By Scott Eddy, Assistant Athletics Director for Strategic Communications
(See Steve Harrison’s photo gallery at the end of the game story, Notre Dame preview and fun facts and stats about Bona and Coach Schmidt!)
A red-hot second half erased a quiet offensive start and allowed the St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team to pull away for an 80-66 victory over visiting Southern Indiana at the Reilly Center Tuesday night.
St. Bonaventure (3-2) remained perfect on home court, thanks in large part to connecting on 10 of its first 14 field goal tries after halftime to set the tone for a second stanza dominated by the Brown and White.
The home squad also received a major boost from redshirt sophomore Chad Venning who continued his impressive play with a career-high 21 points, adding seven rebounds and three blocks.
Kyrell Luc did a bit of everything from the point again, finishing with an all-around stat line of 19 points, six assists, five rebounds and three steals (and even two blocks, including one on a USI layup attempt that brought the pre-Thanksgiving, student-less crowd to a full roar). He also drew seven foul calls against him with his aggressive play.
Reigning Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week Yann Farell added 13 points and Daryl Banks III chipped in 12.
Both teams started slowly, with the Eagles failing to score for the first 4:45 of game time, though the Bonnies mustered just a six-point separation during that span.
Venning led the Bonnies during the opening half, scoring Bona’s first four and eight of their initial 16 points.
Seven turnovers in the first 10 minutes slowed the Bonnies’ efforts, and three straight trips with a trey from the Eagles gave the visitors a 20-16 edge with 6:53 left before halftime.
The first points of the day from Banks, fresh off a 34-point effort in last Saturday’s win, ignited a 10-2 run to end the first half and allow the Bonnies to take a 30-24 advantage to the locker room after 20 minutes.
Bona’s run would extend to 22-6 in the opening minutes of the second half as the hosts would extend their lead to double digits for the first time.
USI would not go quietly, however, closing to within 40-33 and still 14:45 to play.
The Bonnies came alive from beyond the arc in a big way, though, after being silent from distance for nearly the entirety of the game to that point.
Farell drilled back-to-back three-balls before Banks one-upped his freshman teammate with three long distance shots of his own, highlighted by a four-point play as the lead quickly went to 18.
Bona did not hit a single three-pointer during the first half, but drained seven in the second while shooting 61 percent from the floor overall after intermission.
Isaiah Swope delivered 21 points off the bench to lead the Eagles (2-3).
After a 15-point effort in last Saturday’s win, Venning has tallied back-to-back double-digit scoring efforts for the first time in his Division I career. Tuesday marked his 47th career game after two seasons at Morgan State.
Luc entered the day ranking second among all A-10 players and 24th nationally at 6.2 assists per game and now has five or more assists in every game so far as a Bonnie.
St. Bonaventure went 14-for-23 from the floor during the second half and shot at a 53 percent clip for the entire game.
The Bonnies held a 33-31 edge on the boards and 34-30 in paint points.
Farell has scored in double figures in three straight contests.
Bona limited a Southern Indiana offense that had averaged nearly 80 points per game over the first four contests of the year. USI shot over 50 percent as a team in its first four games, but settled for 38 percent shooting Tuesday.
Tuesday marked the first-ever meeting between the Bonnies and Screaming Eagles. Southern Indiana is in their first year as a Division I program as members of the Ohio Valley Conference after building a Division II power including 28 NCAA Tournament appearances, a national title and two national runner-up finishes.
UP NEXT: ST. BONAVENTURE (3-2) vs. NOTRE DAME (5-0)
Friday, Nov. 25 – 4:00 p.m., Elmont, N.Y. (UBS Arena), TV: ESPN+
St. Bonaventure travels to UBS Arena outside New York City to take on Notre Dame in the Gotham Classic Showcase Game. Both teams are 2-0 in the Gotham Classic, following home court victories over Bowling Green (SBU: 81-68 / ND: 82-66) and Southern Indiana (SBU: 80-66 / ND: 82-70). It will be the eighth meeting all-time between the Bonnies and Irish and first since 1994.
