Loss: Bonnies 48 Rhode Island 53
The Result: The Bonnies lost a tough game in Kingston this afternoon by a score of 53-48. Rhode Island used their superb defense to propel them to a win to get to 5-2, despite playing without their top scorer, sophomore E.C. Matthews. Bonaventure should be given credit for playing pretty well away from home against one of the league’s better teams…despite them being short handed. SBU falls to 4-3 and the loss snapped a three game A10 winning streak.
What You Should Know: The opening half of this game was everything the Duquesne game was not. After twenty minutes the Bonnies trailed 24-20 and both teams combined to post some of the ugliest numbers you’ll see all season. SBU was shooting 32% from the field and had 10 turnovers. URI was shooting 32% with nine turnovers. The Bonnies had attempted one three pointer in the opening frame. URI’s vaunted perimeter defense was living up to their billing. Posley (3-6 total, no 3PT attempts) could hardly breathe he was being guarded so closely. Every pass made within the half-court seemed to be a turnover or nearly a turnover. But, credit Schmidt and our guys for clamping down on defense and returning the favor. At the break I felt that if Bonas could find a way to get something going from the outside, they’d be in good shape. URI proved in the first half that without E.C. Matthews they couldn’t consistently score from the outside (2-9 from three). Schmidt was doing a nice job of showing man to man and also a 2-3 zone against the Rams who were just as ineffective on that end as the Bonnies were. With 20 minutes left this game I thought this game could be decided by just one player from either team getting hot.
The second half was really nothing like the first, and unfortunately, Posley never got it going.
Both teams came out and found a solid rhythm offensively after the break. URI was scoring in the paint nearly at will and SBU did the same, using Dion Wright over and over again in the half-court off the dribble. Wright attached Hassan Martin and really made him look bad for long stretches.
The teams traded leads multiple times during the second half (I believe 17 total changes?) with URI holding a small advantage most of the half. However, in the final three minutes of the contest the Bonnies did not execute well enough to win as Rhode Island made FT after FT sealing the win. I will say that SBU does have real beef with back to back calls against them inside of the last three minutes. One was a reach in foul called on Cumberbatch after he stripped T.J. Buchanan and was off for a dunk and a 2 point lead. Next, Andell was whistled for a very rare three second call down a bucket. Just a really bad time to be on the short end of two calls that probably shouldn’t have been made. But, such is life on the road in conference play at times. URI got some breaks, they made the FTs and they sealed the win. SBU was unable to get anything going from the outside today and without Posley’s scoring punch it made it impossible for them to get over the hump and win this game. Marcus finally had a look at a corner three pointer late in the game and left it short. I think it’s fair to wonder if he’s a bit tired after logging so many minutes already this season. URI held Posley and Ndoye to a combined 12 points on 4-17 shooting. That was really the difference in this game. Anytime we get that little scoring from those two players we’re going to have a really hard time winning. (Also, Posley got beat to a loose ball by Buchanan in the second half that really showed either a lack of effort or pure unawareness. Posley had to foul him and it cost us a possession and two points late in the game).
Boxscore: Click on Image to enlarge
You Knew It Was Over When: Hassan Martin blocked Jay Adams’ three pointer with under a minute left to secure the win. It was his seventh block of the day and it sent the Bonnies packing up their gear and heading back to Olean at 4-3.
The Good: The Bonnies came out in the opening frame and played tough defense. They dug in and defended, brought energy and competed against a team who I would say, is the second most talented team in the league (minus Matthews today). This was a big road test for SBU and I wouldn’t say they failed by any means. The second half was not as strong from a defensive stand point but the team picked it up on offense mostly thanks to Dion Wright and Schmidt’s play calling. This isn’t one of those games I lose sleep over. URI is a better team and we were on the road. We played a solid game and lost to a good team. It gives me hope that we could play with a top tier team going forward. It sucks that the refs sort-of/maybe helped decide this game with two “suspect” calls but I’m not going to freak out over it either. We wanted a 1-1 week with this road trip and we got it. 2-0 would have been great but I said I’d take 1-1 and so I can’t go back on that word now. We’re 4-3 heading home to play a La Salle team who we should beat. Rest up, prepare well and get a win next weekend. If you took SBU and the points you covered.
