One down: Bonnies roll over UMass to set Friday date with Rhody

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

PITTSBURGH — There was reason for concern after the St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team’s performance last Saturday against UMass. After all, the Minutemen had a chance to ruin Bona’s Senior Day and send the game into overtime at the buzzer.

The Bonnies eased any anxiety early on Thursday afternoon, defeating the Minutemen 73-60 at PPG Paints Arena to advance to Friday’s quarterfinals, where they will face Rhode Island.

Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt has often remarked about the team’s need for complimentary players to score, outside of his “Big Three” of Jaylen Adams, Matt Mobley and Denzel Gregg. The brown and white delivered with four players in double figures- Mobley with 19, Adams with 17, David Andoh with 12 and Josh Ayeni with 10.

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Men’s basketball: See you soon? Bonnies prevail over UMass, clinch five seed for A-10s

(Photo Credit: St. Bonaventure Athletics)

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

The St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team struggled to score on Saturday afternoon and even found itself down to UMass for over nine minutes. The Bonnies won anyway on Senior Day, 60-56, and clinched the fifth seed in next week’s Atlantic 10 Tournament.

SBU (19-11, 11-7 in the A-10) made just 19 of its 55 shot attempts from the field, including an unusually low six combined baskets from Jaylen Adams, Denzel Gregg and Matt Mobley. Adams made the team’s lone three-pointer in 11 tries. SBU’s 60 points were its second-lowest output of the year, a mark only higher than the 59 it put up against Rhode Island.

UMass coach Derek Kellogg’s gameplan was to mix up his defensive schemes, showing Adams and Mobley many different looks. At times, he had a defender faceguard Adams the entire way up the court. When either of the Bona backcourt mates touched the ball, more often than not UMass (14-17, 4-14) sent in a double-team.

The Minutemen’s defensive pressure and effectiveness was an important takeaway from the game because these teams could meet up in Pittsburgh in less than a week. Since Bona received a single-bye in the tournament, it faces the winner of Wednesday’s UMass-St. Joseph’s opening round game on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. at PPG Paints Arena.

St. Joe’s also gave the Bonnies a run for their money in two matchups this year. The Hawks didn’t, however, hold Bonaventure under 35 percent from the field or limit Adams to 2-of-11 shooting from the field.

Continue reading “Men’s basketball: See you soon? Bonnies prevail over UMass, clinch five seed for A-10s”

Men’s basketball: Plenty for Bonnies to play for on final day of regular season

(Photo Credit: GoBonnies.com)

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

St. Bonaventure men’s basketball coach Mark Schmidt acknowledged that there was no difference between the fifth and sixth seeds in the Atlantic 10 Tournament, one of which his team will have by tonight.

“There’s none,” he said. “You want to finish as high as you can, that’s the biggest thing. Win or lose we’re tied for fifth… but you only play so many games, you want to try to win as many games as you can. This is the last game of the year, and we wanna win.”

A Bonnies win over UMass this afternoon would clinch the fifth seed and a 2:30 p.m. Thursday start to tournament play in Pittsburgh. If the Bonnies (18-11, 10-7) lose to the Minutemen (14-16, 4-13) and George Washington beats Dayton in D.C., SBU would be the sixth seed and would play at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday.

In addition to winning as many games as possible, Saturday is Senior Day. Denzel Gregg, David Andoh and walk-on Caleb McGuire will be honored in the traditional pregame ceremony before their final regular season game in the Reilly Center.

Bona has won three of its last five Senior Day games, including last year’s 85-83 win over UMass. In that game, the Minutemen made a three-pointer a split-second too late at the buzzer and Bona’s comeback from as many as 18 points was complete.

“You always wanna go out on a win when they’re seniors because as a senior, if you ever play at this level, you remember your last game, be it a positive or a negative,” Schmidt remarked. “When you look back at it, you want it to be a positive experience.”

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Men’s basketball: Bonnies gear up for round two with UMass

(Photo Credit: Charles Fox- The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

After St. Bonaventure’s victory over Duquesne and VCU’s loss to George Mason on Wednesday night, Bonnies fans came to an exciting realization.

Their team, picked to finish eighth in the Atlantic 10 at the beginning of the year, still has a chance at the league’s regular season title. The last time they achieved a share of that title was 1983.

“Yeah, that’s one of our goals every year: to win the Atlantic 10,” said Bonnies coach Mark Schmidt. “So from day one that’s what we practiced for, to try to win the league.

“You shoot for as high as you can go, and winning the league is what it’s all about; that’s what we try to do.”

To get that one-seed in the A-10 Tournament, the next goal will be to defeat UMass on Saturday at 4. It’s Senior Day for Marcus Posley and Dion Wright, who are hoping for their 20th win of the season.

The last meeting time Bonaventure and UMass (12-15, 5-10 in A-10) met was Jan. 9, an 88-77 SBU win. The Bonnies shot 59.6 percent from the field in that contest, with a 10-of-18 mark from three.

