Men’s basketball: Bona’s run ends against Saint Joe’s

By Joe Pinter, @JPinter93

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (March 15) — If someone would have told Mark Schmidt back in October that his St. Bonaventure Bonnies would win 18 games and make it to the Atlantic 10 semifinals, he wouldn’t have been sure how to respond.

“I would have looked at them a little bit sideways,” the coach said.

Turns out it wasn’t such a far-fetched thought.

The Bonnies’ unexpected run to the A-10 semifinals came to an abrupt end today as their lack of depth was exposed against a deeper, more rested St. Joe’s team. The Bonnies fell 67-48.

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Men’s basketball: Gathers’ clutch three knocks off Saint Louis

By Joe Pinter, @JPinter93

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (March 14) — St. Bonaventure Bonnies’ fans everywhere knew how this story ended.

Or at least they thought they did.

Saint Louis’ Dwayne Evans’ game-tying three in the face of Youssou Ndoye with 20.9 seconds left gave Bonaventure fans that same punch in their stomachs that is all too familiar to them this season.

But this time, there was more to the game.

On the final possession, Jordan Gathers caught a short pass from Charlon Kloof, and let the ball fly as the clock ticked toward zero.

The rest was a blur. Actually, the whole thing was a blur, Gathers said. He didn’t hear or see anything after the ball left his hands.


Ballgame, Bonaventure. 71-68.

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Men’s basketball: La Salle Preview

By Chuckie Maggio, @ChuckieMaggio

The ninth-seeded St. Bonaventure Bonnies head to Brooklyn, N.Y. to start their Atlantic 10 Tournament campaign on Thursday at noon against the eight-seeded La Salle Explorers at the Barclays Center. The winner of the matchup will face the St. Louis Billikens, the number one seed, on Friday at noon in the quarterfinals. The game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network.

First thing’s first, however: the Bonnies and Explorers will have to play their best just to get to the game against SLU. They’ve been familiar foes this year, facing off twice. Bonaventure ran away with the first game, winning 66-51 in front of a packed and rowdy Reilly Center, while La Salle won the second game in their house in a tight 75-67 game that came down to the final moments.

Now, on a neutral court, these two evenly matched teams will be ready to play what should be one of the best games of the opening round. It will be an intense battle full of emotion, with neither team willing to leave Brooklyn after just one game. Who will pull off the win? Let’s break it down!

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Men’s basketball: VCU Preview

By Chuckie Maggio, @ChuckieMaggio

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies conclude regular season play on Saturday night against the VCU Rams at the Siegel Center. The 16-13 Bonnies will face a tough test against the 23-7 Rams, who have had another stellar season thanks to a havoc-wreaking defense and one of the most brilliant coaches in the game. The game is at 7 and will be broadcast on the SNY Network.

The seeding situation for the Atlantic 10 Tournament is almost official for these two teams. VCU will likely be the two-seed no matter what, as one-seeded Saint Louis holds the tiebreaker between the two teams.

Bonaventure will be the eighth seed and face La Salle on Thursday; that matchup is a lock. Therefore, this game doesn’t have seeding implications, but it’s a great chance for the teams to have a solid showing in their last regular season game before Brooklyn. Let’s break it down:

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Men’s basketball: Free throw shooting continues to improve

By Chuckie Maggio, @ChuckieMaggio

One of the main gripes from St. Bonaventure Bonnies fans this season has been the free throw shooting numbers.

One of the most basic fundamental aspects of the game of basketball has been missing this year from Mark Schmidt’s team. Many people cite the lack of execution from the stripe as one of the main reasons the Bonnies have lost many nail-biters this season.

The gripes are somewhat valid. St. Bonaventure is 148th in the nation in free throws at 70.8 percent. At points this season, they were in the mid-200s at as low as 67 percent. The lowest point was a back-to-back stretch in December.

The Bonnies shot 43 percent from the line against Wake Forest, a game they let go in the second half after holding a halftime lead, then shot 45 percent from the stripe against Niagara, a game they squeaked out thanks to a Charlon Kloof buzzer-beater. After those two games, they got back over 50 percent but continued to struggle to make their freebies.

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Quick Hitters: #Bonnies defeat Duquesne

By Chuckie Maggio, @ChuckieMaggio

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies defeated the Duquesne Dukes by a score of 71-67 at the Reilly Center on Wednesday night. Here are some quick hitters from the game:

Matty Ice- Matthew Wright said on Tuesday that he wanted to be the one who had the ball in his hands with the game on the line. He got his wish on Wednesday, and he made the most of the opportunity with some clutch shots down the stretch. After a quiet first half, he went off after the break, with 16 second-half points.

He continues to be the best free-throw shooter in the Atlantic 10 at 86.7 percent, missing only one of his last 25 attempts from the line. Another very underrated aspect to his game tonight was that he played all 40 minutes, refusing to come out even after another blow to the face in the second half shook him up. If there’s one player who could possibly take over games and put the Bonnies on his back in March, it’s Wright.

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Quick Hitters: #Bonnies upset UMass

By Jeff Fasoldt, @Jeff_Fasoldt

Back-and-forth first half: The Bonnies and the UMass Minutemen could not have looked more even after the first half. The Bonnies led 26-25 in a low-scoring half where both teams shot poorly from the field. The Bonnies shot 21 percent while the Minutemen were slightly above that at 31 percent.

