The Result: The Bonnies earned another road win (their eighth, a program record I believe) in St. Louis tonight downing the Billikens by a score of 64-48. SBU improved to 16-12 overall and also improved to 9-8 in league play. With one game left in A10 play the Bonnies have a shot to finish 10-8, and with a GW loss to UMass, could finish in 7th place. That would get them in the 7 v. 10 game at 6:30 as opposed to the 8 v. 9 game at noon on Thursday. Bonnies fans would surely appreciate that, as many have to drive from other states to cheer on their brown and white. Let’s get one more and hope UMass kicks GW’s rear ends Saturday.
What You Should Know: I watched this entire game at a bar and drank too many PBR pounders during the contest so my memory at this point may be a bit fuzzy (I also made myself a few White Russians when I got back if we’re being honest). The first half was literally almost impossible to watch. SBU played awful basketball, turning the ball over far too often, yet was still up eight at the mid-way point thanks to a Dion Wright jumper with a few ticks left. Generally if you tell someone their team has 26 points at the beak they’d assume they’d be behind or tied at best…but, thanks to how awful SLU is, the Bonnies were up by eight. Yeah…that’s how bad the Billikens have been this year. I was shocked my bartender didn’t change the channel after this display in the first 20. Thankfully, the second half was much better for SBU as they outscored the Billkens 38-30 to put the issue out of question.
It was Over When: I don’t really know. I felt pretty good about this win about midway through the second half. I knew SLU didn’t have the offense to comeback and the Bonnies were clicking on all their cylinders at that time fueled by Taqqee. If you get SLU to play a game in the mid 60’s they’ll lose nine times out of ten this year….That’s what happened.
Foe of the Game: No one. After watching SLU for a full 40 minutes it’s clear to me they are the league’s worst team. SBU played what I would call “D+” basketball tonight and still won easily. Crap, even Mason pasted them last week at home. That’s when you know you’re awful. St. Louis flat out sucks this season and the Bonnies took a win on the road despite playing not so great hoops overall.
Bonnie of the Game: Let’s go with my main man Cumberbatch again. The Batch finished the game with 17 points on 7-14 shooting and 2-6 from deep. Andell also contributed four boards. I LOVE this kid playing well in the final games of his college career. He’s basically saying, “screw everyone else, I can play.” For the second game in a row the senior has been a major focal point of the win. I will also say though that freshman Idris Taqqee deserves a ton of credit for his effort tonight off the wood. Taqqee finished with eight points, six boards and three assists. I LOVE seeing a freshman step up and contribute for this team off the pine and Idris has done very well the last two outings. If he can get into the gym and take a billion three pointers this summer we may have something next fall. He is clearly a kid coach trusts on both sides of the ball and I think he can develop over the next three years. Let’s hope this is just Taqqee starting to scratch the surface of his potential.
Good stats: 46% shooting isn’t awful, 16 assists against 13 turnovers (almost all of those in the first half), Held SLU to 33% shooting and 3-16 shooting from deep. We won on the road despite playing pretty crappy hoops and that does matter as a program. Anytime you can hold a team under 50 points you’re going to have a great chance to win and that was the case tonight. Though the Bonnies offense wasn’t running full throttle they still managed to win going away because of a solid effort on the defensive end of the floor. As they say, defense travels.
Bad stats: 63% foul shooting isn’t good enough on most nights, 4-16 (25%) 3PT is a far cry from this weekend and some starters (Ndoye, Posley, Gregg) didn’t have strong games. But, when you can win without those guys giving you solid efforts you’ll take it. Nodye HAS to be better come Brooklyn though for SBU to advance a few games. Has to. Same with Posley. Entering last night SBU was 0-7 in league games where Posley failed to score 15 points.
I wasn’t surprised that: Wasn’t surprised that SBU won. I thought we’d win this game and we did. I’m far more concerned about the Fordham game this weekend because I think this team has a harder time winning at home than on the road. We played like total crap in the first half and were still up eight….that goes to show how awful SLU is. I’m glad we came out and played better in the second half and secured the win. Winning 16 games is nice, winning 17 or 18 or 19 would be even better. This is just another Schmidt season.
I was surprised that: Nodye played poorly once again. The big senior finished the night with just five points and five boards on 1-4 shooting. SBU CANNOT win big in Brooklyn with their seven foot center playing this poorly. Yes, they can beat an SLU…because they stink. But they won’t beat a top half seed with their center playing like this. I think it’s critical that Youssou plays a solid game Saturday afternoon to give him some momentum heading into Brooklyn. Youssou was a key in wins over La Salle and St. Louis last year and he’ll need to be the same player this year. Come on big fella, we need you now!
What I’m sick of: The fouls again. SLU was in the bonus with like 14 minutes left in the second half. No one wants to watch that crap.
Up Next: SBU finishes our their 2014-2015 regular season when they host the Fordham Rams on Saturday at 4PM. SBU can earn a 7 seed with a win and GW loss. The Bonnies will be seeking their 17th win of the season and third straight win. SBU has had trouble with Fordham at home in the past, and the Rams are playing better, so this tilt will be no sure thing. Let’s win one more and notch number 17 before Brooklyn.