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Women’s basketball: Bonnies look to stay perfect in A-10 against UMass

(Mariah Ruff Photo Credit: GoBonnies.com)

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies women’s basketball team, which has won 12 straight games, hopes to improve to 3-0 in Atlantic 10 play at 5 p.m. on Sunday, when the UMass Minutewomen enter the Reilly Center.

The Minutewomen are looking for their first conference win. They lost their first two A-10 contests to VCU and St. Joseph’s, both at home, and come in at 6-8 overall. Their program vastly improved last season, recording a 12-18 record, eight more wins than a 4-27 2013-14 season.

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Men’s basketball: Atlantic 10 Week in Review- 12/14-12/20

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

The Atlantic 10’s men’s basketball week started and ended with a thud, but the league was still 11-5 overall. Here are the best and worst performances of the past seven days:

Team records this week: Duquesne 2-0, Dayton 1-0, Fordham 1-0, George Mason 1-0, George Washington 1-0, Rhode Island 1-0, Richmond 1-0, St. Bonaventure 1-0, St. Joe’s 1-0, UMass 1-0, Davidson 0-1, Saint Louis 0-2, VCU 0-2

Three stars of the week:

Derrick Colter, Duquesne. The Dukes had another 2-0 week to extend their win streak to four, and Colter was their top player this time around. The 5-foot-11 senior guard averaged 18.5 points, five assists and 4.5 rebounds while playing 73 of the 80 possible minutes against South Carolina State and Robert Morris. Those scoring numbers included six threes and a perfect 13-of-13 mark from the free throw line. Considering Colter battled cancer a year ago, he and his teammates have to be overjoyed that he’s leading a 10-2 Dukes team in scoring.

Trey Davis, UMass. Davis dropped 40 against New Orleans on Wednesday and made headlines in the postgame interviews as well. When asked how he got out a major slump in which he shot 15-of-57 from the field in the team’s three previous losses, Davis told MassLive.com, “Man, my mom turned my phone off after the game we just lost. She was mad. Talking about my free throws and all this other stuff.

“She said ‘Why are you missing free throws and all these jump shots?’ So she just turned my phone off and she told me ‘Get it together.'”

Needless to say, Davis figured it out, going 10-of-18 from the floor and 18-of-20 from the line to lead the Minutemen to victory. Coach Derek Kellogg may consider asking Davis’s mom to shut off her son’s phone before every game.

T.J. Cline, Richmond. Cline hit a career-high five three-pointers and made six other field goals to give him a team-leading 27 points in the Spiders’ 77-61 victory over Old Dominion. The fact that this performance came against an ODU team that entered the matchup allowing just 57.8 points a contest made it easy to put Cline on this list. It was his second 27-point game of the season, and he’s getting hot at the right time; like many A-10 teams, the Spiders have two more non-conference games before the conference tests begin.

Best win: Rhode Island over Iona. The Rams held an Iona team that came into the game averaging 84 points a game to 74 on Saturday. The Gaels staged a furious comeback from a 12-point deficit to send it to overtime, but Hassan Martin had six points, two boards and a block in the extra session to help Rhody survive and improve to 7-4.

Worst loss: Davidson gets blown out by Pitt, 94-69. This wasn’t a bad loss in terms of competition- the Panthers came in at 8-1 and received votes for the AP Poll and Coaches Poll last week. Still, it was peculiar to see a Davidson team lose by 25 in a game they had a decent chance at winning (Vegas had them as 5.5-point underdogs). The Wildcats were outrebounded 52-31, allowed four Pitt players to score in double figures and, most importantly, shot an anemic 20 percent (6-of-30) from three-point range. Coach Bob McKillop’s team lives and dies by the three, attempting the third-most triples per game in the country. On Sunday, the longball just wasn’t going in, and it cost them at Madison Square Garden.

Best games in the week ahead: UMass-Providence on Monday at 7 on ESPNU and La Salle-Miami (FL) on Tuesday at 5 on CBS Sports Network are the most intriguing matchups. St. Bonaventure-Siena and VCU-Buffalo, both on Tuesday night at 7, are underrated games you should take a look at as well.

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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Men’s basketball: #Bonnies vs. #UMass preview

By Jeff Fasoldt, @Jeff_Fasoldt

Tonight, the St. Bonaventure Bonnies will look to rebound after a tough last second buzzer-beater loss at Duquesne last Saturday. The Bonnies will take on the University of Massachusetts Minutemen for what promises to be the second tough battle against their conference foe this year.

The first battle took place at the William D. Mullins Center in Massachusetts.  The Bonnies, who were up more than 10 points during parts of that game, ended up falling just short, and the Minutemen hit a few key shots near the end to clinch the victory.

Some key contributors for the Bonnies in their first match against UMass: G Charlon Kloof who had 15 points, C Youssou Ndoye who had 11 points, and G Jordan Gathers who added 11 points off the bench. As a team the Bonnies shot very well from the field—over 50 percent.

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