Cornell put a scare into St. Bonaventure on Wednesday night but thanks to Charlon Kloof’s clutch free throws and a steal with the game hanging in the balance, the Bonnies managed to close out the Big Red, 72-68, in Ithaca.
The Bonnies led by 11 at the half but went chilly from the field, which allowed Cornell to climb back into the game.
Kloof hit two free throws with 14 seconds remaining to give the Bonnies a three-point lead. Cornell’s Josh Figini tried to send the game into overtime, but missed a three-pointer that was tracked down by Jonathan Gray.
Kloof stole the ball away from Gray and was fouled by Figini with a second remaining. Kloof then iced the game with a free throw.
The Bonnies’ Chris Johnson scored 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field and Demitrius Conger, who sat out most of the first half in foul trouble, added 14. Marquise Simmons also had 14 for St. Bonaventure, which shot 41 percent overall and 2 of 14 from three-point range.
Elsewhere, the University at Buffalo men’s basketball team (0-2) will try to notch its first victory of the season at 8 tonight at Evansville (0-1) as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. The Bulls will play Western Illinois on Friday and Yale on Saturday.
The Bulls look to avoid their first 0-3 start since the 2003-04 season. UB dropped its last game against Florida State, 95-68, on Monday and lost its season opener against Princeton, 57-53, last Saturday.
Turnovers present a huge problem for the Bulls. Buffalo has turned the ball over 43 times – including 25 times against the Seminoles. It was the most turnovers by a UB team since turning it over 25 times at Bowling Green on Jan. 17, 2008.
Meanwhile, the Niagara women’s basketball team, which split its first two games, will try to move above .500 at 7 tonight against Bowling Green at the Gallagher Center.
In their last game, the Purple Eagles lost a tough one against Big 4 rival St. Bonaventure, 51-49, as Lauren Gatto recorded her first double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds.