Bona women unable to complete comeback vs Richmond

photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu

By Dustyn Green

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — Despite 18 points from Asianae Johnson and a game-high 11 rebounds from Tori Harris, the St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team fell to Richmond, 59-58, at the Reilly Center on Friday. 

The Bonnies trailed by four points at the halftime and needed a momentum swing. Instead, they found themselves facing a ten-point deficit entering the fourth quarter.  

Sophomore Olivia Brown took things into her own hands to get SBU back into the game, however, and hit back-to-back three pointers before Johnson made a free throw to tie the game at 54. Ultimately, Richmond freshman Grace Townsend scored the game-winning basket and sunk a clutch free throw afterward to put the Spiders ahead for good.

“I just give (Brown) a ton of credit for fighting back in the fourth quarter,” Bona head coach Jesse Fleming said. “She made a couple shots but, she rebounded and she got on the help side and she was there.” 

With seven seconds showing on the clock, Richmond’s Kate Klimkiewicz missed two big attempts from the free throw line. Deja Francis took the ball down the court after the second miss and tried to find an open Brown on the wing, but the Bonnies couldn’t get a shot off before the game clock expired.

“I didn’t want to call a timeout, we had two ball handlers on the floor,” Fleming said. I thought it was a layup, it was a slot drive we practice every day.” 

Fleming said he explained the expectations to his team in a timeout before the free throws. 

“I thought we won the game; I thought (Francis) was going up with the layup. We just have to learn from it,” Fleming said. 

One of the biggest challenges for Fleming and his staff going forward is finding what the best player rotation is going to be down the stretch. 

“Right now, (the team is) still trying to figure out the lineups and who is going to be there and who is going to be consistent for us,” Fleming said. “We can be dangerous if we can get nine or 10 people playing their role.” 

I’yanna Lops was able to chip in 11 points on 5-for-8 shooting and one freebie from the charity stripe to tie her career high. 

“We think she has a really high ceiling,” Fleming said of Lops. “I think we are just scratching the surface with her.” 

Klimkiewicz finished tied with Johnson for a game-high 18 points, and pulled down nine rebounds. Claire Holt and Addie Budnik each scored 12 points for the Spiders, while Harris had 12 points for SBU.

The Bonnies will return to the RC on Sunday to meet VCU at noon on ESPN+. 

Atlantic 10 men’s basketball preview, part two

photo: G. Fiume/Getty Images

By Anthony Goss, Ryan Surmay and Peter Byrne

The 2020-21 college basketball season began on Wednesday, and several Atlantic 10 teams are scheduled to begin play over the holiday weekend.

This article is the second of a two-part series highlighting each A-10 team other than St. Bonaventure, which was previewed several weeks ago. After each team completes its respective non-conference schedule, A-10 play is scheduled to begin in late December.

Massachussetts Minutemen
2019-20 Record: 14-17 
Best Player: Tre Mitchell 

Last season, the Minutemen finished in the middle of the pack in the A-10 despite a losing record overall. While their record was not good, they showed massive improvements throughout the season, led by freshman center Tre Mitchell, who put up just under 18 points and eight rebounds per game.

The team had a strong supporting cast surrounding Mitchell, as well, as TJ Weeks Jr. and now-senior Carl Pierre also put up double digit points. While the Minutemen lost six players between graduation and the transfer portal, the trio of Mitchell, Pierre and Weeks can make some noise in the A-10 if all stay healthy. 

Richmond Spiders
2019-20 Record: 24-7 
Best Player: Jacob Gilyard 

Dayton’s undefeated A-10 campaign last season left many other storylines in the league unnoticed. One of these was the impressive season put together by Chris Mooney’s Richmond Spiders, who went 24-7 and 14-4 in conference play to put themselves in contention for an NCAA Tournament bid.

This season, Richmond will run it back with the same squad except for the loss of Nick Sherod, who suffered a season-ending ACL injury in October. Sherod’s injury aside, this is a talented team picked by many to win the A-10. Jacob Gilyard, a gifted passer who has excellent vision and sets his teammates up well, runs the show for the Spiders. Gilyard can also score the ball, but most of the scoring duties go to his partner in the backcourt, Blake Francis, a crafty lefty who led the Spiders in scoring last season.

