St. Bonaventure made a statement. Coming off a subpar defensive performance last Saturday at Buffalo, the Bonnies played rock solid lock down defense in a 61-42 victory over Cleveland State. Tuesday’s game at Reilly Center saw the Bonnies improve to 6-3 while Cleveland State, saw a six game win streak end, fell to 6-4. Numbers and thoughts….
Possessions: 62- Grind it out pace which Daniyal Robinson’s Vikings favor. Bonnies prefer a quicker tempo. To date, they have shown the ability to adjust and execute in a slower paced affair. On this night the did in a big way.
Offensive Efficiency: St. Bona 98, CSU 68. Bona offensive efficiency was a bit below their 103 average. On the defensive side the 68 allowed far surpasses their 98 average defensive efficiency.
“I thought today was our most complete game defensively,” Bona coach Mark Schmidt told gobonnies.com. “I thought we were locked in from the very beginning.”
Bona held the Vikings to 8% (1 of 13) shooting from three point range. Bonnies checked in at 30% shooting 7 of 23. Daryl Banks canned five of the seven Bona treys. Overall, Cleveland State shot 31% from the floor.
Free throw numbers favored Cleveland state. Interestingly, Bonnies committed 16 personal fouls to 13 by the visitors. No one in the top seven of Schmidt’s rotation though, was in serious foul trouble.
Bonnies were dominant on the offensive glass. Significant, given their field goal percentage was 35%. They outrebounded the Vikings 19-10 in raw numbers with Barry Evans leading the way with 5 boards. Total rebounds in raw numbers saw Bona with a commanding 49-33 advantage.
Turnover rate was under 20%. An improvement for a Bona team that has had some problems with turnovers.
Kempom.com MVP: Barry Evans. The Bona freshman was a stat stuffer. Evans scored 10 points, pulled down a game high 9 rebounds while adding 3 assists and 3 steals.
Bona was led by Banks with a game high 15 points. Kyrell Luc and Chad Venning added a dozen each.
Cleveland State did not have a double figure scorer, another testament to the Bona ‘D’. They were led by Deante Johnson with 8.
A concept commonly noted here and a Schmidt mantra is starting out strong the second half. Bonnies led 28-22 at intermission and appeared to be in for a battle from the Horizon league representatives. Bona opened the first three minutes of the final stanza on a 12-2 run. The lead increased to 40-24. Bona had gained separation and momentum those first three minutes. Cleveland State never made a serious run after that point.
Best defense in two years. Point wise this was Bona’s best effort since limiting George Washington to 41 points in an 88-41 win in late February of ‘21. On that day Bona’s defensive efficiency was 67.
Getting a 26 minute effort from Chad Venning was important. Venning was severely limited by foul trouble in Buffalo. On Tuesday the 6’10” center added 6 rebounds to his 12 points. Venning’s presence allows Bona to establish an inside game which ultimately should allow some good looks for the perimeter shooters.
Yann Farell added a noteworthy 8 rebound, 5 assist contribution.
Speaking of defense…Here are the top 5 A10 teams in defensive efficiency as of December 8th…
St. Bona 98
Bonnies face a tough challenge against Iona, Sunday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
“You watch tape of them (Cleveland State) and you could see the first six or seven minutes they would get on guys. I thought we met that challenge….We were much more active and committed on the defensive end than against Buffalo. Defensively it was the best performance of the year.” – Mark Schmidt