For St. Bonaventure faithful, it was a bit unnerving. The Bonnies built a big early lead, lost it, then rallied in the stretch for a 77-69 win over Hofstra. Saturday’s game at the Reilly Center put the Bonnies at 2-0. Hofstra of the CAA is now 3-3.
- Glass is half full. A social media post before the game showed a half glass of beer at the local Burton watering hole. The poster naturally was emphasizing the ‘half fill’ mindset as game time approached. The Bonnies getting out to a 30-7 lead was positive. Regrouping in the stretch after losing that big lead and holding off the upset minded Pride was another half full event. It’s 2-0, those residing on the Bonnies’ side of perspective, enjoy.
- Home court is not the same these days. Cut out figures in stands aren’t intimidating. The ear splitting noise of the Reilly Center faithful was not present. Home games are more like neutral court games. Ask Duke (two losses at Cameron) and Syracuse, who needed OT to hold off upset minded Buffalo (who visits Reilly Center on Tuesday) a few hours after the Bona game ended.
- Numbers: In a 73, uptempo, possession game the efficiencies:
St. Bona 105 Hofstra 95
A good showing for Mark Schmidt’s group on both the offensive and defensive sides. Turnovers were even at 11 with both teams showing a favorable 15% TO rate. From the advanced stats on kenpom.com, the biggest difference was offensive rebounding percentage:
St. Bona 34%
Hofstra 19 %
Hitting the offensive glass and extending your possession is crucial. In what turned out as a three possession game, it proved a difference maker.
In contrast to the opener against Akron, Bonnies found the range beyond the arc. They shot 7 of 16 for 44% from downtown. Hofstra was 9 of 30 for 30%.
Jalen Ray (6 of 10 from deep) of Hofstra led all with 28 points. On the Bona side, Kyle Lofston led the way with 16 points, 9 assists and 1 turnover. Kenpom MVP was Dominick Welch with 15 points and 8 boards (four on the offensive end). The third double digit scorer was Osun Osunniyi with 14 points and a team high 12 boards. Though he was not a double figure scorer, Jaren Holmes had a notable 8 points, 9 rebound outing.
Next opponent Buffalo (3-3), at the Reilly Center, led by as many as 16 early second half at Syracuse. The Bulls could not sustain and in OT it was all ‘Cuse as they posted a 107-96 victory. Despite dropping a heart breaker, expect Buffalo to present another non conference challenge.