LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Junior guard Eric Mosley scored a career-high 18 points and senior forward Andrew Nicholson posted 14 points and 12 rebounds to lead St. Bonaventure to a 64-58 win over Siena at the Times Union Center.
Demitrius Conger scored 11 of his 15 in the first half and hauled in eight rebounds for the game to help SBU to its first lead with a 3-pointer just 2.1 seconds before the break. The triple was part of a 16-5 run that bridged the halftime gap and helped the Bonnies (2-1) keep just in front of Siena (2-1).
The Saints cut the lead down to one on consecutive possessions midway through the second half and kept the game tight down the stretch, but SBU, led by Mosley's 6-of-6 outing, went 9-of-10 from the free throw line in the final 70 seconds to seal the win.
Siena scored the first seven points of the game and maintained momentum until Matthew Wright sparked the decisive run with one of his two 3-pointers at the 6:12 mark of the first half. St. Bonaventure seized control and led by as many as eight, 38-30, in the final frame before the Saints' 6-0 run made it a two-point game with 14:51 to go.
After jumpers from Chris Johnson and Wright staked SBU to a five-point lead, 45-40, Brandon Walters' traditional three-point play and Rob Poole's jumper tied it at 45 with 10:02 showing.
Wright's 3 with 9:42 left gave SBU a lead it would not relinquish, although Siena pulled to within one on a layup from Evan Hymes and again on a pair of Hymes free throws with 7:45 left. Hymes totaled a game-best 18 points on 3-of-5 from beyond the arc, but fouled out with 1:10 to go and Siena trailing by three.
The Bonnies were clutch from the free throw line from there, claiming the second inaugural Franciscan Cup and 16th win in its last 17 games against Siena.
St. Bonaventure travels to Virginia Tech on Sunday. Last season, SBU took VT to overtime before the Hokies pulled away for a 76-68 victory at Rochester's Blue Cross Arena. Game time is set for 6 p.m.
NOTES: Nicholson passed David Vaterpool and Greg Sanders to move into 19th on the career-rebounding list ... he sits just four points behind Rocky Liewellyn (1,572 points) for 12th place on the scoring ledger ... Bonnies' coach Mark Schmidt won the MAAC title and an NCAA tourney trip as an assistant at Loyola the last time he was at the Albany Times Union Center (1994) … St. Bonaventure university president Sr. Margaret Carney O.S.F, S.T.D. was in attendance, along with director of athletics Steve Watson … Yahoo! Sports NBA columnist and 1991 SBU alumnus Adrian Wojnarowski was also at the game … The Bonnies are now 2-0 in Franciscan Cup games.