ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. - Andrew Nicholson's jumper with 6.8 seconds remaining sent St. Bonaventure (4-2) to a 76-74 win over Buffalo (4-3) after the Bulls all but erased a 19-point second-half deficit down the stretch Saturday night at the Reilly Center.
The Bulls trailed by 19 and mounted an extended comeback from the 13:02 mark on to turn what looked like a blowout into a nail-biter.
After whittling the lead down to 13 at the 5:53 mark, Buffalo held the Bonnies to just one field goal – the game-winner – over the remainder of the game. Byron Mulkey's layup knotted the score at 74 with just 32 ticks left.
After a Buffalo timeout, St. Bonaventure worked its offense and found Nicholson open a step behind the stripe for a jumper that was all net.
"It just comes back to what coach Schmidt always talks about – mental toughness in adverse situations" said Nicholson. "We knew when (Schmidt) drew up the play that I was the go-to guy."
Senior G Ogo Adegboye converted seven 3-pointers – one shy of the school record – for 24 points with a career-high 10 assists and Nicholson recorded 16 points and 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double in five games. It was also the 11th straight game in double figures for Nicholson, as the junior Mississauga, Ont. native closed to within 20 points of 1,000 for his career.
"You invest so much time in the game from a coaches' and players' standpoint that you want to be able to have days like this," added Schmidt. "This is what it's all about."
Mulkey, whose shot at a game-winner with two seconds left was off target, posted team-highs of 21 points and seven boards, Zach Filzen went 4-of-8 from 3-point range en route to 18 and Titus Robinson added 12 points and five rebounds in Buffalo's fourth straight road game.
St. Bonaventure opened up 14-4 lead to start the game on Demitrius Conger's triple, the first of three times in the half that the Bonnies' advantage would reach double digits.
Adegboye's triples paced the Bonnies right from the start as the London native hit all five of his attempts from deep in the opening stanza. He tied his previous career high 17 points and set personal high-water marks for 3-point makes and attempts in the first half alone in helping Bona's to an 11-point lead, 44-33, at the break.
With each SBU run however, the Bulls answered with a spark of their own to pull close. Already leading by 13, 53-39, four minutes into the second stanza, the Bonnies gained their 63-44 lead on an 11-5 push before the Bulls began chipping away.
St. Bonaventure travels to St. John's (N.Y.) on Tuesday in its only true road game in the month of December.
NOTES: Michael Davenport (13 points) was in double figures for the first time in three games when he was shooting 5-of-25 … Adegboye's effort netted him the first double-double of his career and the seventh of the year for SBU. He has now increased his career-high twice this year (15-17-24) … Chris Matthews hold the school single-game record (8) … A raucous student section stormed the court as the final buzzer sounded …