Center Grant Golden is a versatile big who fits perfectly in the Richmond offensive system, which the Spiders rarely deviate from despite the abundance of scoring talent they have. Richmond’s senior-laden squad should win a lot of games this season and contend for an A-10 title, as well as an NCAA Tournament bid.  

Rhode Island Rams 
2019-20 Record: 21-9 
Best Players:Fatts Russell 

The Rams may have had the craziest offseason in the A-10 going into this season, due to players entering the transfer portal and graduating.

The biggest pieces to leave were Cyril Langevine and Jeff Dowtin. The two of them alone combined for roughly 25 points and 15 rebounds per night. While half of URI’s offense and rebounding left, Fatts Russell is staying for his senior year and will be the catalyst for them, averaging 18.8 points and 4.6 assist last season.

David Cox is going to have his hands full with having to essentially rebuild his entire team after a third-place finish in the prior season. For most teams, this task would be too daunting, but they were able to land twins  Mehki and Makhel Mitchell, who both were four star prospects. The Mitchells spent their freshman seasons playing at Maryland. Additionally, wings Malik Martin and Jalen Carey are expected to play significant minutes.

Saint Louis Bilikens 
2019-20 Record: 23-8 
Best Player: Jordan Goodwin 

With a top-four finish in the conference last season and almost all of the roster returning, Saint Louis fans have a lot to look forward to in the 2020-21 season. The Bilikens return their top two players in Jordan Goodwin and Hassan French, who both averaged a double-double this past season.

Goodwin was voted as a preseason first team all-Atlantic 10 selection, and French was voted on to the second team. The Bilikens will also have senior Javonte Perkins returning. The 6-6 wing averaged 15 points per game off of the bench last season, which makes him one of the conference’s best sixth men. 

As a whole, expect Saint Louis to play a similar style to last season. The Bilikens were one of the conference’s worst three-point shooting teams at 34%, so expect guards in Yuri Collins and Jordan Goodwin to attack the paint consistently. The Bilikens will also look to give paint touches to Hassan French on a consistent basis.

As a team that always plays hard and plays tremendous defense, the Billikens are more than capable of competing for an A-10 championship. If they click offensively and play well on the defensive end, this team could make some noise come March. 

St. Joseph’s Hawks
2019-20 Record: 6-26 
Best Player: Ryan Daly 

In Billy Lange’s first season as head coach, he was stuck with the task of taking over for longtime coach Phill Martelli, who led the team to seven NCAA Tournaments and six NITs during his 24-year tenure. However, it did not go according to plan after only winning a total of six games.

Ryan Daly has been a bright spot for the team, averaging 20.5 points, 6.9 rebound and 4.3 assists per game last year. His partner in the backcourt, sophomore Cameron Brown, will also be returning in hopes of building upon last season. The Hawks have two transfers in Greg Foster from Gonzaga and Dhamir Bishop from Xavier coming in, which will help provide some depth: an issue last season.

Fans can be hopeful that Billy Lange’s time on the Philadelphia 76ers can help rebuild their culture since, as the Hawks haven’t had a winning season since the 2015-2016 season. But, for now, there is much more work that needs to be done to get back to that point. 

VCU Rams 
2019-20 Record: 18-13 
Best Player: Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland 

VCU collapsed down the stretch last season, going 1-7 in its final eight games. This offseason, the Rams lost most of their scoring and production from a year ago. This will be one of the younger teams in the conference, but has plenty of potential, led by sophomore guard Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland. Primarily a scorer off the bench, a plethora of injuries led head coach Mike Rhoades to insert Hyland into the starting lineup as a freshman, and he handled his new role well.

Despite Hyland’s skillset offensively, scoring may come at a premium, as no returning scorer other than Hyland averaged more than five points per game. Rhoades’ defensive scheme extends out to disrupt the offensive flow of opposing teams, while preventing easy shots off of cuts or open attempts from three. With guys like Vince Williams and Corey Douglass leading the charge, VCU should remain one of the better defensive teams in the conference. This may not be a year in which the Rams contend for the conference title, but they will be competitive in the top tier of the A-10.  

