By Ryan Lazo, Editor in Chief, @RMLazo13
Game Story: Entering the game, St. Bonaventure was in a four-way tie for ninth place in the Atlantic 10, one of those teams being the Charlotte 49ers. And the Bonnies came out of the locker room firing on all cylinders, playing tough defense and nailing their outside shots. Matthew Wright and Eric Mosley scored 28 of the Bonnies’ 53 points in the first half as eight Bona players cracked the scoresheet. After hitting nine 3-pointers in the first half, the Bonnies cooled down in the second, but the lead was never in jeopardy during the 104-83 spanking of the 49ers at the Reilly Center. The win marked the first time this season Bona eclipsed 100 points and the first time since they dropped 112 in an 4OT victory over Ohio Dec. 18, 2010
Sloppy Play: While the Bonnies handled VCU’s havoc defense well, turning the ball over just 16 times, Bona could not handle Charlotte’s full-court pressure. The 49ers forced Bona into 15 second-half turnovers, mostly off of inbounds plays and in the back court. It will need to be addressed before their next game.
Stout Defense: The Bonnies defense has never been confused with the Chicago Bulls’, but their effort against Charlotte would have made even Tom Thibodeau smile. St. Bonaventure limited Charlotte to a paltry 25 percent shooting in the first half and a dismal 38.7 percent for the game
Forgotten Man: Due to foul trouble, Dion Wright entered the game in the first half for his first game action since Feb. 6 at Butler. Wright scored a career-high 15 points on 6-for-7 shooting and grabbed four rebounds.
The Wright Stuff: Matthew Wright finally found the stroke that has evaded him since a left foot injury derailed his season. The junior sharpshooter tallied 20 points on 6-for-8 shooting, including 3-for-4 from beyond the arc.
Three For The Win: St. Bonaventure has lived and died with the three ball for much of the season and against Charlotte, the rim might have well been the Atlantic Ocean. The Bonnies were blistering from beyond the arc in the first half, shooting 7-for-9 from three and finished the game shooting an absurd 61 percent.
Senior Impact: After scoring 82 percent of the Bonnies’ points against Duquesne last week, Bona’s seniors once again helped key a third straight victory. The seniors combined for 54 of Bona’s 104 total points. Each senior: Davenport, Simmons, Johnson, Conger and Mosley cracked the scoresheet.
Tight Competition: Without even playing on Wednesday night, St. Bonaventure moved from the 12th and final spot to qualify for the A-10 Tournament, into a four-way tie for ninth. The Bonnies hold the tiebreakers over UMass, Saint Joseph’s, Temple and now Charlotte.
No. 2 equals 44: Eric Mosleyis doing his best Andrew Nicholson impression over the course of his final games among the Brown and White. Mosley tallied back-to-back 30-point games, including a 39-point effort against UMass — the most ever by a Bona player against an A-10 opponent.
History Repeating: Last year, St. Bonaventure struggled through the early part of the Atlantic 10 Conference schedule, but caught fire at the end, winning four of their last five. With their victory over Charlotte, the Bonnies have won three straight with just two games remaining.
Next Up: The Bonnies travel to UD Arena to take on the suddenly surging Dayton Flyers, winners of two straight. Dayton currently holds a 5-8 record, just one game out of a playoff spot in the Atlantic 10 Tournament.
Schmidt: “I thought in the first half, we could not have played better both on the offense and defense. There was a little bit of a let-down in the second half. We try to put them away but we have them life.”
“That’s the best half of basketball we’ve played. The last four or five games we have played really well.”
“When we are shooting the ball around the perimeter, we are hard to guard.”
Matthew Wright “Around this time last year we hit our peak. We know how crucial that is and I think we are starting to hit our stride.”