photo courtesy of Tim Cowie/gobonnies.sbu.edu
By Anthony Goss
ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — After a challenging start to the week, the St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team is back home to wrap up the regular season and prepare for the postseason. However, the position that the Bonnies are currently stands in did not come without adversity.
Though his teammates have urged him to hunt for his shot offensively, Bona junior guard Jalen Adaway has hesitated to take that step in his game. Wednesday night may have given him the push he needed.
“He was hesitant all game. He really struggled,” said Bona head coach Mark Schmidt. “We always talk about dealing with adversity, and he dealt with it.”
Adaway dealt with this adversity by sinking the go-ahead 3-pointer that sealed St. Bonaventure’s (12-3, 10-3 A-10) regular-season sweep of the Davidson Wildcats (11-7, 6-4 A-10) in a 56-53 victory. Adaway finished with 14 points on 6-of-16 shooting from the field, but believed he could perform better.
“Sometimes I can be hesitant,” Adaway said. “I’m looking forward to watching more film today so I can correct those mistakes.”
Overcoming adversity was a key theme for St. Bonaventure on Wednesday night, and Adaway’s heroics were a microcosm of that. After a 9-for-15 start from beyond the arc, the Bonnies went cold. After several long scoring droughts in the final 15 minutes, they saw a 14-point advantage dwindle and the Wildcats found their way back into the game.
“We could have folded…. we missed some shots, we weren’t executing, missed a lot of layups,” SBU head coach Mark Schmidt said. “It didn’t affect our defense and that’s why we won.”
As the final buzzer sounded after the win, the adversity was overcome as jubilant coaches, players and managers dashed to embrace one another on Bob McKillop Court at Belk Arena.
“It was a very good win… it was an up and down game and they came back,” said junior guard Dominick Welch, who secured the game-winning rebound. “We’re all just in an exciting spot right now, we’re all just really happy and motivated.”
The Bonnies head home now, and will look to stay motivated when they conclude their regular season with a pair of home games, the first coming against the George Washington Colonials on Friday.
This is the final scheduled regular-season game for a GW team that is coming off a 63-58 loss to George Mason on Wednesday night.
The Colonials’ 4-10 overall and 3-4 Atlantic 10 record hardly possesses an intimidation factor, but the Colonials have the leading scorer in the A-10 in James Bishop and the fifth leading scorer in Jamison Battle, who average 20.1 and 18.3 points per game, respectively.
After holding preseason all-conference guard Kellan Grady to just two points on 1-of-7 shooting in their last game, the Bonnies will look to carry this defensive momentum into their next matchup.
“Just attention to detail,” Adaway said. “I think it’s the same mentality going into tomorrow’s matchup. I think we are going to be locked in, and just play from start to finish.”
Given the offensive ability of the Colonials, they do, however, pose one of the weaker defenses in the league. They are 10th in the A-10 in defensive field goal percentage and defensive three-point field goal percentage. With the Bonnies’ hot shooting from deep as of late, this could be an area where Schmidt’s team attacks. St. Bonaventure has shot 52.4% from 3-point range in its last two contests.
“It’s really good to see all our shots starting to fall,” Welch said. “We have guys that can really shoot on the team.”
Bona will tip off against the Colonials Friday night at 6 p.m. The game can be seen on ESPN+.
“We used to be the hunter, now we are the hunted,” Welch said. “So we know we are going to get every team’s best shot.”