By Jeff Fasoldt, @Jeff_Fasoldt
Back-and-forth first half: The Bonnies and the UMass Minutemen could not have looked more even after the first half. The Bonnies led 26-25 in a low-scoring half where both teams shot poorly from the field. The Bonnies shot 21 percent while the Minutemen were slightly above that at 31 percent.
Size Factor: Both teams have great size on their team–this was evident throughout the first-half as rebounding was almost dead even. Bonaventure grabbed 23 boards, while UMass grabbed 22. The second half however was a different story. Bonaventure played hard on the boards to gather a 45-35 rebounding advantage by the end of the game.
Keeping Chaz in Check: Chaz Williams is the Minutemen’s best player. He almost entered the NBA draft last year. Charlon Kloof and Jordan Gathers did a decent job of guarding him and limiting him to 8 points in the first half. Williams finished with 11 points as he played sparingly with 4 fouls while eventually fouling out.
Free Throw Improvement: The main reason Bonaventure was on top at the end of the first half? 13-16 from the line. That’s 81 percent. Pretty good considering they are a team that is shooting 66 percent on the year. The second half was no different as the Bonnies finished 30-34 from the stripe—88.2 percent from the line. The Minutemen went 8-15, therefore it could be said that free throws won the game for the Bonnies.
Second-half battle: The game continued to be close throughout the second half as teams traded leads several teams. The Bonnies came out on top in a huge win vs. nationally ranked UMass. This win again proves that the Bonnies are very tough to beat at home (only home loss to GW) and the Atlantic-10 is very even.
Key Triple by Matt Wright: The Bonnies leading scorer had perhaps the most important shot of the game as he hit an uncontested 3 to put the Bonnies up by 11 and essentially icing the game. As a team Bonaventure was 4-12 from behind the arc, UMass went 7-16 with 4 coming from Trey Davis.
Coach Kellogg- “They played a very well hard fought game, they seem like they have a lot of toughness and energy to them and this is just a hard place to play.”
Coach Schmidt- “We defended, we scrapped, and I’m really proud of our effort, shooting 21 percent and being up one at the half against the 21st ranked team in the country shows our great defensive effort.”
Coach Schmidt- “The three seniors, this is their team, and this is their legacy”
Coach Schmidt- “I’m just really proud of the guys and how they bounced back, we’ve had chances before but we couldn’t finish–today we finished.”
Matthew Wright- (on game-icing shot) “I was relieved, I missed some shots, and I thought one of these has to go in eventually, I didn’t think about it, I just let it go.”