By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio and Jeff Fasoldt @Jeff_Fasoldt
The St. Bonaventure Bonnies and Richmond Spiders will face off for the second time this season on Wednesday night at 7 at the Reilly Center.
The first meeting between these teams was on Jan. 11, when the Spiders ran away in the second half, outscoring the visiting Bonnies 35-18 in the second half to grab a 60-41 win. Bona’s 41-point output was its lowest of the season.
Can Bonaventure salvage a home-and-home split against Richmond? Here’s the full breakdown:
St. Bonaventure- Mark Schmidt. 119-119 as Bonnies coach, 3-8 against Richmond.
Richmond- Chris Mooney. 179-144 as Spiders coach, 10-5 against St. Bonaventure.
Key players for Richmond:
Kendall Anthony- 5-8 senior guard. Anthony is not only the Spiders point guard, but also their leading scorer and one of the top slashing/ scoring guards in the Atlantic-10. He averages 16.2 points per game and is mediocre from the field at 45 percent. There’s no doubt that Anthony will be shooting the ball more than anybody on his team tomorrow night. Anthony averages 13.0 field goal attempts per game—four more than any other player on the team.
Terry Allen- 6-8 junior forward. The perfect sidekick down low to the hot-hand, heavy-shooting guard, Anthony. Terry Allen comes into this game only behind Anthony in scoring at 12.3 points per game and leads the Spiders in rebounding at 5.7 per game. And, while not a dominant threat from beyond the arc, this big man will step behind the line to shoot a three if it’s open.
Keys to victory for Richmond: If I’m the Richmond coach I know the scouting report that Jay Adams, the Bonnies starting PG, is out after having finger surgery. This means that Iakeem Alston takes over those duties. And, while Alston is good off the dribble finding his teammates for open baskets, he is not a scorer and especially not a threat on the jump shot from outside. This basically leaves Marcus Posley as the true threat from three, with Cumberbatch as an accessory. So, I would swarm Posley with two defenders when he gets the ball, and I would sink my other four guys into a zone forcing the Bonnies to shoot it from outside, and for someone other than Posley to do it.
Keys to victory for St. Bonaventure: Offense was the issue last time against the Rams. For the Bonnies to have a better offensive performance than they did on Jan. 11, there is one major key: Marcus Posley getting out of his slump. After his historic week with the two game-winners he has gone cold, only making one of his last 17 three-pointers and nine of his last 34 shots overall. That stretch is not particularly encouraging, but Posley has been through this before. After the Duquesne game, where he led the incredible comeback and sent the game into overtime with a three-point barrage, he missed his next nine threes in losses to Rhode Island and La Salle, scoring six points and four points respectively. How did he bounce back from the drought? He hit the two game-winners and became national news. The man the team calls “MP3” is the one to watch once again on Wednesday.
Chuckie- Now that this team has had some more time to practice a mesh with Iakeem Alston starting at the point, they will make the clutch plays late in the game on Wednesday night. Posley will hit at least four threes in a bounceback game, Youssou Ndoye will get his revenge without Spider center Alonzo Nelson-Ododa in the lineup, Alston will play like he did in the second half against Dayton and Bona will get a crucial win to stay in the hunt in the standings. 67-63 Bonnies
Jeff- This game doesn’t look promising without Jay Adams at point guard. This is a good Richmond team, well coached and they can score inside and out. Defensively, they will have a good game plan to stop Iakeem Alston and this Bonnies offense. I’m going with the Spiders in this one: 76-65 Spiders.