St. Bonaventure, hoping to continue their three game winning streak, were stopped by hot shooting La Salle. The Explorers defeated the Bonnies 76-70 at the Reilly Center on Wednesday. Bona is now 13-12 (7-5). La Salle, now on a three game win streak of their own, is 11-13 (5-6). Numbers and notes…
Possessions: 68. Bona fouled late to extend the game, thus accounting for a few more possessions. The 68 is right in the range or comfort zone for both teams.
Offensive efficiency: La Salle 112, St. Bona 103. Explorers are a team with a 101 average offensive efficiency. Bona defense is sixth in the A10, also at 101. In plain and simple terms, La Salle was well above average on the offensive end, the Bonnies below it defensively.
eFG pct: La Salle 61, St. Bona 54. La Salle scorched the nets at a 40% (15 of 25) rate from three point range. “We gave up too many open threes and couldn’t get enough stops,” Bona coach Mark Schmidt told gobonnies.com.
FT Rate: La Salle 28, St. Bona 23. Again, late game fouling gave the Explorers an edge here.
OREB pct: La Salle 31, St. Bona 22. La Salle leads the A10 in OREB pct at 34% (Bona is 12th at 25%). Bonnies kept the Explorers below their average. In raw numbers La Salle had a 9-7 advantage in offensive rebounds and 11-10 in second chance points. In total rebounds, La Salle led 34-27.
TO Rate: St. Bona 19, La Salle 21. Bona led 21-16 in points off turnovers.
Closing the half. Bona had a six point lead with just under eight minutes remaining in the opening half. A 13-0 run by the Explorers sent the visitors into the locker room with a 9 point lead at intermission. As Schmidt noted, there were too many open looks given by the Bona defense. Credit Fran Dunphy’s Explorers with quick ball movement on several possessions that prevented a defensive closeout.
Opening the second half. Bona ‘won’ the first five plus minutes of the final stanza with a 17-7 run. In a game with 2 ties and 10 lead changes, Bona held a one point lead with just under six minutes remaining. The Explorers answered with a 7-0 run that essentially put them in control.
“We played better in the second half but just didn’t execute at the end,” Schmidt lamented. “We had missed layups and a couple of possessions late where we just didn’t execute.”
Kenpom.com MVP: Khalil Brantley. The La Salle sophomore scored 16 points while grabbing four rebounds and handing out four assists. A strong case could be made for Josh Nickelberry. The La Salle sharpshooter came off the bench to post a game high 18 points. Nickelberry buried four three pointers and was instrumental in the Explorers grabbing the nine point lead at the half.
Bona had five players in double figures. Daryl Banks III and Chad Venning scored 16 points. Kyrell Luc, Moses Flowers and Yann Farell added 10 points each. Luc also handed out six assists.
Wrap up and next. La Salle was 1 of 8 (13%) from three in the second half, after going 9 for 17 (53%) the first 20 minutes. Mamadou Doucoure of La Salle pulled down a game high 11 rebounds. It was a return to the RC for Joe Mihalich. An assistant on Dunphy’s staff, Mihalich previously coached at Niagara and Hofstra with both making visits to Bona.
Bonnies travel to Pittsburgh for a meeting with Duquesne on Saturday afternoon. Bonnies defeated Duquesne at the Reilly Center in mid-January. Dukes defeated George Mason Wednesday night and will be a tough test for Bona, having won three of their last four.
“Our guys fought, and give all the credit to La Salle, but it just wasn’t there tonight.” – Mark Schmidt