Four Mile Brewing Post Game: 80-77 Win over Duquense
Quickly: Despite being nearly a fifteen point favorite at home against last place Duquesne, the Bonnies needed to escape with a three point win, 80-77, over the rival Dukes on Saturday afternoon. It was alumni weekend and 5,480 saw the win inside the historic building.
The Bonnies trailed for much of the first half and by three at the break. However, much like the Saint Joseph’s game on Wednesday night, junior Matt Mobley soared the rescue and saved the Bonnies once again. Mobley would finish the game with 20 points and five rebounds and was 8-10 at the foul line. He has led the Bonnies in scoring in back to back games.
Down double figures inside of five minutes, the Dukes came roaring back and nearly upset the Bonnies on their home floor but SBU escaped with the close win.
SBU still has a very small chance at a top four finish, though with Richmond and URI both winning today the odds are getting increasingly slim with two games to play. A fifth place finish is much more likely.
For the GoBonnies.com recap, click here.
Quotes from Mark Schmidt (GoBonnies.com)
“I say it all the time, the first 10 possessions of the second half are critical. I thought we did a great job defending and getting some steals and finishes. Matt (Mobley) did a really good job in those five, six minutes.”
“We found a way … we made enough plays and I thought we defended. I thought we defended and that’s something we struggled with earlier in the year … (defense) is something that we have gotten better at.”
“No matter who you are playing, whether it is the first place or last place team, you’ve got to play well to win in this league. When we are consistent we are as good as anybody.”
- The Curious Case of Denzel Gregg: Following a poor-ish game against Saint Joseph’s where he earned two quick fouls and was generally held in check the entire night, Gregg showed up big time today. In his second to last regular season game in the RC, Gregg showed exactly why he was the league’s 6th Man of the Year last March. He would finish the game with 15 points and 14 rebounds. As Schmidt, and every Bonnies from from Olean to Texas has said, the Bonnies are a much more dangerous team when Gregg is dialed in. Schmidt needs this “DG12” for the next few weeks if SBU has any chance of making a run in Pittsburgh.
- Ayeni shows he’s “Nearly a Sophomore”...At least for a Day. Mark Schmidt always says, “the best thing about freshman is they become sophomores.” Well today, Ayeni played like a sophomore; or better. Josh Ayeni’s freshman season has been filled with ups and downs, highs and lows, a few technical fouls and lots of emotion. Today, Ayeni showed the type of player he can be offensively. The sophomore finished the game with 15 points on 6-7 shooting, giving him an incredibly efficient game. Ayeni certainly needs to control his emotions, begin to finish at the rim, rebound better and learn the team defense but his offensive game away from the basket alone makes him worth playing as a stretch four.
- Free Throw and 3PT Woes Nearly Sink Bonnies: SBU is among the national leaders in foul shooting and have had a deadly three point attack all year long. Today, they struggled in both areas. SBU shot a very uncharacteristic 23-37 (62%) from the line, and 3-15 (20%) from deep.Still, the Bonnies won a close game at home against a poor team. These are numbers that cannot been seen on a stat sheet in Pittsburgh if SBU wants to be playing on the weekend. Jay Adams, who has struggled from the line (for him) also missed six freebies.
- The 3PT Defense and Rebounding were “Good Enough”. SBU took a lot of heat, and rightfully so, at the start of the year for their poor three point defense. And while it’s still not “good” it is certainly better than the version from November. SBU held Duquense to 36% shooting today and now ranks 233rd nationally. On the glass, the Bonnies were a plus eight and had 13 offensive boards. Those numbers will work anytime out.
- 20/20 Vision. Bona players have said recently that their goal is to win 20 games in back to back seasons. This would make the first time in program history that a team has won 20 regular season games in two straight years. While it was ugly, they took a step closer to that goal today. Now, a tough trip to Davidson awaits before a home tilt with UMass to close out the season. While it won’t be easy, Bona has a good chance to hit their goal and win 40 games over two years; no small feat for the program.
Up Next: The Bonnies travel to Davidson for a Tuesday night tilt. Davidson is currently 14-13 and 7-9 in the league, one of the A10’s more disappointing teams. The Wildcats have lost two in a row and five of their last seven but are still a dangerous team armed with Jack Gibbs and Peyton Aldridge. Davidson essentially crushed SBU’s NCAA tournament hopes a year ago in Brooklyn with an overtime win.
Photos courtesy of Steve Harrison Photograph. Check out his great work and amazing shots here.