This was the proverbial heartbreaker. St. Bonaventure, in search of their first true road win, came up agonizingly short. Rhode Island defeated the Bonnies 68-67 at the Ryan Center on Wednesday. The Bonnies fell to 8-9 (2-2) while Rhode Island improved to 6-10 (2-2). Numbers and notes…
Possessions: 68. A little faster tempo but not an all out pace by any means.
Offensive efficiency: URI 100, St. Bona 99. You can’t get any closer with these numbers. The efficiencies were a bit surprising as both teams had offensive struggles.
eFG Pct: St. Bona 43%, URI 42%. Neither team was lighting it up from the floor. Bonnies had a 26-20 edge in field goals made.
FT rate: URI 55%, St. Bona 19%. Rams got to the line with greater frequency and made their trips count. URI was 24 of 29 for an 83% mark. Bonnies shot 9 of 13 for 69%. Interestingly, the foul totals were close with Bona committing 20 personals and URI 18. The Rams, however, were in double bonus each half.
OREB pct: URI 37%, St. Bona 31%. Archie Miller’s club also compensated for the difference in field goals by their work under the glass. Rams had a 44-36 advantage in total rebounds.
TO rate: St. Bona 12%, URI 22%. The turnover situation, an early season problem, has much improved. Bona committed eight on the night to 15 by the hosts. Bona held a 13-8 edge in points off turnovers.
Kenpom.com MVP: Ishmael Leggett. The URI sophomore scored a game high 23 points. Leggett also added a game high 14 rebounds (four on the offensive end) and hit the two free throws that decided this contest.
Kyrell Luc paced the Bonnies with 20 points. The Bona lead guard added nine assists, seven rebounds and did not commit a single turnover in 38 minutes of action. Moses Flowers added 15 before fouling out late. Daryl Banks scored 12. Banks had two three pointers, one beyond the arc and the other the traditional, as Bona made their late game run. Chad Venning had 10 points and tied Luc for team rebounding honors with seven.
The final minutes. Bona trailed by double figures with about five minutes left and was on the ropes. They responded with an 11-0 run taking the lead with 33 seconds left on Banks’ three point play. On the next possession Leggett was fouled by Flowers, his fifth on the night. Leggett canned both from the charity stripe. Bona had one last chance. The final possession saw Bona get three chances from close range. All missed the mark and URI held on.
“We showed some character, we didn’t give in, we made some stops and some big buckets late, but those are things you need to do for 40 minutes,” Bona coach Mark Schmidt told gobonnies.com. “We fouled at the end and that was one of too many mistakes to overcome.”
No one is talking about moral victories. The Bonnies are having trouble with foul trouble and the boards are a cause of constant concern. Foul trouble gives opponents added trips to the line and puts your key player(s) on the bench. Rebounds end your possession while giving up offensive boards extends your opponent’s possession. Those areas are part of the learning experience a young team faces. On the other side one must give credit for resilience and finding a way to come back late on the road. The loss was a bitter pill to swallow as Bona was denied a chance to come home with a bit of momentum.
Next up Richmond visits the Reilly Center on Saturday. Spiders are 3-1 in A10 play. They edged Davidson on Wednesday for their first true road win since February of 2022.
“Against any team on the road it’s hard to come back and we keep putting ourselves in that position. We battled back and just came up a little short.” – Mark Schmidt