Saint Bonaventure won their sixth straight pulling away from Rhode Island late in the second half. The 73-55 victory Tuesday night at Reilly Center improved the Bonnies’ record (18-7) to 10-4 in A10 play. Rhode Island has now dropped three in a row and nine of their last ten. The Rams are (13-13) 4-10 in conference. Numbers and notes…
Offensive efficiency: St. Bonaventure 106, Rhode Island 80- Bonnies shot 45%, hitting at a 38% rate from three and a perfect 11 of 11 from the charity stripe. Rhode Island had a 47% field goal percentage but only 2 of 15 for 13% beyond the arc and 9 of 16 (56%) on the line. David Cox’s group actually shot better from 2 point range (63%) than the foul line.
TO rate: St. Bonaventure 17%, Rhode Island 23%. Closely tied into the efficiencies. Bona limited its turnovers (12) and created them defensively (16). Bonnies enjoyed a 24-11 advantage in points off turnovers.
Bona took a 35-27 lead into intermission. The opening of the second half, first five possessions to be exact, showed the Bonnies getting out to a 9-2 run to increase the lead to double digits. Included in those five possessions for Rhode Island were two turnovers and three missed free throws-a microcosm of their night.
Rhode Island stayed competitive. The final margin was deceptive. Bonnies enjoyed the double digit second half lead. Whenever they threatened to pull away the Rams answered. The difference stayed at three possessions until the last five minutes when Bona built the margin and sealed the victory.
Jalen Adaway paced four double figure scorers for Bona with a game-high 23 points. Osun Osunniyi added 14, Kyle Lofton 12 and Jaren Holmes 11. Holmes in particular, did a nice job getting into the lane with dribble penetration. He was able to finish or find a teammate open on the wing. The Bona senior finished with four assists, tied with Dominick Welch and just behind Lofton’s game-high of five. Rhode Island relied on a family affair. Makhi Mitchell (14 points) and Makhel Mitchell (12) were Rhode Island’s lone double figure scorers.
Bona won the battle of the boards 32-28 and held senior guard Jeremy Sheppard scoreless in his 24 minutes of action.
‘Osunniyi for threee’. Just over a minute remaining. The game is in hand and the Bona center is beyond the arc with the ball and the shot clock expiring. Osunniyi launches a three that finds nothing but net. The crowd erupted as ‘Shoon’ buried his first career trey. No word about him moving outside to be a perimeter threat down the road though Bona coach Mark Schmidt said,”it was fun to see Shoon hit a three tonight.”
Rhode Island faces Duquesne on Saturday back in the Ryan Center. Bonnies take to the road for two of their final three contests. Next up, a visit to the City of Brotherly Love to face Saint Joseph’s on Saturday.
Milestone of note. Bonnies’ tenth A10 victory marks the eighth straight year of ten or more conference wins. A streak unmatched by the rest of the A10.
Rhode Island is an enigma. They show the third best defensive efficiency in the conference at 97. Their offensive efficiency is a far below average 92 for 12th. Turnovers (last in the A10) , three point shooting (11th) and free shooting (Last) are the problems regarding offensive efficiency.
“I thought we played really well, our defense was able to carry us tonight. To outplay a team with their ability down low was very important and to hold them to three offensive rebounds was key…We have a veteran team that has a sense of urgency; our goal was to go 4-0 at home and we did that. We’re not finished. We have to keep winning.” – Mark Schmidt per gobonnies.com.