By Sean Lynch
A grind would be an understatement to describe the St. Bonaventure Bonnies (3-1) 63-61 win against the Maryland Terrapins last night.
However, the Bonnies will need to push through the fatigue, as they find themselves playing in the championship game of the Emerald Coast Classic versus the TCU Horned Frogs (5-0).
After being limited in practice all week, Courtney Stockard came up huge in his first game back from a groin injury with 14 points, 5 rebounds and a clutch layup to close out the win for the Bonnies with 3.4 seconds left in the game.
Nowhere to be found in the starting lineup, Matt Mobley sat on the bench for the start of the game for showing up late to a team meeting. Double teamed by the Terrapins, Mobley’s game slowed down, limiting him to 16 points. Most of Mobley’s points came from free throws as he shot 10-10 from the charity stripe.
The Horned Frogs come into the championship game red hot, riding in on a 10-game winning streak stemming from their first ever tournament title in the NIT last year. Jamie Dixon’s squad is coming off a 69-67 win against the New Mexico Lobos on the other side of the tournament bracket.
Kenrich Williams came up big, posting a double-double off 23 points and 17 rebounds, Williams, is averaging 11.8 points per game and 9.8 rebounds per game.
The Horned Frogs have three other players in double-digits. Forward Vladimir Brodziansky is leading the team in points, averaging 15.4 points per game with 2.2 blocks. Guard Desmond Bane and Forward JD Miller are averaging 14.2 and 10.4 points per game respectively.
One aspect the Bonnies need to improve upon is their long-range shooting. Bonaventure was 0-7 from three-point range as Maryland was successful in completely neutralizing one of the Bonnies’ biggest strengths.
What the Bonnies lacked in three-point shooting, they made up for in free throws, shooting 21-25 for 84% from the foul line.
An important part of Bonaventure’s defense came through turnovers. The Bonnies forced 20 turnovers and scored 20 points off those turnovers from a team that is averaging 15.6 turnovers per game.
Bonaventure may not want to play the same hard-nosed brand of basketball that they played last night, but they need to bring the same intensity to a formidable opponent in the Horned Frogs. The game will start at 7 p.m. EST on the CBS Sports Network.