photo by Erin Lanahan/The Intrepid
ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — After a controversial call by referees, clutch free throws from St. Bonaventure’s Jaren English and Dominic Welch helped the Bonnies seal a win over Richmond on Saturday.
The SBU men’s basketball team team pulled out a narrow victory over the Spiders at the Reilly Center, 75-71.
With 35 seconds left in the game, Bona sophomore Bobby Planutis committed a “flagrant one” foul. This would lead to a free throw made, followed by a clutch 3-pointer by Richmond’s Blake Francis, cutting Bonaventure’s previously sizable lead down to three points.
Richmond would foul to stop the clock, but the Bonnies’ free throw shooting would prove to be the x-factor.
English and Welch were a combined 6-for-6 from the free throw line in the final 25 seconds of the game.
English Finished with 17 points, while Welch put up a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
“During this time of the year, you want to start putting everything together,” Bona forward Osun Osunniyi said. “The way we handled the big shots they hit, hitting our free throws when we had to, was really big.”
Bonaventure started the game on a 14-4 run over the first five minutes, making it seem as if it would be a game in Bonaventure’s hands. However, Richmond continued fight, keeping it within 10 points for much of the game
A big corner three by Dominic Welch would put the Bonnies up by 13 points with nine minutes left in the game, which was Bonaventure’s biggest lead of the night.
Welch attributed his hot shooting tonight to his calm demeanor on the court.
“Just have to play my game and go with the flow,” Welch said. “Just playing with confidence.”
Bona head coach Mark Schmidt spoke briefly on the difficulty playing against a successful in-conference team like Richmond.
“They hit some big shots at the end and they’re a team that you have to pick your poison,” Schmidt said. “They’re hard to defend and they played exceptionally well.”
St. Bonaventure’s next game will be at home this Wednesday against Duquesne, who boasts an 8-6 record in cofference.
All games at this point in the season are important for the Bonnies, as they are third in the A-10 conference at 10-4, and only two games behind Rhode Island for the second spot.