By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio and Jeff Fasoldt @Jeff_Fasoldt
After getting back to their winning ways on Saturday, the St. Bonaventure Bonnies return to the Reilly Center on Monday at 7, when they will host Maryland-Eastern Shore in their last game before Christmas.
The Hawks come into this one with a record of 5-8. They are better than the Binghamton team SBU played two days ago on both sides of the floor, coming in having won four of their last six games, including a win over Fordham in the Bronx. Their losses came against tough competition like Villanova, VCU and Old Dominion.
This is not one the Bonnies will be able to come into with a “just show up and blow them out” mindset. They have not played as well as they should have against subpar competition this year, barely beating Jackson State and struggling in the first half against Binghamton before pulling away in the second half. Can they play with some intensity and win impressively on Monday night? Here’s the full breakdown:
St. Bonaventure- Mark Schmidt. 114-111 as Bonnies head coach
Maryland Eastern-Shore- Bobby Collins. 5-8 as Hawks head coach
Key players for Maryland-Eastern Shore:
Mike Myers- 6-8 senior forward. Myers is the Hawks leading scorer at 13.6 points per game on a team that otherwise struggles to score. They are averaging around 56 points per game as a team, good enough for 339th in the nation. Myers will have to boss around Youssou Ndoye and Dion Wright inside if Maryland Eastern-Shore wants to win.
Devin Martin- 6-4 junior guard. Martin is the best the Hawks have to offer at the guard spot. He has good size for a guard and can stroke the three-ball at 39 percent. He comes into the game behind only Myers in scoring at 12.2 points per game.
Keys to victory for Maryland-Eastern Shore:
Mike Myers and Devin Martin are very simply the keys to the game for Maryland Eastern-Shore. They are the only two players on the team that are averaging more 10 points per game. Size will be an issue for the Hawks as there is no one taller than 6-9 on their roster. This team does shoot well from three so I expect there to be a heavy dose of shots from behind the arc.
Keys to victory for St. Bonaventure: As we get closer to Atlantic 10 play, the Bonnies will have to improve their perimeter defense, which has become a recurring issue in this 7-2 start. Opponents are shooting 34.2 percent from three, a much higher mark than what Davidson (26.3), Rhode Island (28.8) and George Washington (28.9) are allowing from behind the arc. The saving grace when it comes to three-point land has been that Bona is shooting at 36.6 percent from deep, so they have been able to match their opponents’ output, but there are going to be games when those outside shots just aren’t falling. Denying the opposition open looks is going to be important, and a Hawks team that shoots 34 percent from distance is a good test for SBU to start making it difficult for teams from long-range.
Jeff- Because the Bonnies played down to their opponent against Binghamton, I would think that they might struggle in the first half tonight, but in the end they will beat a much less talented Hawks team 66-50.
Chuckie- They will face some resistance at times, and not having the student section behind them will lead to a close first half, but the Bonnies will pull this one out by double-digits in the end. 73-58 Bonnies.