St. Bonaventure scored five wins over power conference teams last year and went 5-3 overall, including a 2-1 mark against the ACC. The Bonnies defeated Clemson last year on a neutral court and won at Virginia in the NIT quarterfinals. Bona’s went on the road for three straight P5 victories in the NIT: at Colorado, at Oklahoma, at Virginia. Since the start of the 2017-18 season, SBU is 9-7 against power conference foes.
The Bonnies have scored 80 or more points in three of the past four contests. SBU has reached the 80-point mark three times in the first five games of a season for the first time since 2016-17.
Chad Venning delivered a career-high 21 points in Tuesday’s win over Southern Indiana and has posted double-figure scoring in back-to-back contests for the first time in his collegiate career. Kyrell Luc filled the stat sheet with 19 points, six assists, five rebounds, three steals and two blocks Tuesday night. Luc now ranks 19th nationally in assists (6.2 apg).
Daryl Banks III needs 14 points to reach 1,000 for his collegiate career. He averages 19.2 through five games this season.
Notre Dame leads, 5-2
The Bonnies and the Irish have met seven times previously, but not in nearly 28 years. The squads matched up for a home-and-home series in the 1993-94 and 1994-95 seasons where the Bonnies won on home court, 68-57, before the Irish escaped for a 57-54 win in South Bend in December 1994 before the series would go on a nearly three decade hiatus. That December 1994 win by Notre Dame was the third straight season the two schools met on the hardwood – and snapped a two-game Bonnies winning streak.
Bona’s scored back-to-back wins over the Irish under head coach Jim Baron, winning on the road in 1993, 64-61, behind 27 points from David Vanterpool. Prior to that meeting, the Irish won the first four games between 1976 and 1988.
The two schools have met once previously on a neutral court: Jan. 14, 1978, a barnburner at the Rochester War Memorial as the Irish prevailed, 79-78, before over 8,100 fans. Glenn Hagan poured in 24 points on 12-of-20 shooting while Greg Sanders, Bona’s all-time scoring leader, posted 17 for a squad that was fresh off the 1977 NIT championship.
Notre Dame 57, St. Bonaventure 54 (12/22/94)
David Vanterpool, today a member of the Bonnies All-Time Team who has coached in the NBA for a decade, scored a team-high 10 points, adding seven rebounds that night at the Joyce Center while Matt Kotsch delivered 15 points to lead the Irish.
Shandue McNeill had seven assists and six steals for the Bonnies in a game that was tied at halftime and close throughout.
The previous year, Vanterpool posted 13 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals as the Bonnies downed the Irish in the Reilly Center.
ABOUT NOTRE DAME
The Irish boast a perfect 5-0 record, and through the early going have shown a bit of a flair for the dramatic. All five victories have come on home court, making this their first road trip of the year, but UND needed to pull out a 79-76 victory over Radford in the opener before picking up a Dane Goodwin game-winner with 14 seconds remaining last Friday to get past Lipscomb, 66-65. The Irish also defeated Youngstown State (88-81) in addition to their Gotham Classic wins over Southern Indiana and Bowling Green.
Notre Dame is a veteran squad as Goodwin, leading scorer Nate Laszewski, Cormac Ryan and Trey Wertz have played together for a combined 370+ games. In fact, six graduate students make up ND’s roster, making them the veteran-most Power Five squad in the nation, a stark contrast to Bonaventure’s young roster.
Laszewski averages 19.6 points and 8.8 rebounds while Goodwin adds 15.4 points and 5.2 boards. Wertz leads the team with 20 assists. As a squad, the Irish average over 79 points and nearly nine 3-pointers per game.
GOTHAM CLASSIC SHOWCASE
The Gotham Classic will move to the brand new UBS Arena, home of the New York Islanders of the NHL. The $1.1 billion multi-purpose arena opened in November 2021.
Presented by the Gazelle Group, the Gotham Classic dates to 2012 and St. Bonaventure will make its first appearance in the event this year.
Notre Dame is making its third appearance in the Gotham Classic, having played in 2013 and 2018.
