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Dayton edges St. Bonaventure: March Madness and Sadness

Dayton edged St. Bonaventure 55-52  Monday at Reilly Center. The regular season finale for both teams saw the visiting Flyers finish at 13-8 (9-7 A10) while the Bonnies ended 13-4 (11-4). 

It was a very difficult day for all in the St. Bonaventure community. It went far beyond a 40 minute game. In the morning it was made known that University President Dr. Dennis DePerro passed away following a battle with Covid-19.  

Dr. DePerro was an outstanding leader for the university and a friend to all who had the good fortune to meet and/or know him. He was especially devoted to athletics, especially the Bonaventure basketball program. 

Bona coach Mark Schmidt in a statement noted, “Not only did we lose our president, we lost a great man. He was a great leader who did amazing things here. He was a friend and a terrific man and it breaks my heart….He will be hard to replace. It was a hard day today.”

Bona team played with a ‘DD’ patch on their uniforms. 


Numbers and observations:

Possessions: 64 – a pace that was right on the money as both teams average in the mid sixties in A10 play.


Offensive efficiency (points per possession): Dayton 86, St. Bona 81 


Defense did the job. Dayton came in averaging a 103 efficiency. Bona kept the Flyers far below average. Anthony Grant’s group had one double figure scorer, Ibi Watson, with 14 points. Dayton’s outstanding guard Jalen Crutcher scored 6 (2 of 9 from the floor) points in 22 minutes of action. Bona also forced Dayton into an exceedingly high 33% turnover rate. 


Offensive struggles. Bona came into the game tied in conference efficiency with Richmond at an impressive 108 efficiency. They had a 26-18 lead, looking like they were pulling away, with four minutes to play in the half. Those last four minutes Bona scored one point, an Osun Osunniyi free throw, while the Flyers put eight on the board to cut the halftime deficit to 27-26. 

First two minutes of the second half Bona missed all four field goal attempts. The lead was gone as Dayton moved ahead 30-27 and had momentum in their favor. For the game the Bonnies, shooting well from three of late, struggled going 7 of 24 (29%) beyond the arc.


Resilient. Bonnies trailed by 12 with just over ten minutes left. They battled back and despite not scoring the final two minutes, had a chance to tie at the end but a Jalen Adaway attempt from three missed the mark.


MVP. Kenpom outstanding player went to Osunniyi. The Bona junior scored 10 points, grabbed 15 rebounds (6 offensive) and blocked 7 shots. Adaway paced all scorers with 17 points. Kyle Lofton added 9 points and a game-high 6 assists for Bona.


Next. In the A10 Tournament Bona will face the winner of Richmond and Duquesne Friday morning at VCU’s Siegel Center. Dayton will play Rhode Island on Thursday, also at the Siegel Center. 


“We didn’t do a good job  executing, making shots. We seemed sluggish, a little heavy-legged. Dayton played well enough to beat us give them credit….They did a good job of keeping us out of the paint and at times we took quick shots.” – Mark Schmidt per