Bonnies Defeat Ohio in Longest Game in SBU History

Bonnies Defeat Ohio in Longest Game in SBU History

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y.Andrew Nicholson scored 44 points and Ohio's D.J. Cooper 43 as the two stars carried their teams through four overtimes – the longest game in St. Bonaventure history – in a 112-107 marathon Bonnies win over Ohio Saturday afternoon at the Reilly Center.

A game that was knotted 17 times featured the most Bonaventure points scored since a program-record 134 were scored in a 25-point victory over Concordia Nov. 24, 1990 - nearly two decades ago. The 112 points is the 15th-highest total in Bonaventure's 90-year program history.

Nicholson's points were the eighth-most scored in a single contest in school history and helped him to a new career-high on 14-for-19 shooting from the floor, backed by a career-best 16 free throws. Adding a career- and team-high five assists to his stats, Nicholson drained five points in the fourth overtime to help St. Bonaventure (6-3) to its third win in four contests.

The Bonnies, who shot a season-best 56.7 percent over the course of the 60-minute game, prevailed in the fourth and final overtime stanza, outscoring the Bobcats (6-5) 13-8. Of the six periods played, the fourth overtime was the only stanza in which the score was not tied as the buzzer rang.

Having exhausted its bench after four players reached the five-foul limit, Ohio allowed the Bonnies five consecutive points to open the fourth OT. Nicholson hit the front end of a pair of free throws with 2:50 lingering in the final frame to build the five-point lead -- the first time since there was 1:48 left in regulation that either team had held a two-possession lead.

Ohio cut the deficit to three just 10 seconds later, but that was as close as the visiting squad would get. Almost two minutes ticked away before a Nicholson layup lifted the margin to five. Freshman guard Matthew Wright went to the line and sunk two to give the Bonnies a seven-point cushion with 46 seconds remaining on the clock. Cooper and Wright then exchanged buckets before Ohio's Tommy Freeman made good on a pair from the foul line to bring the score to 110-105 with 11 seconds remaining.

Sophomore forward Demitrius Conger responded with two of his career-high 23 points to put the game out of reach. Cooper finalized all scoring at 112-107 with a scrappy layup in the final second of action.

Nicholson and Conger each coupled 12 boards with their career-high scoring performances to tally their 13th and third career double-doubles, respectively.

The first half was fickle as Ohio let up a six-point lead slip away before the Bonnies secured a nine-point advantage at the three-minute mark. Ohio outscored SBU 10-1 over the final minutes to bring action to 36-36 at intermission. After Ohio took an early advantage, Bonaventure went on to secure a 10-point lead with 9:42 left in the second stint, but again the Bobcats inched their way back and tied the game for the ninth time with a Cooper trey with 22 seconds lingering in regulation. A Michael Davenport jumper was off-point to send the game to extra time.

With the first OT featuring four lead changes, Cooper again carried the Bobcats with a game-tying layup at the 17-second mark. The Bonnies who shot 6-for-18 in the first three OTs missed a pair from the charity stripe to send the game to its second overtime where the teams exchanged 10 points each. Ohio took a three-point lead on four consecutive points but Davenport drained one from beyond the arc to send the game in to its third extra frame. The first two overtimes combined featured 44 points, though the third just four. Ohio's Reggie Keely hit a jumper at 2:41 which Conger rewrote with a pair of free throws at the 30-second mark to send action to its fourth and final five-minute period.

NOTES:
The Bonnies ironically last scored more than 100 points in a 104-101 loss at Ohio on Dec. 31, 2002 ... redshirt sophomore Jake Houseknecht recorded career-highs of 9 rebounds, three blocks and two points in 36 minutes played ... his three blocks were good for a game-high ... Nicholson's 60-minutes set a school record for single-game minutes played ... Cooper all but reached a quadruple-double with eight rebounds and eight steals in addition to 43 points and 13 assists … after his hammer dunk in the second half, Nicholson donned a #3 jersey after blood was found on his #44 … He later changed back into his normal jersey.
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