Two straight for the Bonnies. A hard fought 73-69 victory over George Mason at the Reilly Center on Wednesday saw St. Bonaventure improve to 2-0 in A10 play. Bona is now 8-7 overall. George Mason came into the ‘RC’ , winners in seven of their last eight. Kim English’s Patriots are now 9-6 (1-1 in A10). Numbers and notes…
Possessions: 66. A basic grind it out tempo. What you would expect facing George Mason, a team averaging that same number- 66 possessions per game.
Offensive Efficiency: St. Bona 111, GMU 105. Both teams put up solid offensive numbers. For the Bonnies the field goal percentage (see below) was a difference.
Among the Four Factors the effective field goal percentage stood out as a difference. Bona shot 18 of 30 (60%) from two point range while going 9 of 21 (43%) from deep. Mason was 44% from two and 38% from three. George Mason’s rebounding was a concern. While the Patriots ‘won’ the offensive rebounding category, in raw numbers they only had an 8-5 edge in that category and did not inflict serious damage.
Game of spurts. After a slow start the Bonnies held a ten point lead with ten minutes remaining. In the stretch Bona went nearly four minutes without scoring. That opened the door for the Patriots to make a final run. The rally was stopped as Daryl Banks buried a crucial three pointer with under a minute to go.
“Good players need to make those plays,” Bona coach Mark Schmidt told gobonnies.com in reference to Bona junior. “You can diagram stuff, but when the play breaks down, they need to make their own stuff….that’s what you need at this level.”
Dry spells are going to be part of the maturation process for this young team. Sometimes those minutes, which seem like hours, of not putting points on the board lead to defeat. Last night was not the case. In the end, Bona weathered the dry spell and fought through having just enough to seal the win.
Kenpom.com MVP. Daryl Banks no question. Beside hitting that clutch three, the Bona junior scored a game high 27 points. Banks was 6 of 11 from downtown on the night.
Kyrell Luc posted a 10 point, 10 assist double-double. Luc’s outing was very impressive with just one turnover in 33 minutes of action.
Moses Flowers was Bona’s other double digit scorer, coming off the bench to net a dozen points. Chad Venning did not hit double figures yet made a big contribution with eight points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots.
Leading the way for George Mason was Victor Bailey with 21 points. Josh Oduro, with his 6’9” size and presence, scored 14 points, pulled down 6 rebounds and handed out five assists.
Bonnies held a 28-20 advantage on points in the paint. They also held a 17-0 edge in fast break points. Bona bench contributed significantly scoring a season-high 22 points.
The conference race should be a wild ride leading up to the March get together in Brooklyn. After a week of play there are two undefeated teams at the top. Dayton is 3-0 while Bona is 2-0.
Next outing will be a formidable task. Bonnies travel to Saint Louis for a Saturday afternoon with Travis Ford’s Billikens. Saint Louis is 1-1 in conference play. Both of their games were on the road with the most recent, a 90-81 setback at UMass, also on Wednesday evening. Trying to neutralize Saint Louis’ outstanding lead guard Yuri Collins will be a concern for coach Schmidt and company.
“We played really well. We’re trying to figure it out, and we had some breakdowns and things we need to fix, but the effort was exceptional.” – Mark Schmidt