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Recap: Bonnies bite back, take down Spiders

Jay Adams was his usual exceptional self Sunday afternoon.

Jay Adams was his usual exceptional self Sunday afternoon.

By: Cody Didas, BonaBlog Contributor

The Result: The Brown and White got back on track in front of a packed and loud Reilly Center crowd on Sunday afternoon.  After trailing at the half 39-33, the Bonnies used some stifling defense, great rebounding, and hot shooting from their Big 3 to pull away with the win 84-68 over Richmond. SBU improved to 5-3 in league play.

The game was a true “get-right” contest after this dreaded stretch had brought Bonas three straight losses.  The W provides a tiebreaker that may become crucial as we head down the stretch into the A10 tourney.  Right now, I am happy to have definitive tiebreakers over Davidson, Rhody, and Richmond. They are all teams that are right next to us in that second tier.

The first half saw some bad stretches of basketball, and a stretch from about the 12-minute mark to the 8-minute mark of no field goals for Bonas.  There seemed to be some rotational issues on defense, allowing Khwan Fore to score 13 in the first half (15 overall), not to mention the countless missed lay-ups, primarily from Bonas big men.  You had to be happy to walk into the half down six, and realize that there were only little changes that needed to be made to turn the tide in the second half. For as hot as Richmond was in the opening half, they should have been up by more than three possessions. 

To begin the second half, in short, they made those changes.  SBU came out swinging on both sides of the ball and punched Richmond in the mouth. They became the aggressor and really dictated the game. 

The Bonnies raced out to take commanding control of the game by about half-way through the half.  The scoring outburst was fueled on the heels of a REALLY GOOD Posley, a gritty Wright (14 rebounds is a career high), and a leader at the point in Adams who showed no signs of injury after his fall last weekend.  The Big 3 all showed up today, and showed what they can do to teams when they are clicking.  The biggest positive sign is the defensive effort. Richmond is one of the most efficient teams that Bonas will see all year…they held them to 29 second-half points and on 27.3% shooting. Richmond came into the game 7th nationally in FG % and shot 50% in the opening 20 minutes. The half-time adjustments on the defensive side of the ball won the game for the Bonnies. This is the second home game in a row that Bonas just dominated the second half of play.  This is certainly something to watch in upcoming games.

Dion Wright recorded yet another double-double against Richmond.

The Difference: A few things come to mind…the defensive grittiness and Schmidt’s decision to go to the 2-3 zone. Grittiness is pretty difficult to quantify, but it just seemed like Bonas wanted to get after it more than the Spiders at times. We have Taqqee, Gregg, Tyson, hell everyone, flying after the ball scrambling for rebounds, really attacking the Richmond players. Note: solid five blocks from Tyson, mainly in the first half.  The same sort of intensity just did not seem to be there for the Spiders today.  I mean when you hold ShawnDre Jones to 11 points on 4-14 shooting and Terry Allen to 12 on 4-12, I think we all would have signed up for that at about 2 p.m. today.  On the zone- it was pretty much the only thing that Coach Chris Mooney talked about in his press conference.  Bonas showed zone in the first half, and the Spiders were able to move the ball enough to find the open man and move the zone around.  In the second half, the ball movement slowed greatly and forced them into some poor shots.  Schmidt has used the zone more this season than in year’s past and the team is starting to defend better with more use.  Schmidt said that went zone off of makes, and in the second half there were a lot of makes. 

Peculiar 1: The refereeing for a large chunk of the second half.  There were phantom calls! Things that were not happening on the floor that they were “seeing”, Jay jumped in the air and they called a walk?  A Spiders player saves a ball out of bounds and they say that it was out on Bonas? Not to mention how chippy it was becoming…

Peculiar 2: The bench is getting shorter than you can imagine.  Wright and Posley played the whole game, which led to Kaputo getting eight minutes and Woods playing three.  That is pretty much a 6-man rotation, looking like Duke. But, the team is coming off a full week off, and we know Schmidt has no issue riding his horses all game; so not too shocking. 

(Maybe Not So) Peculiar 3: Idris Taqqee just puts in his prototypical, scrappy game.  He gave the team 31 minutes (ties his season high which is safe to assume as career high), chipping in six points that were all easier than easy lay-ins (and he didn’t miss them!) to go with four boards (the huge offensive volleyball tip out) and an unexpected two blocks. 

The Stats:

More From GoBonnies:

  • St. Bonaventure scored 51 points in the second half – the sixth time this year the Bonnies reached that make in a half.
  • Posley has now scored 87 points combined over his last three games. 
  • Posley now has 887 points in his St. Bonaventure career.
  • Dion Wright’s 14 rebounds surpassed his previous career best of 13, which he had done in three games including last week’s loss at VCU.
  • The attendance was a season-high 5,263.

What’s Next: The Bonnies have the tough task of traveling to Philly to take on St. Joe’s on Wednesday.  Joes is 18-3, 7-1 and will provide a tough test.  Their only losses are Florida, 8th ranked Nova, and VCU…yeah that good.  They are coming off a 64-55 win against Rhody and have won seven straight.  They are no longer just a Deandre Bembry team with the coming-out-party of Isaiah Miles.  Joes will be a strong test, they are currently one of the Last Four in to the tourney in Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology.  Bonas beat Joes 3 times last year, and have won their last 2 trips to Hagan Arena.

Press Conference Video: 

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A member of the class of 2008, Nolan spent four years as a student assistant with the program. He has written professionally for such outlets as espn.com/insider, Athlon Sports Magazines, Cox Sports Online and Blue Ribbon Previews. Ian was named one of the “140 Personalities to Follow in College Basketball” on twitter by The Sporting News.