1970. It sounds like an Indie clothing line. Instead, it was the last time the St. Bonaventure Bonnies won an NCAA Tournament game. Since then, they’ve had three other chances to win. Unfortunately, they lost each game. However, the fourth time’s the charm when the Bonnies faced off against the UCLA Bruins on Tuesday night. The 65-58 win put the Bonnies into the Round of 64 against the Florida Gators.
There was only one star on the offensive end for the Bonnies. Courtney Stockard paced the Bonnies with 26 points. He displayed an array of moves that turned St. Bonaventure from a mediocre team into a powerful unit late in the season. Now, the Bruins to feel the wrath of Stockard. They legitimately had no answers for his 3-point shooting and dribble penetration all night. However, the Bonnies were not some offensive juggernaut.
Point guard Jaylen Adams struggled the entire game. He couldn’t hit layups. He couldn’t hit 3-pointers. Whether it was a good shot or a bad shot, the Bruins held Adams to his worst performance of the year. He’s struggled shooting before, but not to this magnitude. That was until a pull up jump shot gave the Bonnies a lead for good. With the game tied at 58, Adams rose up for game-changing play with 50 seconds left in the game. From there, Adams hit a few foul shots to finish with eight points. He shot 2-of-16 from the field. If you ask the Bonnies, Adams was 100 percent in the most important moment of his college basketball career.
In all, the Bonnies shot 38 percent from the field. They’ve been a great 3-point shooting team all season. However, they only connected on 21 percent of their shots from beyond the arc. However a couple of things helped the Bonnies win.
First, they shut down the Bruins for long stretches. Although the Bruins shot 42 percent from the field and 33 percent from the 3-point line, they rarely felt comfortable on the offensive side of the ball. The surprise zone defense forced 20 UCLA turnovers. Moreover, point guard Aaron Holiday committed 10 turnovers in the loss. Holiday also led the Bruins with 20 points and 7 assists. However, he scored the first eight points of the game and was limited for large portions of the action.
The Bonnies will be tipping off against the Gators at 9:57 p.m. on Thursday night. The teams will be facing off in Dallas for a chance to move into the Round of 32. If Jaylen Adams’ last shot is any indication, he might just be ready for a breakout NCAA Tournament game.