Bonnies survive Richmond comeback, beat the Spiders for share of third place

photo by Erin Lanahan/The Intrepid

By Hayden Robinson

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. 

Marra lifts Bona women over Richmond in OT

photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu

By Hayden Robinson

The St. Bonaventure women’s soccer team won 2-1 in an overtime thriller against the Richmond Spiders on Sunday.

This puts the Bonnies at 5-8-1 on the season and also gives them their first conference win. 

The first score of the game came from Richmond’s Alyssa Walker in the 30th minute. 

The Bonnies would not capitalize on any scoring opportunities presented to them in the first half, leaving them trailing 1-0 at halftime.

While scoring was a problem for St. Bonaventure in the first half, the rest of the game would yield a different story. 

The second half is where the Bonnies would find the goal they needed.

Junior forward Isabelle LaBarbera put on a show for this goal with just over ten minutes left to play in the game. 

LaBarbera made a great dribble move past a defender and sent the shot. The ball bounced off of the crossbar and fall in the goal, tying the game 1-1. 

Both teams would push to find the back of the net in the final minutes, but at the end of regulation, the scoreboard still read 1-1. 

In overtime, it wouldn’t take long for the Bonnies to score. Senior midfielder Bella Marra beat the goalkeeper 29 seconds into the overtime period to end the game. 

“We had a really good week of practice,” SBU coach Steve Brdarski said. “We had good energy, and players were out there trying to do the things that we were asking of them. I think it’s super important for our group to train the way that we want to play.

“This is our first conference win, so that makes it extra special. Richmond is a real good team. Obviously, when you get into overtime, it’s a brutal way to lose a game but it’s an amazing way to win a game.” 

The Bonnies will look to keep their winning streak alive Thursday night when they play Rhode Island at home at 7 p.m. 

Bonnies survive scare against Spiders

By Josh Svetz and Sean Lynch

The Bonnies entered the Capital One Arena with the weight of the world on their shoulders.

They’ve been here before. Two years ago, Bona’s was a contender for an at-large bid when they entered the A-10 Tournament as the 1-seed vs. Davidson. That game ended in an overtime heartbreak.

This time, Bona’s delivered.

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies extended their win streak to 13 with a 83-77 nail biter over the Richmond Spiders in the Quarterfinals of the Atlantic-10 Conference Tournament.

The first half started off slow for the Bonnies and the Spiders. Both teams did not score until the 16:40 mark off a Courtney Stockard bucket.

Bonnies head coach Mark Schmidt emphasized the struggles that they faced offensively in the first five minutes of the game.

“I always tell our guys the first five minutes of the game and the first 10 possessions of the second half are critical,” Schmidt said. “And I thought Matt (Mobley) did a heck of a job to get us going.”

Jaylen Adams started the game off cold. Adams had 0 points in the first half of the game and finished with only five points.

Richmond’s Jacob Gilyard and Khwan Fore proved to be a problem for the Bonnies in the first half. Fore shot 5-6 for 11 points and two rebounds. Gilyard dropped nine points, shooting 3-4 from long range.

The Bonnies went to the locker room tied at 32 a piece.

After a contentious 1st half, Matt Mobley gave the Bonnies the best start possible.

With Adams struggling, someone had to step up. His back court mate Matt Mobley fit the mold. Mobley finished with 29 points, shooting 10-14 from the field and 9-13 from long range.

Mobley talked about his performance from long range and picking his teammate Adams up.

“We told each other last year that no matter what both of us can’t have an off game at the same time, so he was struggling a little bit and wasn’t getting any open looks,” Mobley said. “I had a lot of open looks. My teammates did a great job of finding me and I was knocking down the shots. I just wanted to give us a little bit of confidence.”

Schmidt also placed emphasis on multiple players stepping up for the Bonnies when a teammate has an “off-game.”

“This is not the first time that Jay didn’t play well or Matt didn’t play well,” Schmidt said. “Even in this 13 game winning streak, those guys haven’t played their A-game every game and we’ve had other guys step up and that’s what a team does.”

At one point in the 2nd half Mobley, along with Stockard outscored the whole Richmond team. The Bonnies opened the half on a 21-3 run and kept the pressure up, taking a 53-37 lead. Mobley came back and electrified the crowd again hitting two more threes.

