Post Game: Canisius (W, 59-53)
The Result: St. Bonaventure pulled out an ugly 59-53 victory over Canisius in a game that set basketball back to the early days of this Little 3 rivalry. A win is a win. Just ask Mark Schmidt.
The Rundown: Schmidt, during a post-game interview on WPIG, actually thanked God that the Bonnies prevailed. That’s how much this one meant. The Bonnies (2-1) couldn’t lose again on their home court after being handled by Siena. They couldn’t lose to another MAAC team period. And they couldn’t lose to a Canisius (2-1) team that isn’t very good. So for one more year Schmidt appeases the old alums that hold this game up as the season’s Super Bowl.
What the result means for the Bonnies: It means the Bonnies are a pretty average basketball team facing a pretty average season if things don’t change fast. This could have – and maybe should have – been an easy victory. There isn’t a lot to be optimistic about right now. This team, as it is currently, would struggle to finish .500 in the MAAC.
Player of the Game: Despite another poor shooting night from the perimeter, Marcus Posely hit key 3-pointers and free throws when the Bonnies needed them most. He scored 20 points, seven of which came in the final minutes. SBU wouldn’t have won without him.
Good Stats: Not a lot to get excited about here. The Bonnies hit their free throws, which was a plus. They were 16-21 from the line, and 5-7 down the stretch to put the game away. Posley was hit each of his four attempts late.
Bad Stats: The Bonnies starting backcourt trio of Posley, Jaylen Adams and Andell Cumberbatch combined to go 9-29 from the floor. That’s horrendous. Youssou Ndoye needs to be touching the ball a lot more (more on this later).
What we Liked: The Bonnies actually started moving the ball effectively against the Grifs’ zone in the second half. They shot 10-19 from the field after halftime and finished with 15 assists on 18 field goals. Still, the Bonnies have much work to do in the way of attacking zone defenses.
What we Didn’t: The Bonnies had zero bench points. Zero. I was touting this team as one with great depth after the exhibition. I may be greatly mistaken. Schmidt played five guys off the bench a total of 22 minutes. They combined to go 0-5 from the floor with one rebound, one steal and a turnover. So not only didn’t the reserves score, they didn’t contribute anything of consequence.
Ivan Kovacevic Unsung Hero Award: After a poor first half, Dion Wright bounced back big. He played all 40 minutes, scored 12 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. Wright better get used to playing big minutes. Jaylen Adams was also solid with 11 points and a key 3-pointer in the second half to help the Bonnies maintain the lead.
Anthony Solomon Head Scratching Moment: Ndoye was once again a last-ditch option offensively, taking only four shots. How can your All-Atlantic 10 center only take four shots? How can he only take eight shots total in two games? The Bonnies must find a way to involve Nodye more. Schmidt must demand it.
Matthias “Runs” of the Game: The first half was dominated by runs. The Bonnies scored the game’s first 10 points. Canisius followed with 11 straight and then eight more in a row to grab an 8-point lead. The Bonnies then cut it to 30-28 at the half after Posley buried a long 3-pointer in the final seconds. The last run set SBU up for a productive second half.
Prediction Records: Everyone got this one right. Thank God. Ian is 3-0 while Vinny and Shane are 2-1.
What’s Next: Jackson State visits the Reilly Center on Tuesday night. The students will be out of town. Will the RC even be half full for this one?
Noteworthy: Jordan Gathers (hip) missed his third straight game to the start the season … the Bonnies have jumped out to leads of 10-0 and 8-2 the last two games. Too bad they haven’t been able to hold those advantages … though not involved much offensively, Ndoye pitched in 12 rebounds and four blocked shots … each of the Bonnies starters played at least 31 minutes … Canisius scored 26 bench points, 14 coming from Jeremiah Williams, who was virtually non-existent in the Grifs’ first two games.