Sunday, February 26, 2012

Red-Hot Nicholson Leads Bonnies to Win at Charlotte

St. Bonaventure Athletics
February 25, 2012
CHARLOTTE, N.C.Andrew Nicholson booked his third double-double in six games with 25 points and 11 rebounds and Demitrius Conger added 12 and 11 to key St. Bonaventure's 72-56 win at Charlotte's Halton Arena on Saturday.

The win vaults the Bonnies (16-10, 9-5) into a two-way tie for third in the A-10 standings, a spot that would earn SBU a bye into the quarterfinals of the Conference Championship in Atlantic City, N.J. March 9-11. The Bonnies have now won three in a row and four of their last five as the Atlantic 10 season comes to a head.

Nicholson, a leading candidate for Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, has averaged a gaudy 25.2 points and 11.6 boards over his last six games (check out his stats), and posted 17 before halftime as the Bonnies opened up a 10-point lead at the break, 39-29.

Matt Wright tallied seven of his 13 in the opening frame and drained a trio of 3-pointers for the second straight game, with Conger completing his sixth career double-double in the second half as SBU answered a Charlotte (13-14, 5-9) run to take the win.

St. Bonaventure – coming off a 24-point win at Fordham on Wednesday - completed the most lopsided pair of road victories (42 points) since the 1971-72 season at Creighton and Saint Francis (N.Y.).

Charlotte pulled to within three, 46-43, after a 7-0 spurt at the 13:40 mark of the final frame. From there though, the Bonnies – behind a 3 from Wright and three straight layups from Charlon Kloof down the stretch – built the lead back up, capped by a jumper from Nicholson with just 5:18 to go.

Kloof distributed a career-high six assists for the second time in as many games and added nine points to help SBU guarantee its first winning record in the A-10 since 2000-01.

St. Bonaventure returns to the Reilly Center to host Saint Joseph's (19-11, 9-6) in its final home game of the season on Wednesday. Game time is set for 7 p.m.  

NOTES: Bona's is the only team in the A-10 to increase its league win total in each of the last five seasons (2-6-7-8-9) ... SBU earned its first win at Charlotte (1-3) and has won back-to-back games against the 49ers (5-7 all-time) … NBA scouts in attendance included the Orlando Magic, New Orleans Hornets, Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs and New Jersey Nets … former Bona guard Tim Winn was also at the game and currently works in the Charlotte area … Nicholson is 38 points from 2,000 for his career with two regular season games to play … the double-double was the 23rd of his career and sixth this season, four of which have come in conference play.

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