By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio
For the second straight game, the St. Bonaventure Bonnies had the ball for the final possession. And just like the Davidson game three days prior, junior guard Marcus Posley was the hero.
Posley’s off-balance layup at the buzzer gave the Bonnies a 73-71 win over the number 18 VCU Rams. The win elevated Bonaventure to 13-8, 6-4 in the Atlantic 10.
The Rams were down 71-67 with a minute to play when sophomore guard JeQuan Lewis made two free throws to cut the lead to two. After Youssou Ndoye missed a shot the other way, sophomore guard Jordan Burgess made the jumper to knot the game at 71.
With 17 seconds to work with, 11 more than he had against Davidson, Posley drove to the hoop, weaved between two defenders and tossed up a scoop-shot layup as time expired. Officials confirmed the basket after review as the students rushed the court in a scene reminiscent of last year’s upset win over UMass, a team ranked 21st at the time.
Posley’s 15 points were second-most for the Bonnies. Dion Wright led the team with 19 and added eight rebounds. Youssou Ndoye scored 13 and also grabbed eight boards, while Denzel Gregg chipped in 10 points off the bench. Jay Adams had nine points and seven assists, committing just two turnovers at the point guard spot.
Terry Larrier led the injury-ridden Rams with 15 points in 25 minutes of action. JeQuan Lewis scored 14 in the place of Briante Weber, while Melvin Johnson chipped in 11. Without Weber and Treveon Graham, VCU still packed a punch.
It was another huge team win, and a pretty speechless Posley acknowledged Adams when he talked about the shot.
“Jaylen had the trust in me, so I just called out the screens and got moving,” he said.
“I definitely thought about pulling up, but I just did a little stutter-step and (JeQuan Lewis) really didn’t bite for it, so I just attacked the basket and was able to get a good look.”
“It’s always great to beat a team of that caliber in the Reilly Center,” said coach Mark Schmidt. “We haven’t played as well as we’re accustomed to playing at home, but I thought our guys really responded coming off of the Davidson game.”
“We just wanted to get the RC rocking. We haven’t gotten this place going in a very long time,” said Adams.
Before the buzzer-beater, Posley already had a shot at getting on Sportscenter’s Top 10 plays when he threw a half-court alley-oop with 9:51 to go in the game. “Denzel made me look good there,” he said with a laugh.
There was plenty of laughing and joking to go around for the Bona players after the game. They have countered a two-game losing streak at the end of January with a two-game winning streak to kick off February. Posley countered a slump and a benching over that stretch with two consecutive game-winners.
Once again, the Bonnies went as their god-send junior college transfer went.