(Photo Credit: GoBonnies.com)
By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio
St. Bonaventure forward Idris Taqqee is not a stat-sheet stuffer; that much has been known since he got to Olean. The 6-foot-4 sophomore has attempted just under four shots a game this season, averaging four points to go along with four rebounds.
At the surface, Taqqee’s stat line from last night’s 69-64 win over Rhode Island looks rather unmemorable for a starting guard: a three-pointer, a rebound and a block in 25 minutes of play. However, without him, Bona might not remain undefeated in Atlantic 10 play.
After a traditional three-point play from Denzel Gregg put the Bonnies up by three with 15 seconds left in the first half, Rhode Island point guard Jarvis Garrett took the ball up the court, received a good ball screen from teammate Kuran Iverson and drove to the hoop.
Garrett was able to get past Dion Wright, but was met at the basket by Taqqee, who was able to slide over and swat the shot. Taqqee then collected the ball and passed it to Wright, ending the half and keeping the momentum on the side of the brown and white going into the locker room.
SBU’s halftime lead would not last long, however, as the Rams started the second on a 12-4 run in the first three minutes to take a 36-32 lead. Bonaventure hadn’t made a jump shot since the 10:22 mark of the first half, until a nice dribble-drive from Wright drew the defense in and freed Taqqee on the perimeter. Despite attempting just one shot in the game at that point, Taqqee confidently knocked down the triple to stem URI’s momentum and bring the Bonnies back within one.
The Snellville, Ga. native would have to wait until the last minute of play to make his final contribution to the box score, but it may have been the biggest play of the game. Bona held a 67-64 advantage with 24 seconds left on the game clock and three on the shot clock when Marcus Posley hoisted up a jumper from behind the arc.
The attempt missed the mark, but Taqqee crashed the glass as soon as the ball went in the air- and no one boxed him out. Uncovered, he easily pulled down the offensive rebound and dished it to Adams, who was intentionally fouled and would ice the game with two free throws at the other end.
In the postgame press conference, coach Mark Schmidt praised the game’s pivotal play.
“We talk about role players all the time,” Schmidt said. “(Taqqee) gets three points, but he made probably the biggest play of the game with that offensive rebound.”
Taqqee isn’t likely to be in the headline of a game recap this year, but he doesn’t have to be. His performance as a major role player that makes the timely plays to help the team win tough conference games will continue to be crucial if the Bonnies are going to keep contending for the A-10 title.