St. Bon­aven­ture 65, UCLA 58

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - SPORTS -

St. Bon­aven­ture’s LaDarien Grif­fin cel­e­brates dur­ing the sec­ond half of the Bon­nies’ vic­tory over the Bru­ins in the NCAA Tour­na­ment on Tues­day night at UD Arena in Day­ton, Ohio.

DAY­TON, Ohio — The bas­ket­ball was still high in the air — flung to start the cel­e­bra­tion — when the buzzer sounded and the Bon­nies’ long-awaited March cel­e­bra­tion com­menced. Play­ers chest-bumped on court. Coach Mark Sch­midt jumped and waved his arms.

The crowd at the Univer­sity of Day­ton Arena — a place where St. Bon­aven­ture is usu­ally booed — got caught up in the mo­ment, too. And why not? It had been 48 years since any­one saw some­thing like this out of St. Bon­aven­ture.

Court­ney Stockard re­turned from a ham­string in­jury and scored 26 points, and Jaylen Adams hit a jumper and three free throws in the fi­nal minute Tues­day night, ral­ly­ing the Bon­nies to a 65-58 vic­tory over UCLA and their first NCAA Tour­na­ment vic­tory since 1970.

At long last, it was time to party in March.

“It can’t get bet­ter,” Sch­midt said.

They’ll have more chances. The 11th-seeded Bon­nies (26-7) will play sixth-seeded Florida (20-12) in Dal­las on Thurs­day night in the East re­gion. They did in­ter­views, show­ered and headed for a flight to their next des­ti­na­tion.

“Florida’s got four or five days on us, so we’ll be watch­ing tape on the plane,” Sch­midt said. “We’ve got a 2 a.m. flight, but it couldn’t be a bet­ter flight. Ever.”

St. Bon­aven­ture set a school record with its 26th vic­tory. Stockard got the Bon­nies in po­si­tion for the drought-bust­ing tour­na­ment vic­tory by lead­ing a late 12-0 run. Adams — who missed 14 of his first 15 shots — closed it out in the fi­nal 49 sec­onds.

“I’m still not 100 per­cent,” Stockard said, “but I’m feel­ing way bet­ter than when I did when I left the Rich­mond game. So I can’t re­ally let an op­por­tu­nity like this pass.”

UCLA (21-12) was sur­prised that it got rel­e­gated to the First Four for the first time in its his­tory — the Bru­ins have been to 18 Fi­nal Fours. They had trou­ble mak­ing shots against the Bon­nies’ zone de­fense and matched their sea­son high with 20 turnovers, a dis­ap­point­ing end­ing to a sea­son that started with an in­ter­na­tional in­ci­dent.

Fresh­men Jalen Hill, Cody Ri­ley and LiAn­gelo Ball were ac­cused of shoplift­ing dur­ing a trip to China in Novem­ber. All three were sus­pended for the sea­son, and Ball left the school.

UCLA’s Aaron Hol­i­day led the Pac-12 in scor­ing but couldn’t put his touch on the First Four game. He scored 20 points but had 10 turnovers, in­clud­ing three in the fi­nal 29 sec­onds as the game slipped away.

“I felt like we matched them pretty well,” Hol­i­day said. “We just turned the ball over too much.”

Adams is the Bon­nies’ all­time lead­ing scorer as a guard but had a rough time as well un­til the fi­nal minute. He fin­ished with eight points on 2-of-16 shoot­ing.

St. Bon­aven­ture will try to win two games in the NCAA Tour­na­ment for the first time since 1970, when it beat David­son, N.C. State and Vil­lanova be­fore los­ing to Jack­sonville. The Bon­nies had lost three NCAA Tour­na­ment games — in 1978, 2000 and 2012 — since that last vic­tory in 1970.


with and Brook­lyn ment Car­lik Rad­ford as­sists ca­reer vic­tory. Jones to didn’t with highs get scored its play 7 in as first re­bounds its Rad­ford 12 pret­ti­est NCAA points beat Tourna- with game, to LIU go 11 but the to will Pitts­burgh team cel­e­brate from ru­ral to briefly play south­west be­fore No. 1 head­ing seed Vir­ginia Vil­lanova cham­pion on High­landers Thurs­day. are The mak­ing Big South their third tour­na­ment ap­pear­ance and first since 2009. Rad­ford lost its pre­vi­ous two first-round games to Duke in 1998 and North Car­olina in 2009. Ed Po­lite Jr. had 13 points and 12 re­bounds, and Travis Fields Jr. also scored 13 points for Rad­ford. Jashaun Agosto scored 16 points and Rai­quan Clark added 14 for LIU Brook­lyn.



St. Bon­aven­ture’s Idris Taqqee (left) re­bounds against UCLA’s Gy­orgy Golo­man dur­ing the first half Tues­day night in a NCAA First Four game in Day­ton, Ohio. The Bon­nies got 26 points from Court­ney Stockard and de­feated the Bru­ins 65-58 to earn their first NCAA Tour­na­ment vic­tory since 1970. St. Bon­aven­ture will play Florida on Thurs­day night in Dal­las.

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