The Bonnies bounced back in a big way, defeating VCU 61-58 at the Siegel Center on Saturday. The nationally televised game saw the Bonnies improve to 11-11 (5-4) while Mike Rhoades’ Rams, who saw a six game win streak ended, are now 16-6 (7-2). Numbers and notes…
Possessions: 63. Outside of the turnover breakdown, this is the main metric. Bonnies couldn’t allow VCU to dictate pace by forcing them into a breakneck pace. Mark Schmidt’s group definitely was in command dictating a slower tempo..
Offensive efficiency: St. Bona 97, VCU 92. A solid defensive effort by Bona. VCU, especially David Shriver, had been shooting well from deep as of late. On the day the Rams shot 2 of 16 (13%) while Shriver (5 points) went 1 of 4 from long range.
eFG pct: St. Bona 47, VCU 47
FT Rate: VCU 35, St. Bona 28
OREB pct: VCU 27, St. Bona 18
TO Rate: St. Bona 16, VCU 19. This was arguably the factor deciding the outcome. VCU came into the game forcing the A10 opposition into a conference leading 25% turnover rate. Bonnies had to keep the turnovers to a minimum to have a chance. For the game Bona committed 10 turnovers while forcing a dozen Ram miscues.
Kenpom.com MVP: Yann Farell. The Bona freshman scored 15 points, shooting 5 of 7 from downtown. Farell also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds while handing out three assists. Moses Flowers tied Farell for team scoring honors with 15 points (3 of 6 from three), all in the final 20 minutes. Chad Venning added 13 for Bona while Barry Evans (4 points, 4 rebounds) was lauded for his defensive effort in 13 minutes of action.
Adrian Baldwin led VCU with 15 points. Jalen DeLoach pulled down a game-high 12 boards for the Rams.
Can’t measure heart. The best of both worlds calls for combining numbers with the ‘eye test’. Numbers may give us a better insight to something we see but may not be aware of the significance of. For instance, we may see a team turn the ball over 15 times. On closer look they may be pushing the ball at an 80 possession pace. Turning it over at that rate is different from 15 turnovers at a 55 possession pace.
While it is best to use a combination of eye test and numbers- there is a certainty, you can’t measure heart. There is no number that can measure or quantify the heart and/or desire of an individual or team. Saturday the Bonnies showed a great deal of heat in pulling out this victory.
“To beat VCU in this environment says a lot about the character of our guys,” Schmidt told gobonnies.com. “It was just a great effort and to be able to come in here off a loss on Wednesday and beat a team like VCU shows a lot of character from our guys.
Bonnies entered this game following two straight losses. They dropped a decision at Loyola a week ago before losing to Fordham in the friendly confines of Reilly Center the past Wednesday. Entering a difficult venue to play a VCU team on a roll was an extremely difficult task. They met the challenge. They faced a 53-49 deficit with just over four minutes left before digging deep and finding a way to bounce back.
Heart, character…whatever you want to label it. Bonnies had plenty. It was there and evident. Even if the numbers can’t measure it.
Bona shot 25% and trailed 23-18 at the half. The final twenty minutes they warmed up hitting 56% (14 of 25). VCU won the rebounding battle 36-31. Rams did ’win’ points in the paint 38-26 and they held a very slight edge in points off turnovers (15-14).
Next up. Bonnies make the trip across town to face Richmond on Wednesday. After that, back home to the RC to entertain Dayton on Saturday.
“We have a really young team and for us to bounce back as we did says a lot….We aren’t a great offensive team, We’re going to win by our defense and rebounding and we did that.” – Mark Schmidt