Auburn, St. Bonaventure clash for Legends Classic title

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St. Bonaventure, the only non-power-conference team in the Legends Classic, will play for the championship on Friday night in New York.

After knocking off Oklahoma State 66-64 on Thursday, the Bonnies will face off with Auburn for the title.

The Bonnies (2-1) scored eight of the game’s final 10 points to edge the Cowboys. St. Bonaventure got 17 points and five rebounds from Mika Adams-Woods, 13 points and seven rebounds by Assa Essamvous and 10 points from Chad Venning.

Daryl Banks III, who finished with 14 points, gave St. Bonaventure a 65-64 lead by nailing three free throws with 20 seconds left to play. Noel Brown hit 1 of 2 free throws with seven seconds to play to increase the margin to three.

Oklahoma State’s Javon Small had a good look at the potential game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer, but the ball rattled in and out.

St. Bonaventure limited the Cowboys to 44.2 percent shooting from the field, including 30.4 percent (7-for-23) from behind the arc, and forced 14 turnovers.

“I thought we showed some toughness today,” Bonnies coach Mark Schmidt said. “We didn’t get off to a good start in either half, but we fought our way back and showed grit. I thought we did a good job at defending the three, but they live off the turnovers and we won 12-5 in points off turnovers and that was big.”

Auburn (2-1) advanced to the title game with an 83-59 rout of Notre Dame, outscoring the Irish 44-26 in the second half. The Tigers’ defense limited Micah Shrewsberry’s team to 33.9 percent shooting from the field for the game, including 7.7 percent (2-for-26) from long distance.

Freshman Aden Holloway had 15 points and five assists, while Johni Broome added 15 points, six rebounds and four assists for an Auburn offense that featured five double-digit scores and shot 53.4 percent from the field.

Starters Jaylin Williams (11 points, seven rebounds) and Chris Moore (10 points) were also productive, while Tre Donaldson supplied 10 points and five assists off the bench.

“The second half was the best we’ve looked in the second half in a while,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. “I think the guys are definitely locked in. We did what we were supposed to do tonight.”

The Friday game will be the first meeting between the schools since a contest in the 1967 Tampa Invitational that St. Bonaventure won 77-73.

–Field Level Media

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