A perfect January. St. Bonaventure defeated George Mason 84-67 Saturday at the Reilly Center. The win capped off an unblemished 7-0 record for the month. Bonnie improved to 9-1 (7-1 A10) while the visiting Patriots are now 8-7 (4-5 A10).
The numbers of note:
Offensive efficiency: St. Bona 125 (aided by some lights out shooting).
George Mason 100. The defensive mark was a bit generous for Mark Schmidt’s Bonnies. They entered the game with a conference leading 88 defensive efficiency.
Schmidt was concerned about George Mason’s size and rebounding. For the game Bona out rebounded the Patriots 38-27. They also showed a 38-29% edge in offensive rebounding percentage.
The offense. Offensive efficiency was superlative as Bona shot the lights out. The hosts went 30 of 43 (70%) from the two point area. Beyond the arc Bona was 5 of 14 for 36%.
Effective field goal percentage. One of Dean Oliver’s Four Factors, frequently referenced. The formula puts added weight into three point field goals and is as follows.
eFG = FGM + .05 * 3pt FGM/FGA
For the afternoon Bona’s eFG was a white hot 66%. Coach Dave Paulsen’s group checked in at 48%.
Game MVP. According to Kenpom.com the award went to Dominick Welch. The Bonnie junior scored a game high 22 points, going 9 of 11 (4 of 6 from three) from the floor. Welch also added 4 assists and 4 rebounds.
Special mention must be given Osun Osunniyi. The 6-10 junior scored 18 points. ‘Double O’ battled gamely inside adding a game high 15 rebounds against the physical Mason frontcourt.
Kyle Lofton also added 20 points and 5 assists in another 40 minute effort for the Bonnies.
Not an easy out. Mason did enter Reilly Center having won three of their last four. Earlier in the season they defeated UMass in two overtimes in Amherst. Bona led by 18 at the half. Mason made a second half run, getting to within 11 with just over eight minutes to play, but the Bonnies quickly answered to seal the verdict.
Jordan Miller led the Patriots with 19 points 5 rebounds. The other double figure scorer was Tyler Kolak with 17.
The first four minutes. Coaches preach the value of ‘winning’ the first four minutes of the game. The good start doesn’t guarantee victory but it can aid momentum and allow the team to get into a good rhythm and flow. Mason’s Javon Greene banked in a three pointer for the games first points. By the 16 minute mark the Bonnies owned a 7-3 lead. The 7-0 run would extend to 11-0 following the first media break. No doubt the fast start was a significant factor in dictating the course of the game as Mason was forced into a game of catch up.
What’s next? Bonnies travel to Philadelphia to face Saint Joseph’s. They defeated the Hawks 83-57 in early January at Reilly Center. Billy Lange’s club is 0-9 in conference play. They did drop heart breakers, losing in overtime at Rhode Island and you OTs at George Mason.
George Mason is set to visit Richmond, idle the past week, on Tuesday.