Bonnies Survive against Richmond, Advance to Semi Finals
After nearly blowing a 17 point lead, the #2 seeded St. Bonaventure Bonnies downed the #7 seed Richmond Spiders by a score of 83-77 in D.C tonight. With the win the Bonnies have now won 25 games and 13 straight. The 25 wins tie a school record set by the 1970 Final Four squad and the 13 straight wins is the second longest winning streak in the country.
For a recap from the conference click here
Bonaventure was led in scoring by Matt Mobley who had a historic shooting night from deep canning 9 of 14 three pointers and finishing with 29 points. Mobley scored 21 of his 29 points in the second half where he went a ridiculous 7-8 from deep. At one point Mobley hit three three pointers in a span of 94 seconds.
Courtney Stockard finished the night with a great line of 19/5/4 but suffered a hamstring injury down the stretch which allowed, in part, the Spiders to come back in this game and nearly steal the win.
Stockard’s status for tomorrow’s game is unclear at this time but hamstring injuries generally can be tough to manage. The junior win was fantastic in the opening half and was willing the Bonnies to a victory through 20 minutes with a combination of inside scoring and outside shooting. He has become one of the best players in the conference during the last few weeks of the season. Stockard has scored at least 19 points in five straight games. Should he not be able to play tomorrow/the rest of the weekend it would be a huge blow for the team.
A10 Co Player of the Year Jay Adams had a rough night, and finished the game with 5 points on 1-7 shooting and six assists. Friday marked the first time Adams was held under 10 points since January 31st when he scored just five points against George Mason.
LaDarien Griffin had a great night off the bench in scoring 17 points and pulling in 11 rebounds but did miss seven of 14 foul shots, leaving the door open for a Spiders’ comeback in the final minutes.
Here’s a few thoughts from the game after the Bonnies box score…
Another great finish! @BonniesMBB's Matt Mobley broke a #A10MBB Championship record, hitting 9 treys, but @SpiderMBB made it VERY interesting down the stretch. Check out the highlights! pic.twitter.com/oFMWgo0Mnm
— Atlantic 10 MBB (@A10MBB) March 10, 2018
- Mobley’s Historic Shooting Night Lifts Bonnies: After a lackluster first half in which SBU scored on 32 points, Matt Mobley simply took over the game in the 2nd half and gave the Bonnies the lead they needed to hang on and win. Mobley canned 9 three pointers out of 13 attempts, added 3 assists and 3 rebounds and finished with 29 points. His 9 threes were a career high. When Bona’s half court offense was stagnent Mobley masked some issues by canning deep three after deep three after deep three. It’s amazing how one shooter can lift a team to a win when they are less than their best offensively or defensively. Mobley had made 18 three pointers in SBU’s last three games.
- Jay Adams was MIA: They can’t all be 40 point games, but Adams was missing in action tonight in a game the Bonnies could not lose. Sure, a lot of that is because Mobley was making shot after shot; thus Adams defered to him to provide the offense…and that’s fine. Still, Adams made just 1-7 shots from the field and was 0-4 from deep. Should you worry? Nope. Adams is a stud and could show up tomorrow and go for 35 points and 9 assists. Adams has now played all but seven minutes in the Bonnies last five games.
- Griffin Provides Punch: A super sub ever since Stockard and Ikpeze took his place in the starting rotation following an ankle injury, the junior foward was superb again tonight. His 17 and 11 off the bench provided the spark inside that Bona need. Griffin also did his part in defending UR’s Grant Golden (9 points, 4-13 shooting) on the block. Golden scored 24 points and pulled in six rebounds when the two teams met in the Reilly Center. In a season filled with big moments, Griffin had another big game in a BIG game the Bonnies had to have. He’s become a truly clutch player and one of the most valuable Bonnies on the roster given their lack of depth inside.
- FT’s Keep Door Open: Generally a solid FT shooting shooting team that slams the door shut in close games, the Bonnies missed 11 of 23 foul shots tonight (52%) and let the Spiders hang around a lot long than they should have. SBU ranked 44th in the country in 3PT% (75.8) but tonight really struggled there. Let’s hope they return to form tomorrow and Sunday at the line. For the evening Bonaventure shot the ball just as well from the three point line as the foul line.
- Survive and Advance: For lack of a better phrase: This. Is. March. Crazy stuff happens and sometimes you just need to make enough plays to win and move on. Tonight was one of those nights. After leading by 17 points the Bonnies lost Courtney Stockard and struggled to get across the finish line. In the end, they got enough stops inside of the last three minutes to win their 25th game of the season and avoid a bad loss. Richmond’s guards gave Bona a real run for their money (41% from deep) and Chris Mooney’s teams are always tough to defend because of their Princeton Style Offense. But, with that win the Bonnies should feel great about their position on the bubble. Tomorrow’s game against Davidson, should be nothing more than a bonus game to improve their seeding in the field of 68. Another match up with the offensive minded Wildcats will be fun to watch as both teams get up and door the floor as well as anyone. It should be noted that should Davidson win the A10 Tournament that the bubble would shrink by one team since the Wildcats are not considered for an at large bid….so SBU has more than one reason to go out and make it 14 wins in a row tomorrow. KenPom has the Wildcats favored by two points and gives the Bonnies a 44% chance of winning the game based on his predictive metrics.
Bubble Update (as of 8:30 PM on 3/9) taken from BracketMatrix.com
Header Photo from former Bonnie David Andoh.