ALBANY, N.Y. – For the first time since January 2020, the St. Bonaventure Bonnies have lost three consecutive games. The Siena Saints hit some big shots down the stretch and made all their free throws to fend off the Bonnies, 76-to-70, thus winning the Brother Ed Coughlin Franciscan Cup.
Here are five takeaways from Monday night’s game:
- Hot Shooting Not Enough: The Bonnies shot 51.9% from the field, made six of their 14 3-point attempts, and yet, still lost by six points. With just under three minutes to play, the Bonnies held a 62-to-61 lead. From that point on, however, Siena, one of the better 3-point shooting teams in the country, drained four of their last five 3-pointers. The hot-shooting Saints went 9-of-18 from beyond the arc for the entire game and made 23-of-26 from the free-throw line. Siena’s Javion McCollum, the Saints’ leading scorer, poured in a game-high 23 points. Bonaventure scored 70 points for the first time since Nov. 30, when they defeated Middle Tennessee 71-to-64, but it obviously was not enough.
- Moses Flowers Flourishes: Although Moses Flowers, the 6-foot-4 guard from Dorchester, Massachusetts, did not get the start, he finished with a team-high 14 points in 28 minutes played. He also led the team in assists with three. Flowers missed the first game of the season against St. Francis (PA) due to a concussion, so Coach Schmidt has slowly worked the former Hartford guard into the rotation since then. He went 5-of-6 from the field, going 2-for-2 from beyond the arc. When Atlantic 10 play rolls around, do not be surprised to see Flowers entrenched into the starting lineup. A backcourt of Kyrell Luc, Daryl Banks III, and Flowers could prove as formidable as time goes on.
- Battled Back After Brutal Start: Kyrell Luc scored the first basket of the game, but then Siena scored ten straight points before the first media timeout. Bona then faced a 16-to-6 deficit with 13:05 left before the half, but the Bonnies then mounted a run of their own over the next seven minutes to knot the game at 22. This trend would continue throughout the entire game. Siena would go on a run, lead by seven or eight points; then Bona would rally. It seemed that Bona, who had the lead late, would somehow hang on, but the Saints had other ideas. Despite the loss, this young team kept their composure, mounted multiple rallies, and had a chance to win it in the end. For a team that returns zero minutes and ranks dead last nationally in minutes continuity, you can’t ask for much more in a challenging road game—especially in a rivalry.
- Yann Farell Finds His Stroke: In the minutes leading up to this game, I posed a question on Twitter. Entering the Franciscan Cup, Farell had scored in double figures in just one of his past five games—that lone game being the loss at Buffalo when he scored 18 points. Farell was due for a big night, and boy, he delivered. In the first half, with just under four minutes to go, Farell scored a quick five points to give St. Bonaventure its first lead of the game, 27-to-26. Later, when the game could have teetered in either direction, Farell drained a huge 3-pointer from the right wing to give the Bonnies a 62-to-61 lead with 2:49 to go. He did not stop there. With 21 seconds left, with the game on life support for St. Bonaventure, Farell drained his third 3-pointer of the game to cut the Siena lead to 72-to-68, thus giving Bona one final breath of life. He finished with 13 points, three rebounds, and one block as he played 25 minutes.
- Next Up: The St. Bonaventure Bonnies will wrap up their non-conference schedule with a trip to Northern Iowa Thursday. Bona has played at Northern Iowa once before, when SBU defeated the Panthers 74-to-70 on Jan. 11, 1994. This year’s Northern Iowa squad has a 4-7 record but most recently defeated Towson on Dec. 17. Thankfully for Bonnies fans, AJ Green no longer plays for the Panthers, so the reigning Larry Bird Missouri Valley Player of the Year cannot drop 35 points on the Bonnies again, which is what he did last year when the Associated Press had the Bonnies ranked #16. Thursday’s game tips off at 8 p.m. EST / 7 p.m. CST and will again air on ESPN+.
Jack Milko is a current graduate student at St. Bonaventure University. He will graduate with an M.A. in Sports Journalism in May 2023. He also covers the Bonnies for @A10Talk. Follow him on Twitter @Jack_Milko.
Featured image courtesy of Scott Eddy, Assistant Athletic Director of Strategic Communications at St. Bonaventure University.