BY BRYCE KELLY, SPORTS STAFFER
Dom Welch had his three-point shooting on target tonight as he and the St. Bonaventure Bonnies blew by the Fordham Rams 76-51. The Bonnies improved to 13-7 overall and 5-4 in Atlantic 10 conference play. Fordham fell to 10-12 overall and 3-7 in Atlantic 10 conference play. Welch led the Bonnies with 21 points on 8-15 shooting from the field and 5-7 from three.
“The last two games he’s shot it well,” Bonnies head coach Mark Schmidt said. “Hopefully that continues. He’s always had a great stroke and when the ball goes in, the rim gets a little bit bigger.”
Welch helped the Bonnies get off to a good start. He had 8 of the team’s first 12 points.
“Dom did a really good job early on to get us off to a good start. That’s critical,” Schmidt said.
The Bonnies shot 41% from the field and 50% from three-point range. The Fordham offense was held to 31% shooting from the field and 22% from three. Fordham was outrebounded 52-38 by the Bonnies and had nine assists to 14 turnovers.
“I thought we got some mojo back tonight,” Schmidt said. “I thought we defended and held them to 51 points. Holding teams to under 60 is the goal. We reached all our goals. I thought we played better. Defense and rebounding are the staples and we did that tonight and that’s the reason why we won.”
The Fordham offense struggled as their best two scorers struggled. Darius Quisenberry had 9 points on 3-11 shooting before he left the game with an injury in the second half. Quisenberry averaged 17.7 points per game before this contest. Chuba Ohams finished with 6 points on 3-10 shooting, a decrease in production from his average of 13.7 points per game.
“(Ohams) and Quisenberry were the two keys,” Schmidt said. “Those two guys are the knows. Those two guys are really good players. When they win games those two guys really score for them. Our guys did a really good job.”
“Our defense really sparks our offense,” Welch said. “We really don’t want to have to setup plays. We just want to get rebounds and go.”
St. Bonaventure had a five-point lead going into halftime and extended the lead by going on a 13-0 run to start the second half.
“The first five minutes of the second half that’s critical,” Schmidt said. “We did a good job. It’s getting stops and getting some scores. That’s critical to any team success”
Bonnies senior point guard Kyle Lofton had a good game as well, scoring 19 points on 8-15 shooting from the field.
“We told each other we weren’t really having fun with it anymore,” Lofton said. “We just came out and we wanted to play with energy and most importantly have fun.”
While the Bonnies cruised to an easy victory, the crowd, specifically the student section, had some chants towards Schmidt and the Bonnies’ coaches. Students chanted ‘we want Quadry’ calling for reserve guard Quadry Adams to get in the game. A chant of, ‘play the bench’ also broke out as the starters were in with the game in hand for the Bonnies
“I don’t listen to any of those guys. My job is to coach the team and not listen to all the coaches in the stands or on twitter,” Schmidt said.
The Bonnies play at Saint Louis on Friday at 9 p.m., airing nationally on ESPN2.