By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio and Jeff Fasoldt @Jeff_Fasoldt
The St. Bonaventure Bonnies look to end a three-game skid on Saturday at 7 when they visit the St. Joseph’s Hawks. The game will be broadcast live on SportsNet New York.
This is the second contest between these two teams. In the first meeting, on Jan. 18, the Bonnies won 70-61 in a game they had control of throughout; the game featured just one lead change and only four ties.
Can the Bonnies win for the first time since Jaylen Adams’s injury, or will the Hawks protect home court, where they are 9-2 this season? Here’s the full breakdown:
St. Bonaventure- Mark Schmidt. 119-121 as Bonnies coach, 5-7 against St. Joe’s.
St. Joseph’s- Phil Martelli. 373-261 as Hawks coach, 27-8 against St. Bonaventure.
Key players for St. Joe’s:
DeAndre’ Bembry- 6-6 sophomore forward. Bembry, who leads his team with 18 points per game and 7.3 rebounds per game, has made a strong case for himself to be named Atlantic 10 player of the year as the season winds down. His size and athleticism make it easy for him to drive the lane and punish the defenders in his way. And, while he’s not a great outside shooter you still have to respect him out there at about 35 percent. Bembry hasn’t only impressed the fans of the Hawks or any team that he goes to play, but also NBA scouts that go to all his games.
Isaiah Miles- 6-7 junior forward. Miles is the second best player on a team that relies on Bembry to do pretty much everything. Also a forward, Miles is second in scoring for the Hawks at 10.9 points per game and rebounds at 5.0 per game.
Keys to victory for St. Joe’s: If I’m Phil Martelli I do what I’ve been doing all year long and get the ball to DeAndre Bembry and let him score. At 45 percent from the field he puts it in the basket with ease. Also, I’m taking advantage of Jay Adams being out and forcing Marcus Posley to be better from the outside than he has been lately. Posley was 1-8 in his last game from three, and the Bonnies will have to hit three’s to beat the Hawks.
Keys to victory for St. Bonaventure: Bona may have controlled the last game against the Hawks, but they need to correct some things they did poorly in that contest. First off, DeAndre’ Bembry had a great offensive showing, scoring 27 points including six threes. Stopping Bembry gives the shorthanded Bonnies a strong chance at sweeping the season series. Secondly, SBU was outrebounded 38-30, with four of the five Hawks grabbing five or more boards. Winning the battle on the glass would have made that game a blowout, and it remains important on Saturday. On the flip side, the Bonnies only committed seven turnovers in that Jan. 18 matchup and Joe’s does not force many turnovers. Maybe it’s the perfect game for point guard Iakeem Alston to learn ball control.
Chuckie- DeAndre Bembry may get 50 points in this game, but his supporting cast does not have enough talent to complement him against Bonaventure, with or without Jay Adams. The Bonnies won’t lose four in a row, right? Right? 75-68 Bonnies
Jeff- DeAndre Bembry will continue his dominance in the Atlantic 10 conference and the Bonnies will struggle without Jay Adams. 73-59 Hawks.