Two for the road. Bonnies made it two straight away from home in the win column by defeating Richmond 66-62. Wednesday’s game at the Robins Center saw the Bonnies improve to 12-11 (6-4) while the host Spiders dropped to 11-12 (4-6). Numbers and notes….
Possessions: 66. Not a surprising number at all. Chris Mooney’s Spiders run the Princeton offense featuring a number of cuts, passes and possessions that use a generous portion of the shot clock. Richmond’s average possession length per Kenpom.com is 18.4 seconds, good for 13th in the A10.
Offensive efficiency: St. Bona 100, Richmond 94. A respectable showing on offense for the Bonnies. Better than respectable on the defensive end.
eFG pct: St. Bona 55, Richmond 43. Bonnies actually shot better inside the arc than beyond. From two point range they were 14 of 31 for 45%. From three point area Bona shot 8 of 16 for 50%. Richmond shot 18 of 48 (38%) for the game including 5 for 24 (21%) from three.
Ft Rate: St. Bona 47, Richmond 46. Close numbers but deceptive. In a late game fouling mode, Richmond sent Bona to the line a few more times than normal.
OREB pct: St. Bona 17, Richmond 13. Bonnies won the rebounding battle 32-29 with a 5-4 advantage on the offensive boards.
TO rate: Richmond 18, St. Bona 21. Interesting that Bona had a higher TO rate than at VCU (16%) the prior Saturday. Richmond turned those miscues into a 15-11 edge in points off turnovers.
Getting it done. The game had four ties and four lead changes. With just over a minute to play the Bonnies held a nine point lead. Richmond wasn’t finished nor about to go away.Three pointers by Matt Grace and Isaiah Bigelow narrowed the deficit to one possession. Clutch free throws by Daryl Banks III and Kyrell Luc in the last sixty seconds sealed the verdict. Seeing a nearly double digit lead dissipate in less than a minute on the road, could force a young team to panic and lose their poise, and the lead. To their credit, the Bonnies didn’t and closed out the victory, sending Richmond to their fourth straight loss.
Kenpom.com MVP: Chad Venning. The Bona big man turned in a 17 point, 6 rebound effort. Yann Farell paced Bona with 18 points including 4 of 5 from long distance. Moses Flowers added 10 going 3 of 4 from long range.
Tyler Burton led Richmond with a game-high 22 points. Burton was 11 of 12 from the charity stripe but only 1 for 8 from three point land. Burton did grab 9 rebounds which tied him with Bona’s Banks for the game lead in that department.
Encouraging sign. Speaking of Banks, the Bona junior scored 7 points. Against VCU he scored 6 points. It is an encouraging sign of overall balance that the Bonnies can win without Banks scoring 20 or even hitting double figures. Earlier in the season that was not the case. While coach Mark Schmidt welcomes point production from Banks, the last two games showed the Bonnies are maturing and getting consistent production from more than one player. Inserting Moses Flowers into the starting five has also paid dividends.
Momentum. After losing to Fordham last week, Bona faced a difficult task of facing a hot VCU team and revenge minded Richmond on the road. Realistically, an honest assumption and wish was for Bona to get a split in Virginia’s capital city. Following Saturday’s win over VCU the mindset changed to coming home with a possible sweep. Mission accomplished. The team and coaching staff deserve credit for staying the course and picking up two straight road wins. Road wins that would be difficult under normal circumstances and even more challenging on the heels of two straight losses.
Next up. Bona comes back to face Dayton Saturday at the Reilly Center. Flyers come in with a two game win streak. Prior to defeating Richmond and Loyola (in overtime) at home they dropped road games at George Washington and Rhode Island. DaRon Holmes facing Chad Venning should be an interesting matchup. Toumani Camara, a 6’8” forward has played well for Dayton as of late. Will be another tough task for Bona as Anthony Grant’s Flyers, historically, have never been an easy out for the brown and white.
“The kids are growing up. Going on the road to Virginia Commonwealth and to Richmond, you hope that you can split. For us to go 2-0, that’s a credit to our guys and how they played.” – Mark Schmidt per Jack Milko of A10 Talk.