Andrew Nicholson Leads St. Bonaventure to First Home Victory

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Andrew Nicholson Leads St. Bonaventure to First Home Victory
Andrew Nicholson -- Photo by Tony Lee (twitter.com/sHecKii)

St. Bonaventure's veteran leaders, Andrew Nicholson and Ogo Adegboye, scored eight and seven points, respectively, during a first-half 23-1 run en route to a 82-65 victory against Mansfield in an exhibition match Friday.

Nicholson, the only Bonnies player chosen on the Atlantic-10 Conference's preseason first and defensive team, didn't disappoint the home crowd of 3,580 and finished with a game-high 23 points and eight rebounds on 9-of-12 shooting at the Reilly Center. 

The Bonnies, however, did disappoint fourth-year coach Mark Schmidt because he said the team couldn't carry over the passion and intensity from the first half. 

"Good teams knock those guys out," he said. "When you come out in the first five minutes of the second half and you go from 28 (point lead) to 38. Then the game is really over."

Still, the main reason for Schmidt's first victory this season can be pinpointed to what the Bonnies did in the first half, when his starters took a 9-7 lead with 15:42 left to a 32-8 lead with 7:36 left. 

Junior Michael Davenport scored four points and junior Da'Quan Cook and sophomore Demitrius Conger each chipped in a basket during that stretch.

After senior Chris Matthews and his 107 three-points made graduated, Schmidt said that it's important all his players realize they need to be more productive in order for the team's success. 

"We're not going to have a guy that hits 107," he said. "Say Ogo made 30 (three pointers) last year; he needs to make 50. Demitirius made 4 last year, he needs to make 24 ... I just think it's important that we have to do it collectively."

Adegboye, a senior who played for Great Britain as one of five players under 23, seemed to listen, as he scored 13 points with three three pointers, dished five assists and stole the ball twice—all higher than last season's averages.  

"He came in last year and junior college transfers are almost like freshmen, trying to learn the system," Schmidt said. "After he came back from playing overseas in the summer, he came back much more confident."

Mansfield were led by Yuseff Carr's 19 points and Tony Fannick's 14. Cook added 11 points and seven rebounds, while Davenport added nine points, seven rebounds and a game-high four steals. 

While overall a success, Schmidt would still like to see his players stay focused throughout the game, even if they have a 28-point halftime lead.

"I thought in the second half, we didn't play well no matter who was out there," he said. "Just because I thought we lost that intensity and competitiveness, and we can't do that. We got to give 100 percent."

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