 36-32 lead at the break.

Siena looked like anything but a pushover early on. Highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers from Nick Hopkins, Siena went on a 16-4 run to build an 18-8 lead.

St. Bonaventure briefly led 24-23 on a dunk by Osunniyi before Siena went up again.

The Bonnies finished the half on a 9-3 run. A jumper from Lofton gave them a 31-30 lead, and Osunniyi’s put-back dunk with 1:30 left made it a three-point lead.

Carpenter’s pullup jumper cut Siena’s deficit back to one, but Holmes nailed a trey to push St. Bonaventure’s lead to four, its biggest of the half. The half ended on a monster block by Osunniyi.

St. Bonaventure guard Jalen Adaway was serving a one-game suspension for a minor NCAA rules infraction, according to the Buffalo News. He averaged 12.2 points and six rebounds last season.

–Field Level Media

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