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No. 22 St. Bonaventure hopes for a repeat performance from Kyle Lofton and Jaren Holmes when the Bonnies face Marquette in Sunday's championship game of the Shriners Children's Charleston Classic in South Carolina.
While there was little suspense in Marquette's semifinal win Friday over West Virginia, the Bonnies' victory over Clemson seemed unlikely midway through the second half -- until Lofton and Holmes started putting on a show.
Lofton and Holmes rallied the Bonnies (4-0) from a 14-point, second-half deficit with 13:30 left by leading a 21-2 run to pull out a 68-65 win.
After the duo missed 12 of their 15 shots in the first half, they combined to make eight 3-pointers in the second half, with Holmes making all four of his shots and Lofton missing just once in five attempts.
Lofton finished with 22 points and Holmes added 19, but St. Bonaventure was kept in the game early by Jalen Adaway, who scored nine of his 14 points in the first half when Clemson led by as many as 16 and took a 36-26 lead at halftime.
But the Bonnies hope their play against Marquette mirrors that of the final 20 minutes against the Tigers, when St. Bonaventure hit 10 of 12 shots (83.3 percent) from the 3-point arc and shot 59.1 percent overall.
"We just we found a way," St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt told reporters after the game. "It wasn't perfect and it didn't look good at the beginning, but the guys hung in there and it's a great victory for us."
Marquette (5-0) showcased a duo of its own against West Virginia.
Tyler Kolek scored 18 points and Justin Lewis added 17 as the Golden Eagles rallied for an 82-71 victory.
Kolek, who had a game-high eight assists, made four 3-pointers and Lewis made three. The Golden Eagles shot 46.2 percent (12 of 26) from beyond the arc, including 61.5 percent (8 of 13) in the second half. Kameron Jones added 12 points by going 4-for-6 from downtown.
With the game tied at 60, the Golden Eagles went on a 12-5 run and took a 72-65 lead they wouldn't relinquish on a 3-pointer by Jones with 5:39 remaining.
Marquette entered the tournament coming off a 67-66 win over No. 10 Illinois, giving coach Shaka Smart some concern regarding whether the Golden Eagles could handle their early season success.
"When you are coming off an emotional win like we had (against Illinois), it's certainly understandable to have a little bit of a mental letdown, but it's unacceptable," Smart said after his team opened the Charleston Classic with a 78-72 win over Ole Miss on Thursday. "Give them a lot of credit, they battled, came back and kind of overcame tough shooting in the first half."
--Field Level Media