The Bad: Posley and Ndoye were really bottled up today and that made it really hard for SBU to win this game. Too much pressure on Jay/Andell and Dion to score. The second half defense was lacking in a big way as URI scored 29 points but scored much easier buckets in the half-court. This game lets you know teams who can really guard the perimeter will give us a tough time going forward because as we’ve said before, as Posley goes, so go the Bonnies on many nights. It’s just really, really hard for this team to win when he has a game like today. It would have been great to steal this one on the road and get to 5-2 but it wasn’t to be. I don’t blame Posley, this match-up just sucked for him and SBU due to URI’s strengths on defense. We saw it coming, and unfortunately it panned out that way.
Bonnies’ Player of the game: Dion Wright did everything he could to try and will this team to a win today. He was a monster in the second half attacking URI’s interior players off the dribble and hitting the offensive glass. Wright notched a career high in points and for most of the last 20 minutes was un-guardable. It should be noted he did a lot of this work against Hassan Martin, the league’s best shot blocker. Dion finished with 22 and 10 and five offensive boards.
Foe of the Game: Freshman guard Jared Terrel (19 points, 8-15). The freshman wing picked today to have his best game as a Ram; go figure. At one point he had scored 17 of URI’s 35 points. With E.C. Matthews out they needed a guard to step up and make shots and he did that today. He had a career high of 17 with 16 minutes left in the contest. You could also throw Hassan Martin in here as his 10-11-7 blocks were huge. His block of Jay Adams’ three pointer sealed the win. He was a pain in the ass all day inside, except when Dion was going at him. He’s got two more full years left at URI and will be a first team all league player soon.
Good stats: Held URI to 40% shooting, forced 14 turnovers, nine offensive boards and Dion’s line was impressive (22-10). Second half turnovers were an improvement and showed the team made adjustments and settled down.
Bad stats: 1-6 from three (16%), Posley was held to six points, shot 35% for the game overall, turned it over 15 times and had a too many empty possessions at the end of the game (foul on Andell- FTS, 3 second call-FTs/ blocked Adams 3PT-FTs). We didn’t really make URI score to beat us to end the game as we sent them to the line too often in the final two plus minutes. Just a sloppy game offensively where SBU was about three plays shy of getting a win.
Ivan Kovacevic Unsung Hero of the game: Jay Adams played well today (10 points, 5 assists) and handled their pressure about as decently as you could have hoped. This is an excellent defense and he held his own, showed poise and knocked down the teams’ lone three pointer. This is a lesson he can carry into the VCU game in two weeks as they will feature even more on-ball pressure. Also, I thought Denzel Gregg actually played some solid minutes off the bench for Schmidt. He had 2 points, 4 boards, a steal and a block.
I wasn’t stunned At: URI ability to take away Posley and our 3PT shot. URI is one of the best perimeter defensive teams in the nation so today was no shocker. Posley may as well have been locked in a closet in the Ryan Center. He was totally taken out of the game by their guards. To SBU’s credit they didn’t force things from there and so they tried to play away from the Rams’ strength. Hard to when when you are 1-6 from three though and you’re leading scorer can hardly get a look at the rim from the outside.
I was stunned At: The three second call against SBU with under 2 minutes left down a bucket. No one, ever, ever calls that in a big spot….I literally cannot recall the last time I saw that called in a big spot in my life. Listen, I don’t care if we had a guy in there for eight seconds, you don’t blow that whistle. That was a horse shit call and it was the second in a row against SBU. Prior to that they bailed out T.J. Buchanan after Cumberbatch had a steal and a lay-up coming. In all the two calls cost SBU four points in a row at the line. It basically ended the game prior to the Martin blocked three pointer.
What’s Up Next: The Bonnies get nearly a full week off to prep for a Saturday night home game against La Salle. Tip is set for 7PM. They’ll look to start a new win streak to get to 5-3.