He didn’t miss in the second half until the 10-minute mark. But even with the deficit, the Spiders wouldn’t go away. With nine minutes to go the Spiders knocked down three- straight three pointers and cut the Bonnies lead to single digits. But the Bonnies handled it. And then, Stockard went down. He didn’t return to the game, leaving a big hole on both sides of the ball.

An 11-0 run by the Spiders brought the score to 74-68 with four minutes to play. The Richmond fans took back the Arena from the Bona faithful, out doing the decibel level with their cheers. But as the game went down to the wire; the wolf pack got rowdy.   

“We knew our friends were going to come out and support,” Mobley said. “We have the best fans in the country and they’re going to be everywhere. It definitely felt like a home game, but we’ll need them all back tomorrow.”

The momentum had officially shifted. But the Bonnies held tough, even though the Spiders were down just 2 points with 1:30 to go. However, a familiar face sealed it. Adams knocked down three free throws in the final minute and the Bonnies held on, 83-77.

The Bonnies will play the winner of Davidson vs. St. Louis at 3:30 P.M. tomorrow.

Mobley brought up that there is still work to be done for the Bonnies if they want to be in the NCAA Tournament.

“The only way we can secure our spot is winning [this] whole thing, honestly,” Mobley said. “The snub In 2016, everybody remembers that and we don’t want to go through that again. The only way to avoid that is win [this] whole thing.”

Women’s basketball: Bonnies overcome Drummond’s absence, win second straight

(Photo Credit: GoBonnies.com)

By Katie Faulkner @kfaulkner20

The St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team continued its winning streak with a 66-43 win over Richmond on Sunday afternoon in the Reilly Center. The Bonnies improved to 19-3 overall and 8-1 in Atlantic 10 play. Richmond dropped to 9-12 on the season.

Sophomore Miranda Drummond did not suit up for the game due to an injury. Redshirt junior Gabby Richmond earned the start and was one rebound shy of a double-double, with 10 points and nine rebounds. She was a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line.

Continue reading “Women’s basketball: Bonnies overcome Drummond’s absence, win second straight”

Men’s basketball: Bonnies get physical, shut down Spiders in 84-68 win

(#12 Denzel Gregg and #21 Dion Wright Photo Credit: GoBonnies.com)

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

Sunday afternoon’s contest between St. Bonaventure and Richmond featured two of the most offensively competent teams in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Therefore, many of the 5,263 observers in attendance at the Reilly Center would have anticipated a free-flowing, high-scoring shootout.

The Bonnies had a potent offensive display in the second half, but the matchup senior guard Marcus Posley previously called a “must-win” was won on the defensive end. Bona held the league’s second-best offense to a meager 29 second half points in an 84-68 victory.

The Spiders looked comfortable offensively in the first 20 minutes, shooting 50 percent from the field and receiving a valuable boost from freshman point guard Khwan Fore. The Huntsville, Al. native scored 13 first-half points on 5-of-6 shooting, including two threes, along with grabbing four boards. Junior forward T.J. Cline added nine points on 4-of-8 shooting, while three players (Terry Allen, Deion Taylor and Marshall Wood) chipped in five points each.

Continue reading “Men’s basketball: Bonnies get physical, shut down Spiders in 84-68 win”

Men’s basketball: Bonnies in “must-win” zone against Richmond

(Marcus Posley Photo Credit: GoBonnies.com)

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

The St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team has had a full week to diagnose what went wrong in its three-game losing streak. The Bonnies hope to get back on track on Sunday, when they host the Richmond Spiders at 3 p.m. in the second game of a doubleheader with the women’s team at the Reilly Center.

“It’s really big; it’s a must-win for us,” said senior guard Marcus Posley.

Richmond enters Olean just one game behind Bona in the Atlantic 10 standings. The Spiders lost their first two league games to St. Joe’s and Rhode Island before defeating Fordham and La Salle. They then lost two straight to VCU and Davidson before prevailing in double overtime at George Washington on Thursday night.

Continue reading “Men’s basketball: Bonnies in “must-win” zone against Richmond”