Let’s just call it the Courtney Stockard effect.
After missing the Bonnies first six-games of the season following an offseason knee procedure, the All-Atlantic 10 performer made his much awaited debut Wednesday evening against Canisius.
And boy did he make an impact!
Stockard scored his first basket of the game with 7:47 left in the first half, the start of a personal 9-0 run to give St. Bonaventure a 23-17 lead.
That run changed the entire flow of the game, helping the Bonnies offense find its grove for the first time this season. St. Bonaventure ended the half on a 23-6 run, taking a 37-23 lead into the locker room.
The Bonnies (2-5) would cruise from there, snapping their four-game losing streak in a 70-55 win over the Golden Griffins (1-6).
Stockard played sparingly, finishing with 19 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Freshman guard Kyle Lofton had one of the best games of his young career, nearly posting a double-double, scoring 13 points and dishing out nine assists.
He was joined by fellow freshman, Osun Osunniyi who did post a double-double, finishing with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
On the other side of the ball, the Griffs star duo of Isaiah Reese and Takal Molson really struggled, combining for only 13 points.
Reese, the MAAC Preseason Player of the Year went scoreless in the first half, finishing with only three points on 1-10 shooting from the field.
Molson was better overall but was quiet for long stretches of the game, scoring 10 points.
Both teams had been struggling offensively entering Wednesday’s contest but you wouldn’t know it by the way the Bonnies were gelling.
Stockard’s return fueled St. Bonaventure as they shot 46.4% from the field. Four Bona players reached double-digits but it was slim pickings for the Griffs.
Canisius went 21-60 (35%) from the field and 7-30 (23.3%) from deep. They also struggled on the glass, getting out rebounded by the Bonnies 42-32.
Their offensive woes have been a constant theme for the Griffs early on this season as they’re averaging just 59.83 points per game during their current six-game losing streak. Their 55-points against the Bonnies is their lowest total of the season.
St. Bonaventure has to be encouraged by this performance. Courtney Stockard showed he can be the difference maker Bonnies fans have been hoping for while the Bona freshmen are displaying early glimpses of what they can develop into.
This was a good night for St. Bonaventure and a train wreck for Canisius. We’ll have more reaction in our Big 4 Update/Podcast on Sunday.
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