St. Bonaventure snapped a two game slide with a resounding 76-51 victory over Fordham on Tuesday at Reilly Center. Leading by five at the half the Bonnies pulled away the latter twenty minutes to seal the verdict. Bonnies (13-7) improved to 5-4 in A10 play. The Rams (10-12) fell to 3-7 in conference. The numbers:
Possessions: 69- an increase in tempo for Bona over the recent outings. The Bonnies average 65 possessions in conference play. There has been a question as to whether the pace should be faster to create more transition opportunities and easy baskets. A look back from last year shows Bona averaging 64 possessions in A10 play. So pace or tempo may not be the solution to any recent difficulties.
Offensive Efficiency: St. Bona 110, Fordham 74. Extremely efficient offense. St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt noted post game how the Bonnies created more offensive spacing, opening scoring opportunities, as opposed to recent games.
Defense, really the issue as of late, was totally locked in holding the Rams to a very low efficiency. Schmidt had a goal to hold the Rams under 60 points and the Bonnies got the job done.
Offensive rebounding percentage: St. Bona 43%, Fordham 28%. Bona grabbed 19 boards on the offensive end. A number of those allowed possessions to be extended resulting in a dominant second half that saw Bona lead by 28 at one point. Osun Osunniyi had a game-high 12 boards, five (also a game high) on the offensive end.
TO Rate: Fordham 20%, St. Bona 16%. For Bona, this was not as much as forcing turnovers but avoiding these miscues which were a concern. Bona had only 11 on the night, again contributing to the excellent offensive efficiency.
The first five minutes. As mentioned here before, coaches debate whether the first four or five minutes of the game or second half is more important. Bona coach Mark Schmidt buys into the latter half start as crucial. The first five after intermission proved vital for the Bonnies. They scored the first eleven points during that time, expanding a five point halftime advantage to 16 and never looking back.
Schmidt had a goal to keep the Rams shooting under 40% from the field and 30% from long distance. Mission accomplished. Fordham shot 32% on the night including 22% (7 of 32) from three.
Dominick Welch was honored pregame for having reached the 1,000 point mark. The Bona senior then went out to earn kenpom.com MVP honors with a game-high 21 points on 5 of 7 shooting from three. Welch also pulled down 10 rebounds. Kyle Lofton added 19 and Jalen Adaway 13 for the Bonnies.
Bona, to the fans’ delight, went to the bench with Quadry Adams and Abdoul Karin Coulibaly both logging eight minutes and scoring four points each. In total ten players saw action for the Bonnies.
Antrell Charlton was Fordham’s lone double figure scorer with 14. Bona defense did the job limiting high scoring Darius Quisenberry to 9 points, second time all season he failed to reach double figures. Chuba Ohams pulled down a tram high 11 boards. Osunniyi did a solid defensive job on the 6’9” Ohms limiting him to six points.
Fordham stays on the road traveling to Duquesne on Saturday. Due to a make up in scheduling, Bona has a unique situation. They travel to Saint Louis for a game on Friday evening then host the same Billikens at Reilly Center on Monday. Two crucial games for both teams, especially with conference play past the midway mark.
It was a return to Reilly Center for Tray Woodall. The Fordham assistant was on Schmidt;s staff for two seasons before joining coach Kyle Neptune at Fordham.