Noah Fleischman, Sports Editor
Midway through the first half, freshman guard Bones Hyland left a 3-pointer short from the top of the key. That miss was his only blemish from deep in his career-best afternoon, and it didn’t affect his confidence.
“I got out there and just found a rhythm for myself and just playing freely,” Hyland said.
Hyland played loose and wasn’t afraid to shoot from three.
The Wilmington, Delaware, native logged a career-high 21 points on 5-for-6 shooting from beyond the arc in the Rams’ 91-63 win over St. Bonaventure Saturday afternoon.
Hyland made his second career start against the Bonnies because redshirt-senior guard Marcus Evans was out with a concussion and the flu.
Ahead of the start, coach Mike Rhoades told Hyland one thing: Don’t turn the ball over.
“Guard the ball and take care of the ball,” Rhoades said. “Let good players play, that’s all I said to him. And he did.”
Hyland did just that against the Bonnies, only turning the ball over once.
“Just basically playing hard and making sure the guys had energy out there,” Hyland said of his mindset as a starter. “Making sure the guys had confidence like I have confidence out there.”
His confidence was contagious as the Rams shot 52% from the field, including 40% from deep in the contest.
Hyland opened the afternoon with a bang, nailing a 3-pointer from the left wing. Moments later, he connected again, this time from the right wing to account for 6 of the Rams’ first 7 points.
Later in the first half, Hyland hit a deep three from the left wing and added a layup seconds later.
Hyland sparked a 7-0 run with a 3-pointer from the left corner and followed it up with a three from the left wing with a defender in his face.
With Evans out, Hyland was the main ball handler for the Rams, but he leaned on Evans before the game and when he was on the bench.
“He just told me to go out there and be aggressive and just be me,” Hyland said. “I look at him as a big brother to me, so he was just out there telling me the different things: logging the game and just being myself.”
Hyland played a season-high 27 minutes in the contest.