In Saturday’s doubleheader at the Reilly Center the results saw the Bonnies earning a split. The women defeated Robert Morris 70-52. The men then dropped a 70-67 decision to Little Three rival Canisius. Ladies first with the numbers….
Offensive Efficiency: St. Bona 95, Robert Morris 68
eFG Pct: Robert Morris 42, St. Bona 41
FT Rate: St. Bona 47, Robert Morris 32
OREB Pct: St. Bona 29, Robert Morris 13
TO Rate: St. Bona 17, Robert Morris 29
Scoring Leaders: Dani Haskell, St. Bona, 23 points, Simone Morris, Robert Morris, 17 points.
Bona earned their first victory of the season following a slow start that saw Robert Morris jump out to an 8-1 lead. Jim Crowley’s group used a 7-1 second period run to gain a lead they would not relinquish. An 11-0 third period burst gave the now 1-1 Bonnies a double digit lead and separation.
Defense was the key as evident by the Bonnies limiting the Colonials to a 68 offensive efficiency. Bonnies won the battle of the boards 38-29 while forcing 23 turnovers, the most since they forced 21 in a win over Rhode Island in February of 2019.
Dani Haskell, who missed the game at Niagara, came up big for Bona. Haskell set the scoring pace with a game-high 23 points. The 5’6” senior guard logged 38 minutes and was 10 of 11 from the line. Haskell, from nearby Franklinville (N Y) transferred from Canisius and was two-time third team All-MAAC selection as well as a two-time MAAC-All-Academic honoree.
The 1-1 Bona women host Albany at the Reilly Center on Thursday.
Bonaventure men came up short in the nightcap. The numbers…
Offensive Efficiency: Canisius 101, St. Bona 97
eFG Pct: Canisius 61, St. Bona 40
FT Rate: St. Bona 46, Canisius 13
OREB PCT: 35 , Canisius 19
TO Rate: St. Bona 16, Canisius 28
Scoring leaders: Charles Pride, St. Bona 16 points, Tre Dinkins, Canisius, 16 points.
Frank Mitchell of Canisius, a 6’8” junior, was Kenpom.com MVP. Mitchell scored 11 points, pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds and handed out four assists.
Points of Emphasis:
Marathon not a sprint. The loss to Canisius hurt. The half full group will point out this was one game with many opportunities down the road. The half empty brigade, with a number expressing concern on Twitter, feels this was a devastating loss. The proverbial sky is not falling. There are upcoming opportunities, though certain things need to be addressed, with a big challenge coming in a few days at the Legends Classic at the Barclays Center.
Killer instinct. Bonnies led by seven at intermission and nine early in the final stanza. Canisius then held the Bonnies scores for about four minutes. Reggie Witherspoon’s club went on a 17-0 run that stretched to a 25-2 and put the Griffs up 14 with just under 13 minutes remaining. At home, up seven in front of a raucous crowd, in a rivalry matchup, Bonnies had to put the foot on the accelerator coming out of the break. They didn’t and paid dearly.
“I thought the game was lost the beginning of the second half,” Bona coach Mark Schmidt told gobonnies.com. “I always to try to stress to the team the importance of the first five minutes of the second half.”
Charity stripe. Legendary coach Pete Carill always said the foul line was the only place a player should be selfish. Bonnies got to the line but connected on only 17 of 26 for a 66% rate. Unacceptable. Especially in a contest decided by one possession.
Defense. Bonnies ‘won’ the rebounding and turn over battles. The effective field goal percentage disparity was a noticeable difference maker. That was largely due to Canisius’ ability to shoot from long range. Griffs shot 12 of 24 for 50%, including 6 of 10 (60%) the final twenty minutes, from beyond the arc. Bonnies were 4 of 20 for 20%.
“Give Canisius credit,” Schmidt said. “We got outscored 36-12 from beyond the arc and that’s a recipe for disaster…Our defense was poor. Every time we gave them an open shot they knocked it down.” Apparently, it was too many times.
Bonnies (1-1) face Oklahoma State in the opening game of the Legends Classic in Brooklyn. Thursday’s doubleheader concludes with Notre Dame facing Auburn in the second contest. Third place and championship games follow on Friday.