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St. Bonaventure beats UCLA for first NCAA tournament win since 1970

  • Wed, 14 Mar 2018 14:52

The Bonnies are dancing on to face Florida on Thursday night.

St. Bonaventure was upset that it had to begin its NCAA tournament in Dayton. Critics of the Bonnies were upset that they got to begin their NCAA tournament in Dayton.

Mark Schmidt’s team shut the second group up Tuesday night with a 65-58 win over UCLA in the second “First Four” game from UD Arena.

What was billed as a showdown between two of the best guards in America — Jaylen Adams of St. Bonaventure and Aaron Holiday of UCLA — didn’t exactly pan out that way.

Adams, who entered the night averaging 19.8 ppg and 5.4 apg, played one of the worst games of his senior season. He connected on just 2 of 16 shots from the field and finished the evening with only eight points. That didn’t stop him from netting arguably the most crucial bucket of the night, though.

Picking up the slack for Adams was junior forward Courtney Stockard, who scored a game-high 26 points. Stockard’s performance was especially impressive considering he had been a “game time decision” after suffering a hamstring injury in St. Bonaventure’s Atlantic 10 tournament quarterfinal victory against Richmond. The injury forced him to sit out the team’s semifinal loss to Davidson a day later. Stockard also missed the entire 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons because of foot injuries.

Like Adams, UCLA’s Holiday also gave an uneven performance. Likely playing in his final college game, the junior guard scored a team-high 20 points, but turned the ball over 11 times and made multiple miscues in the game’s most crucial moments. As a team, the Bruins finished with 20 turnovers as opposed to just six from St. Bonaventure.

Tuesday’s loss ensured that UCLA will go a full decade without playing in a regional final. That’s something the Bruins haven’t done since an Elite Eight drought that stretched from 1981-1991.

For St. Bonaventure, the win was the program’s first in the NCAA tournament since 1970. That year, the Bonnies made a run all the way to the Final Four before falling to Jacksonville ... which ultimately lost to UCLA in the national title game.

An at-large team from the First Four has won at least one game in the NCAA tournament’s main draw every year since the tournament expanded to 68 teams in 2011. If that history is going to repeat itself for St. Bonaventure, the next step will be taking care of sixth-seeded Florida on Thursday in the late game from Dallas. - All Posts


US Weekly

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