Size Factor: Both teams have great size on their team–this was evident throughout the first-half as rebounding was almost dead even. Bonaventure grabbed 23 boards, while UMass grabbed 22. The second half however was a different story. Bonaventure played hard on the boards to gather a 45-35 rebounding advantage by the end of the game.

Keeping Chaz in Check: Chaz Williams is the Minutemen’s best player. He almost entered the NBA draft last year. Charlon Kloof and Jordan Gathers did a decent job of guarding him and limiting him to 8 points in the first half. Williams finished with 11 points as he played sparingly with 4 fouls while eventually fouling out.

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Behind The Wolfpack: Bonnies Swarm Cleveland State In A Rout


[Demitrius Conger and St. Bonaventure race past Cleveland State in a dominating 87-53 victory – Photo by Daulton Sherwin]


By Ryan Lazo, Co-editor in chief/feature columnist, @RMLazo13

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y.Fresh off of a loss at Arkansas State, St. Bonaventure took to the floor at the Reilly Center to avenge two consecutive losses to Cleveland State and what followed stunned everyone.

The Bonnies (6-3) dominated the game from the opening minute of action and overwhelmed a young, but talented Vikings (6-4) squad without their starting forward for a 87-53 victory.

But even if Anton Grady suited up, nothing would have changed.

Bona lost the opening tip and not much else. After falling behind 1-0 just 38 seconds into the game, Charlon Kloof raced up the court, nailed a 3-pointer and was fouled to complete a four-point play, putting Bona ahead for the rest of the afternoon.

“It gives our guys confidence,” Bonnies’ coach Mark Schmidt said after his team’s biggest victory since last year’s rout of Fordham. “I think they realize and see that if we rebound and defend, we can be pretty good.”

Pretty good might be an understatement. It should be scary good because that’s how this Bona team looked in front of the 3,223 fans in the Reilly Center.

Cleveland State won over 100 games over the past four seasons, but St. Bonaventure’s pressure defense, clean switches and good communication held the Vikings without a field goal for the first 9:10 of the game.

And it was a defense, one that forced 20 turnovers, that fueled an offense that scored 87 points total, a season-high.

“Defense is everything,” Schmidt said after his team scored 26 points off of turnovers. “It’s the catalyst that got us going offensively. I’ve preached it since I’ve been here, you win by playing defense.”

But when you shoot 53.6 percent for the game and have 11 different players crack the score sheet, you are also tough to deal with offensively.

Leading the way for Bona was Demitrius Conger who recorded a double-double with 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting and grabbing 11 rebounds, including five on the offensive glass.

It was not a surprising effort from the co-captain. Conger routinely fills up the stats sheets and does the little things needed to win. His calmness on the court and humbleness off of it belies the talent he possesses.

However, it was Charlon Kloof’s performance that really sank Cleveland State’s hopes from the get-go. Kloof scored Bona’s first seven points of the game and ended with 14 points on 5-for-9 shooting, including 3-for-4 from 3-point range.

The aggressiveness that has been lacking early this season resurfaced, leaving Kloof looking more like the point guard that set a career-high in points with 18 points against Saint Joseph’s during the Atlantic 10 Tournament.

“There was going to be no way of us losing the game by not giving effort,” Kloof said after the game. “We came in the game giving effort, bringing energy. The preparation was really good.”

Perhaps no one brought more energy to the game than Michael Davenport. After struggling through the early slate of the season, not even remotely resembling the player that brought fans to their feet, the senior found the touch.

Missing an entire season surely made Davenport rusty, but he also didn’t have his trademark explosiveness — until now. Soaring high over the rim, the Cincinnati native grabbed an offensive board that led to a Bona bucket.

But he was not done.

Davenport picked off an inbounds pass, threw up the court to Matthew Wright as he drained a buzzer-beating jumper before half. And nothing created more excitement than seeing the senior soar through the air for his trademark dunk.

“Losing the last two games that we played against them, it was kind of like payback,” Davenport said. “That was the theme. Coach Moore preached payback all week and that’s something coach Schmidt elaborated on. We wanted to get that bad taste out of our mouths.”

The bad taste is out of their mouths now and it’s replaced instead with a swagger, especially when in the confines of the Reilly Center. Bona has now won 20 out of their last 22 home games, creating an aura that has been missed.

But they are also confident because of the depth they have. image

Four players scored in double-digits, including a career day for Youssou Ndoye. The sophomore forward recorded 13 points on 3-for-4 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds — both career-highs.

Ndoye routinely changed the Vikings’ shot attempts by just his mere presence and to highlight his impact, he recorded two blocks and picked up three steals.

Even Dion Wright got into the action with a perfect 3-for-3 shooting day for nine points, including a corner three. Cleveland State lost by 34 points even after holding Bona’s leading scorer — Chris Johnson — to just two points on the afternoon.

It was not lost on Vikings’ head coach Gary Waters.

“They got a good team, guys,” Waters said to the media of the Bonnies. “They’re going to compete in the Atlantic 10. They just have to believe in themselves and they will compete.”

Waters is right.

This Bona team is talented enough to compete in the Atlantic 10. Their 34-point victory against CSU will turn heads but to keep that attention, Bona needs to consistently bring their best, something we haven’t seen from the Brown and White.