Bonnies face Tigers in Charleston Classic semifinal

photo courtesy of gobonnies.com

By: Anthony Goss

“People are realizing nationally what the alumni base of Bonaventure is. There’s nothing more passionate, more proud,” St. Bonaventure men’s basketball coach Mark Schmidt said yesterday. 

The passionate fans of the St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team fueled Mark Schmidt’s squad to a tough win Thursday afternoon against Boise State. However, The No. 22 ranked team in the nation has a quick turnaround for their semifinal matchup in the Charleston Classic. 

On Friday afternoon, the Bonnies face the undefeated Clemson Tigers out of the ACC. Just like St. Bonaventure, the Tigers, coached by Brad Brownell, qualified for the NCAA Tournament last March. 

Senior forward Hunter Tyson leads the Tigers in scoring with 14 points per game. Tyson tallied only 10 points yesterday, but made both three point shots he took. 

Besides Tyson, Clemson has noteworthy shooting prowess. The Tigers shoot 48% from beyond the arc, and used their shooting to down Temple yesterday by making 11 of 21 from three. 

On the other hand, St. Bonaventure has struggled mightily from three on offense through three games (21.7%). If the Bonnies cannot make shots on their end, their defense needs to limit the Tigers from deep.

The Tigers also pose depth and versatility. In each of their wins, a different player has led in scoring. Nick Honor led Clemson yesterday with 19 points, making all seven of his shots, four coming behind the three point line. 

In contrast, the experienced Bonnies tout a strong defense ranked 12th in the nation in defensive field goal percentage. The Bonnies showcased their defensive versatility as well in yesterday’s matchup.

After Boise State’s Emmanuel Akot started with 24 points, Schmidt placed senior guard Dominick Welch on the senior Bronco. Akot went scoreless for the final seven minutes. 

With an abundance of scoring options posed by the Tigers, the Bonnies will need a strong defensive showing as they continue to find their groove offensively.

In what could be another grind, the fans at TD Arena could make a difference. Clemson plays in their home state, but the St. Bonaventure supporters had a strong display against Boise State.

St. Bonaventure and Clemson tip off at 2:30 on ESPN2.

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