Nov. 22, 2002 – The St. Bonaventure University Bonnies jump-started their 2002-03 season in full force Friday night, beating the Virginia Tech University Hokies 91-78 in the St. John men's division of the Paradise Jam 2002 NCAA tournament at the University of the Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center on St. Thomas.
The Bonnies (1-0) quickly regrouped after the Hokies (0-1) jumped out to a 17-3 led early in the first half. Both teams played sloppy in the game, committing a total of 40 turnovers: the Hokies with 25 and the Bonnies with 15.
The Bonnies made plenty of shots from behind the three-point arc with 13 shots made in 30 attempts. The Bonnies shot almost half of their field goals from behind the arc, 30 of 67. The Bonnies actually shot better from behind the arc than in front of it, 43 percent to 42 percent.
"We were nervous in the beginning of the game," Bonnies Head Coach Jan van Breda Kolff said of his team's shaky start. The coach substituted his entire starting five less than three minutes into the game after his team fell behind 8-0. Joe Shepherd helped spark the Bonnies comeback with a steal and a monster dunk. "He (Shepherd) has emerged as the second unit captain," van Breda Kolff said.
The second unit implemented a full-court press that the Hokies had couldn't answer. Hokies Head Coach Ricky Strokes said, "The press gave them the momentum. We have to do a better job with grabbing rebounds and cut down on our turnovers."
The Bonnies had four players in double figures: Marcus Green led with 28 points. Mike Gansey, Ahmad Smith and Shepherd added 14, 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Terri Taylor led the Hokies with 28 points. His teammates Carlos Dixon and Bryant Matthews had 19 and 14 points respectively.
In the second game, the Brigham Young University Cougars (1-0) more than doubled their first half lead, 36-29, over the Toledo University Rockets (0-1), in the second half to take control of what was a see-saw game with five lead changes in the first half. The Cougars never relinquished their lead in the half.
The Cougars outscored the Rockets by 20 points off the bench, 29-9. The Cougars also shot 78 percent from the free throw line. They shot 62 percent from the three-point arc.
Travis Hansen scored 22 to lead the Cougars. After the game he said, "All I wanted to do is distribute the ball to all of my teammates." Hansen did just that as he found the open players and stopped scoring with 10 minutes left in the second half. "I have a lot of confidence in them, I got hot early and so they doubled up on me," Hansen said.
Mark Bigalow added 12 points and Dan Howard had 11 points for the Cougars.
Keith Triplett and Sammy Villegas each had 13 points and Nick Moore added 10 for the Rockets (0-1).
Publisher's note : Like the St. Croix Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.