By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio
There’s no way to tell if the Bonnies would have gotten revenge on Richmond with sidelined point guard Jaylen Adams on the court on Wednesday night, but one thing’s for sure: he couldn’t have hurt the cause.
Bonaventure turned the ball over 19 times and allowed the Spiders to shoot 50 percent from the floor in a 71-56 loss that ended up being more lopsided than the score suggested. The Bonnies fell to 13-11, 6-7 in the Atlantic 10 with the loss, while the Spiders improved to 14-12, 7-6 in the conference with the win.
The Spiders had a tight grip on this game for most of the contest, leading for 27 of the 40 minutes. After Bonaventure started the second half on a 19-4 run, Richmond outscored them 33-14 the rest of the way.
“We didn’t play great in the first half, but I thought we came out in the second half and for the first eight minutes played terrific,” said Bonnies coach Mark Schmidt. “We defended, we rebounded, we took care of the basketball. We outscored them by thirteen and we were up by four. Mooney called a timeout and after the timeout we weren’t moving the ball and we turned it over five straight times. We made one pass, trying to throw it inside, and that’s where we lost the game.”
Point guard Iakeem Alston was unable to match the Adams’s efficiency, turning the ball over four times with only one assist. Denzel Gregg also had four turnovers, while Marcus Posley and Youssou Ndoye committed three turnovers each.
“I felt as though I turned the ball over way too much, this game and last game,” Alston said. “I try to play hard but I realize I’m failing too much.”
Posley’s shooting struggles continued, as he has now made just two of his last 25 three-pointers. Because of the lack of perimeter scoring, the Bonnies tried desperately to get the ball to Ndoye in the post, which resulted in many of the 19 wasted possessions.
“The reason we turned it over a lot was because we were so focused on trying to get the ball into Youssou while other defenders were reading it and keying in on him,” Alston said. “We just try to force it and they want us to throw it in, knowing everyone is going to collapse down on him.”
“We had some success, but you can’t throw the ball in on one pass,” Schmidt said. “You have to move the ball and move the defense. They load up if you throw it on one pass… We lost our poise, and you can’t do that.”
Ndoye tried to comfort his slumping shooting guard throughout the contest, hoping for some renewed confidence.
“(Posley’s) one of our primary scorers and he had a tough shooting night; I didn’t want him to get down on himself,” Ndoye said. “I just wanted to tell him that we have (his back) and to keep shooting (because) he’s going to find his rhythm.”
The Spiders were able to enjoy balanced scoring, with five players in double-digits. Sixth man ShawnDre’ Jones led all scorers with 17, while Terry Allen had 15, T.J. Cline had 14, Deion Taylor had 11 and Kendall Anthony had 10. While the Bonnies were struggling from three, the Spiders were thriving from behind the arc, making eight of their 18 attempts.
The only edge Bona had was in the rebounding category, outrebounding the Spiders 39-29. They were not able to take advantage, however, because of all the empty trips the other way. They grabbed 18 offensive rebounds yet had only 10 second-chance points, and Schmidt noted the failure to cash in as a key to the game.
“You have a chance to get 51 points and we get 10,” he said. “There were so many easy baskets and layups. When you’re not scoring from the three-point line you need to make those gimmes and we didn’t do that. We lost the game in that three or four-minute span when we took the lead by four and then turned it over too many times. You can’t do that against a good team like Richmond.”
Ndoye was upset with the loss, but said the Bonnies need to forget about it as soon as they can.
“We need to forget about this game, because right now you have to play your best games; it’s championship time now,” he said. “There are only a couple of games left until we go to Barclays Center. Every time you have a bad game you just have to erase it, have a short-term memory and go on to the next one.”
The “next one” is on Saturday, when Bona will try to snap its three-game losing streak at St. Joseph’s.