UBS Arena at Belmont Park is New York’s newest premier entertainment and sports venue and home of the New York Islanders. The $1.1 billion multi-purpose, state-of-the-art arena opened in November 2021 and capacity is 19,000.
FARELL NAMED A-10 ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Bonnies freshman Yann Farell was named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week on Nov. 21 after a pair of breakout performances at South Dakota State and vs. Bowling Green. The Libreville, Gabon native was outstanding, averaging 15.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in a pair of games for the Bonnies. For the week, he shot nearly 48 percent overall from the floor and 40 percent from distance (8-20). He is the first Bonnies player to be named A-10 men’s basketball Rookie of the Week since Kyle Lofton and Osun Osunniyi won the award in back-to-back weeks in January 2019.
BANKS BOOKS CAREER DAY
Daryl Banks III had an afternoon to remember Nov. 19 against Bowling Green, pouring in a career-high 34 points in a Bonnies victory. It marked his first career 30-point game and bested his previous career-high of 27 points which came in a memorable NCAA Tournament First Round upset over Kentucky last March. It was Banks’ sixth 20-point game during his career and two came in his first four contests with the Bonnies: he also notched 22 points at Canisius Nov. 12.
VENNING VAULTS INTO STARTING FIVE
Redshirt sophomore Chad Venning picked up his first start with the Bonnies Nov. 19 vs. Bowling Green and made the most of it, posting season highs in points (15), rebounds (7) and minutes (30). His 30 minutes of action were a new career-high. The Morgan State transfer has been red-hot this week, averaging 18.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in the first two Gotham Classic games. Prior to that, he had averaged 5.2 ppg in his first 45 college games and had never played 30+ minutes or posted back-to-back double-figure scoring efforts, as he has in the past two games. Venning, who has transformed his body through hard work from a 345-pound freshman to his current 270-pound frame, seems to have his career trajectory pointed directly upward: he added nearly 6 ppg and 2 rpg to his averages between freshman and sophomore year and so far is +4.0 ppg, +2.3 rpg this year over last.
2 – The Bonnies have high hopes for their youngsters, and with good reason. Freshmen Barry Evans and Yann Farell gave the Bonnies two true freshmen in the starting lineup to begin a season for the first time since future 1,000-point scorers Kyle Lofton and Dominick Welch began the 2018-19 campaign in the starting five. The Bonnies have only had two seasons in the last decade with multiple freshmen in the starting lineup right off the bat, 2018-19 and 2022-23.
5 – Kyrell Luc has handed out at least five assists in every game in a Bonnies uniform so far, including a career-best of nine. Luc also has multiple steals in all but one game so far, including another career-best of six in a contest.
16 – Losing all-time school blocks record holder Osun Osunniyi has not stopped the Bonnies from swatting shots. Bona’s had seven blocks Tuesday vs. USI, and a season-high nine vs. Bowling Green, and ranks first among A-10 squads and 36th nationally with 5.4 blocks per contest – including efforts from the entire lineup. Even Bona’s shortest player height-wise, Kyrell Luc at 5-foot-11, had two blocks in Tuesday’s win.
17 – Daryl Banks III has 17 3-pointers made on the season, good for third in the A-10 and 25th nationally. He has made multiple treys in every game so far, including a career-high of 7 vs. Bowling Green.
25 – The Bonnies forced 25 turnovers in the Nov. 15 game vs. SDSU. St. Bonaventure’s defense had not forced that many turnovers in a single game in nearly seven years. SBU finished with 25 turnovers caused at Siena Dec. 22, 2015. Other high totals in recent years: 24 at Rhode Island Dec. 30, 2020 and 23 vs. Jackson State Nov. 10, 2018.
36 – Barry Evans leads all freshmen nationwide for minutes played thus far, averaging more minutes per game than any other frosh at 36.5 mpg. He played the full 40 Tuesday vs. USI.
50 – Daryl Banks III recorded his 50th career double-figure scoring effort Nov. 22 vs. Southern Indiana (94 career games).
270 – St. Bonaventure head coach Mark Schmidt recorded his 270th victory with the Bonnies last Saturday vs. Bowling Green.
STEVE HARRISON PHOTO GALLERY: