As esteemed A10 Talk colleague Jack Milko wrote in his preview “something has to give in the Windy City.” It did. And it wasn’t favorable for the Bonnies. St. Bonaventure remained winless on the road while host Loyola won their first A10 game in their initial year of conference membership. The Ramblers defeated Bona Saturday at Gentile Arena 67-55. Bona is now 10-10 (4-3) while Loyola snapped a seven game slide and is now 7-12 (1-6). Numbers and notes…
Possessions: 62. A grind it out half court tempo.
Offensive efficiency: Loyola 108, St. Bona 89. The efficiency tells a great deal about this game. The question was posed. How much better is Mark Schmidt’s group within the friendly confines of the Reilly Center as opposed to the road ? A game by game A10 efficiency breakdown gave the following results.
Games at the RC: Bona efficiency average 109.
Road games: Bona efficiency average 91.
Bona eclipsed 100 efficiency three of the four games at home. Their lowest total being the 97 in the recent win over Duquesne. On the road they have yet to hit the century mark. Their best showing was a 99 offensive efficiency in the last second heartbreaker at Rhode Island.
Hard to pinpoint the reason or reasons for the continuous struggles away from home. Could be a young team still developing and trying to find their comfort zone away from home. A possibility could be the travel which could be a factor. Susceptibility to longer scoring droughts away from home is a consideration. Could also be this new group visiting these venues for the first time. There are a number of things to consider but the fact remains, Bonnies are more comfortable at home than on the road. Once they get that elusive first road win things could change.
eFG pct: Loyola 57, St. Bona 34
FT Rate: Loyola 49, St. Bona 30
OREB Pct: St. Bona 39, Loyola 19
TO Rate: St. Bona 16, Loyola 19
Bona won the offensive rebounding battle by a 17-5 count. They had a 13-3 edge in second chance points. Loyola’s shooting included 18 of 26 inside the arc accounting for a Rambler margin of 32-20 in points in the paint. The ability to get inside of the Bona defense led to the free throw rate differential.
Bona struggled from the field shooting 31% overall and 4 of 22 (18%) from long distance.
Bona came out ahead in the turnover rate but those turnovers proved expensive as Loyola had a 13-8 advantage in points off turnovers.
Kenpom.com MVP: Tom Welch, Loyola. The 6’8” senior came off the bench to pace the Ramblers with 16 points. Loyola placed four in double digits. Ben Schwieger scored eight for Drew Valentine’s club. Schwieger though, canned two crucial shots beyond the arc late to keep the Bonnies at bay.
Chad Venning led Bona with 16 points. Venning was Bona’s lone double figure scorer. Barry Evans led Bona with a game high 9 rebounds, three on the offensive end.
Foul trouble again reared its ugly head for the Bonnies. Moses Flowers (6 points) fouled out. Daryl Banks III (7 points) and Venning were both in foul trouble as well.
Loyola AD Steve Watson held the same position at Bona before heading to Chicago. Watson hired both coaches in yesterday’s game- Bona’s Mark Schmidt and Drew Valentine of Loyola.
Next up for the Bonnies is a home date with Fordham on Wednesday. The Rams defeated Duquesne in Pittsburgh on Saturday. It was the first time since 2007 the Rams won consecutive road games. Fordham is 3-3 and again, it’s the first time since that same 2007 they are .500 or better after six games.