BC-BKC--A10-St Bonaventure-Rhode Island
NEW YORK (AP) — Kyle Lofton scored 23 points to lead St. Bonaventure to a 68-51 rout of Rhode Island in the Atlantic 10 Tournament semifinals Saturday.
Fourth-seeded St. Bonaventure reached the championship game for the first time since 2012, when the Bonnies beat Xavier 67-56.
Dominick Welch and LaDarien Griffin each added 13 for the Bonnies (18-15). Osun Osunniyi added 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Cyril Langevine led the Rams (19-15) with 15 points, and Jeff Downtin finished with 12.
Rhode Island led by two at halftime, 29-27, after opening the game with a 20-10 run spanning the first 10 minutes. With 4:08 left in the half, the Rams’ lead grew to as much as 15 at 29-14 and they never trailed in the opening 20 minutes.
St. Bonaventure used a 13-0 run over the last 3:56 to cut the deficit to two at halftime.
Griffin’s dunk and free throw gave St. Bonaventure a 48-42 lead, and Lofton’s floater as the shot clock expired moments later made it 50-44. St. Bonaventure put the game away with a 16-1 run spanning 4:26 late in the second half.
The Rams missed nine straight shots, and 11 of 12, spanning a stretch of 7:43.