(Photo credit: GoBonnies.com)
By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio
If this had been an NBA Jam video game, Marcus Posley would have been on fire for most of the second half.
Posley scored 17 in the second half, including 10 in a two-and-a-half minute stretch, to give himself 35 for the game and help power the St. Bonaventure Bonnies past the Canisius Golden Griffins, 77-73.
The 35-point performance will put Posley down in the 95-year-old rivalry’s lore. While some of the older box scores are not immediately available on the internet, no Bonnie has scored more points against Canisius in at least the last 15 years.
For the 6-foot guard, who was a head-scratching 5-of-26 from the field in the first two games of the season before scoring 26 against Loyola, the Canisius game was a reminder of how near-unstoppable he gets when he’s really feeling it.
It wasn’t just his Posley’s jumper this time around, either; five of his 11 made baskets were layups, and he also made all nine of his free throw attempts. The attacking mentality is becoming more and more a part of his game, and Bona is clearly benefiting from that mindset.
“The game was just coming to us tonight, and lucky me, I had the hot hand,” Posley said. “The guys were feeding me the ball and playing off me, and it’s a good feeling to get shots like that and bounce back from the last couple games. I was actually able to do some things for my teammates tonight.”
Posley’s scoring was a necessity, but his senior leadership was as well. Even with a fragmented Canisius student section due to most students leaving for Thanksgiving break, fans of both teams made the game a high-energy environment, imploring their players to victory. And when fellow senior Dion Wright picked up two fouls in the first four minutes of the game, Posley and junior forward Denzel Gregg found themselves as the only upperclassmen on the court on a very young team.
All three true freshmen played double-digit minutes. Forward Derrick Woods started as usual and played 30 minutes, scoring nine points; his previous highs were 17 minutes and six points. Guard Nelson Kaputo actually played his season-low, but still totaled 13 minutes with three points and three assists. Forward LaDarien Griffin was the most notable of the first-year players, however. Due to the foul trouble, he played 10 minutes, scoring two points and grabbing two boards; he had only played one minute in each of the previous three games.
“With them being on the floor, my main thing was just making sure they got the jitters out and they were being focused, just sticking to the gameplan and what we learned,” Posley said.
“I’m proud of those guys, they came in and contributed a lot.”
Everyone had to contribute, but in the end, most of the burden is on Posley’s shoulders. He understands that, and he was up to the task Tuesday night.
“I’m a senior on the floor,” he said. “The coaches look for me to be a leader out there and they look at me to carry the team.
“I just had to handle my responsibilities.”