OLEAN, N.Y. -- St. Bonaventure senior guard Matthew Wright scored a game-high 27 points and the host Bonnies shot 54.8 percent from the field as a team en route to an 86-64 win over Canisius College Saturday night in the Reilly Center. The win moves St. Bonaventure to 3-0 on the year while the Golden Griffins slipped to 1-1 in 2013-14 with the loss.
Canisius senior Billy Baron had a team-high 23 points in the loss for Canisius, which shot 38.7 percent from the field in the loss. Fellow senior Chris Perez added 13 points to the losing effort for the Blue and Gold and senior forward Chris Manhertz had a team-high four rebounds.
"It was a physical, heated rivalry game and they gave us all we could handle," Canisius head coach Jim Baron said. "They have a lot of seniors and they really went after the glass and the basket tonight. They also turned us over and forced us to make some bad plays."
The Griffs trailed by as many as 11 points midway through the first half before battling back on the power of a 9-2 run to make the score 29-25 in favor of St. Bonaventure. St. Bonaventure senior Charlon Kloof scored six-straight points to put his squad back up 10 at 35-25 and the teams went into the locker room with the Bonnies holding a 42-35 advantage. In the game's first 20 minutes, both teams shot better than 40 percent from the field, but the difference came at the foul line, where the Bonnies made 13-of-16 attempts, while Canisius knocked down all six of its tries from the charity stripe.
In the opening moments of the second half, the Blue and Gold was able to get within striking distance at four points after Perez hit a lay-up with 17:58 left in the game to make the score 44-40 in favor of St. Bonaventure. Kloof followed with a jumper from just outside the paint on the Bonnies' next trip down the floor to make the score 46-40, but from there, the Bonnies proved to be too much for the Griffs.
After Canisius was given a technical foul for taunting, St. Bonaventure went on an 8-0 run over the span of 1:21, capped by a lay-up from junior forward Youssou Ndoye that pushed St. Bonacventure's cushion to 54-40 with 15:37 left to play. The Bonnies kept pushing the ball and led by as many as 28 in the game's second stanza, as the home team outscored Canisius 30-16 in the paint in the second half to go with a 10-0 advantage in fast-break points.
Kloof ended the night with 15 points for the Bonnies, who improved to 31-5 all-time against Canisius in the Reilly Center. Ndoye posted a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards and Andell Cumberbatch chipped in nine points, seven boards and three assists off the bench. The Bonnies held a 44-25 advantage on the glass for the game and turned 15 Canisius turnovers into 22 points.
Canisius will return to action Monday, Nov. 18, when the team plays at Rutgers in the first round of the NIT Season Tip Off. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m, and can be seen live on ESPN3.
Game Notes:This was the 162nd all-time meeting between these two long-time rivals, with St. Bonaventure holding a 98-64 lead in the series... Canisius has now dropped five-straight in the Reilly Center, with its last win in Olean coming Dec. 6, 2003... The Griffs made just three 3-point field goals in the loss, the fewest for the team since Jan. 3, 2013, when the team lost at home to Fairfield... For Perez, he has now scored in double figures in 48 career games, including his time at Stetson... Dating back to last year, Billy Baron has scored 20-or more points in four-straight games.