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Men's Basketball: MTSU vs SBU - Holiday Nailbiter in Murfreesboro

by Rich and Laura Lynch

The last time I attended a Men's Basketball game at St. Bonaventure the team was then known as the Brown Indians. With the passage of time and the benefit of hindsight perhaps their previous mashed-up moniker was indeed doubly offensive. On December 21, 2019 it took the visiting storied franchise from Olean, New York four and a half minutes to get things rolling on the offensive side of the ball on the way to a thrilling 66-65 pre-Christmas triumph against the Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raiders.

Men's Basketball: MTSU vs SBU - Holiday Nailbiter in Murfreesboro
Rejected! The Bonnies prevail in Murfreesboro.

Throughout the two twenty minute halves the visiting team now known as simply the Bonnies were plagued by numerous air balls and many ineffective in-and-out shots that kept the match much closer than it should have been. On the other side of the ball the Blue Raiders were adept at sharp shooting and their three pointers kept the small but vocal and energetic home crowd satisfied all the way until the very end of the game.

However, a series of lead changes in the second half kept the fans on the edge of their seats until a Dominick Welch jump shot with 13 seconds left sealed the deal and gave St. Bonaventure University an exciting comeback victory over Middle Tennessee State University in a non-conference match.

Men's Basketball: MTSU vs SBU - Holiday Nailbiter in Murfreesboro
The historic Murphy Center on the campus of MTSU and home of the Blue Raiders.

The 6-foot 10-inch center Osun Osunniyi had 15 points to lead five St. Bonaventure players in double figures as the visitors stretched their win streak to seven games. Middle Tennessee (4-8) outscored the Bonnies, 33-12, from the 3-point zone including eight finding their target in the second half on 13 attempts. Five were by junior A.J. Jones, a transfer from Arkansas, who led Middle Tennessee with 26 points, including 8 of 13 on 3-point attempts. But, this was not enough to send the home crowd home happy.

Christmas came early for St. Bonaventure with coach Mark Schmidt unwrapping the 300th win of his career as he looks to guide the Bonnies back to the big dance party known as the NCAA Basketball Tournament in March. They took a convincing step in that direction with their thrilling victory in Mid-Tenn. Special thanks to SBU super-fan Walter Stubbs and the team staff for making this report possible!

Men's Basketball: MTSU vs SBU - Holiday Nailbiter in Murfreesboro
St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt put win #300 in the books in Murfreesboro.

Related Links: For more information on MTSU and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links -- MTSU | St. Bonaventure University | Murphy Center


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