Following two tough losses, St. Bonaventure bounced back with an 81-68 victory over Bowling Green. The win at Reilly Center on Saturday afternoon evened the Bonnies’ record at 2-2 while Bowling Green is now an identical 2-2. Numbers…
Possessions: 71- an uptempo pace with a few added possessions as Bowling Green was in a late game fouling mode.
Offensive efficiency: St. Bona 114 , BG 96 – The offense, numbers wise, was excellent. Defense better than average and a source of satisfaction to Bona mentor Mark Schmidt. “I thought we defended decently,” Schmidt told gobonnies.com. “We were more committed and connected with more energy on the defensive end.”
eFG pct: St. Bona 57, BG 42
FT rate: St. Bona 52, BG 17
OREB pct: St. Bona 33, BG 31
TO rate: BG 13, St. Bona 20
Turnovers still a problem for Schmidt’s Bonnies. On the positive side they cleaned up the foul situation. Bonnies got to the line frequently while keeping the Falcons of the Mid-American Conference off the charity stripe. In total Bona committed 14 personals to 21 of Bowling Green.
Kenpom.com MVP: No surprise here. Daryl Banks scored a game and career high 34 points while pulling down six rebounds and blocking four shots. Banks eclipsed his previous high of 27 scored in Saint Peter’s first round upset of Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament this past March. The Bona junior shot 7 of 11 from beyond the arc. Chad Venning and Yann Farell had solid outings with 15 and 14 points respectively. Barry Evans grabbed a game high eight boards.
Bowling Green was led by junior Leon Ayers with 18 points. The 6’5” Ayers also paced the Falcons with seven rebounds.
Bona held Bowling Green to 3 of 18 (17%) shooting from downtown. Bonnies were 12 of 28 (43%) from long distance. Bonnies attempted 54 field goals with over half (28) coming from long range.
The beginning of the second half was significant. Bonnies led by six at intermission then came out on an 18-3 run to open a big lead. That run was significant. “We got off to a good start,” Schmidt said. “More importantly we got off to a good start the second half.”
Getting out in transition is an early key to Bona success. Bona scored 13 points off turnovers and hit for 20 in the fast break points category. “We’re better in transition than in half court,” Schmidt admitted. “We have to get more stuff off turnovers. We are at our best in the open court when we are not thinking as much.” That does not mean the plan is to push the pace relentlessly and scrap the half court game. Bonnies will look to run but also execute efficiently in a half court setting as Schmidt noted, “moving forward we have to smooth things out in the halfcourt.”
At halftime the late Bill Kenville ‘53 was honored. With his family attending, Kenville’s number 20 jersey was retired and unveiled in the Reilly Center rafters. Kenville was the only graduate of the program to win an NBA championship (with the Syracuse Nationals in ‘55). “It was great to honor Bill Kenville,” Schmidt said. “I did not have the privilege of meeting him but I met his family today. He was a great player in the early days of our program.” Schmidt noted Kenville was not only successful on the court but also in business. “He was very worthy,” Schmidt added, “ of being honored the way he was today.”
Bona alums also in attendance: David Vanterpool ‘95, an NBA assistant the past decade. ESPN Insider Adrian Wojnarowki ‘91, Chris LaPlaca ‘79 Senior VP of Corporate Communications at ESPN, NBA writer Tim Bontemps ‘07, Mike Vaccaro ‘89 NY Post columnist and Dan Barry ‘80 a New York Times reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner.
Bonnies entertain Southern Indiana at the Reilly Center on Tuesday.