By Jeff Fasoldt @Jeff_Fasoldt
In what was the 163rd time these two teams faced off, the St. Bonaventure Bonnies defeated the Canisius Golden Griffens at the sold-out Reilly Center for the second year in a row—the first time either team has won consecutive games of this rivalry since ’03-04.
Marcus Posley led the Bona men with 20 points, going 5 for 14 from the field, and Dion Wright had 12, going 5 for 10 from the field.
“We brought him in here to make shots,” said Bonnies head coach Mark Schmidt. “It doesn’t matter if we are shooting well or can’t make a shot, he’s still going to take shots.”
Youssou Ndoye, in his second game of the season, went 3-4 from the field with eight points and a team-high 12 rebounds.
“Youssou is the ultimate team player in my opinion,” says Schmidt. “All he cares about is winning. He didn’t get the ball a lot but his mannerisms were positive and thats what you need from a senior leader.”
For Canisius, Jeremiah Williams carried a team-high 14 points and was a monster from beyond the arc, hitting his first three and going 4-6 overall; sophomore Phil Valenti grabbed 11 boards for the Griffins.
The first two games St. Bonaventure struggled mightily from the free-throw line, shooting 65-percent as a team. 76-percent from the stripe this game has to make Schmidt happy with his young team as they needed every point they could get.
Canisius went into the half with a 30-28 lead, and Bonnies fans perhaps had that nervous feeling in their stomach.
“They made eight threes in the first half so we were happy to only be down by two,” said Schmidt.
This couldn’t be more true, as Canisius went an astounding 8-18 (44.4-percent) in the first half, but the barrage slowed down as Griffins players could hit only two in the second half. (2-7)
Against Siena, many would point to the Bonnies poor offensive execution against the 2-3 zone as the reason why they lost, and there was no doubt Canisius coach Jim Baron was going to let the Bonnies play against a man-to-man defense after the struggle they had Wednesday night.
As the offense has struggled from outside in three games this season, you would expect more teams to play 2-3 zone as the season goes on. Schmidt doubts that.
“In the Atlantic-10 teams won’t play us 2-3 zone,” says Schmidt. “When you’re better athletically than these non-conference teams that’s when they’ll play zone. I’ve been doing this for 27 years and early in the season you see the 2-3 zone.”
“We fought back and blue collared it,” said Schmidt on the victory.
The Bonnies will be at home again Tuesday night as they take on Jackson St. out of Mississippi at 7pm.