Forward Andrew Nicholson recorded a double-double 15 points and 12 rebounds to power St. Bonaventure (3-1) past Southeast Missouri State (1-4), 67-44, Friday night at the Basketball Travelers Classic.
Nicholson, who stands at 6-foot-9 and has a wingspan of 7-foot-4, posted his first double-double of the season.
Southeast went up against Atlantic-10 member St. Bonaventure for the first time and things came apart for the Redhawks in a hurry.
“St. Bonaventure did a good job of shutting off the perimeter and we fell behind early,” said Redhawks head coach Dickey Nutt. “If you had to pick our worst performance of the year, this had to be it.”
St. Bonaventure kept Southeast off the scoreboard for the first 9:42 of the game and allowed only 14 points in the first half. Anthony Allison scored the Redhawks only points during that stretch on a fast-break layup at the 10:18 mark.
Meanwhile, Chris Matthews pitched in eight of the first nine points for the Bonnies, who jumped out to a 15-0 lead. That lead would eventually grow to 22-3 at the 7:40 mark, before St. Bonaventure went into the locker room with a commanding 32-14 advantage.
Southeast scored a season-low 14 points and shot only 20 percent (5-of-25) from the field in the opening stanza. It marked the first time the Redhawks were held under 20 points in the first half since scoring 16 vs. Kansas State on Nov. 16, 2008.
Nicholson nailed down his fourth career double-double in the first half alone, where he scored 11 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for the Bonnies.
St. Bonaventure led by as many as 32 points in the second half before putting Southeast away.
The Bonnies shot 54.5 percent (24-of-44) from the field and had three players in double figures, with Nicholson leading the way. Matthews followed with 14 points, while Jonathan Hall added 11.
St. Bonaventure also forced 20 turnovers and scored 25 points off those Redhawks miscues.
Kajuan Watson led all Southeast scorers with 12 points off the bench. Watson scored double figures for the first time in his Redhawks career.
The Redhawks bench contributed 28 points, while Southeast’s starters had just 16. Southeast shot 32.1 percent (17-of-53) from the field on the night.
Southeast resumes play at the Basketball Travelers Classic against host Illinois State Saturday. Tip-off is set for 6:05 p.m., CT.