In the final regular season game the Bonnies dropped a 71-60 decision at UMass. The loss, Saturday at the Mullins Center, dropped the Bonnies to 14-17 (8-10) while the Minutemen finished 15-15 (6-12). Numbers and notes…
Possessions: 68. A faster tempo, actually a little more in line with the Minutemen’s pace.
Offensive efficiency: UMass 104, St. Bona 88. Poor showing on the offensive end for Bona, averaging 100 in offensive efficiency. Not a great job on the defensive end (102 average) as well.
eFG Pct: St. Bona 44, UMass 41
FT Rate: UMass 50, St. Bona 26
OREB Pct: UMass 53, St. Bona 39
TO Rate: UMass 24, St. Bona 29
The only factor Bona had an edge in was effective field goal (eFG) percentage. Both teams shot 36% from the floor. Bonnies shot 32% (8-25) from three while UMass was 28% (5-18), thus the difference.
Game of runs. Bonnies got out to an early lead before Frank Martin’s club went on a 19-4 run to take a seven point lead into intermission. The second half opened with Bona going on a 9-2 spurt to tie the game. The Bonnies, hit by foul trouble, saw UMass regain a nine point edge. With just over three minutes left, the Bonnies were within one possession. A TJ Weeks three pointer on the ensuing possession proved to be the proverbial dagger as the Minutemen pulled away.
Kenpom.com MVP: RJ Luis. The UMass freshman scored 14 points, tying teammate Rashool Diggins for team scoring honors. Luis also added a game-high nine rebounds.
Chad Venning led all scorer’s with a game-high 18 points. The Bona big man also pulled down eight boards. Moses Flowers added 16 and Kyrell Luc 11 as the other Bona double figure scorers.
Sounds too familiar. Foul trouble, as noted, reared its ugly head for Mark Schmidt’s Bonnies. Venning was hit with his fourth foul midway through the second half when UMass made a run. Venning later fouled out as did Yann Farell.
Bonnies were once again beaten on the boards by a 41-31 count. UMass utilized that advantage to lead 19-9 in second chance points. Bonnies committed 20 turnovers leading to a 17-11 points off turnovers for the Minutemen. Foul trouble, rebounding and turnovers- a recurring theme that has plagued Bona for virtually the duration of the campaign.
Next up, Brooklyn. Bonnies, traditionally strong in February, finished the month 3-5. To date they have dropped six of their last seven. Hard to believe that after defeating Dayton on February 4th they stood 7-4 in conference play.
Bonnies are limping into Brooklyn for the A10 tournament. They are set to face Davidson on Wednesday at 11:30 am. Bona dropped a 74-61 decision at Davidson on February 22. The Wildcats of Matt McKillop finished 8-10 in A10 play. Davidson closed strong though, winning four of their last five. The only blemish was a loss to a surging George Washington team.
The winner of Bona-Davidson faces VCU in the quarterfinals. For the Bonnies, no need to worry about VCU, only the task at hand- handling Davidson.
Bona mentor Mark Schmidt likes to break the season down into three areas- pre-conference play, conference play and the postseason. For the Bonnies, they enter postseason with a new slate and opportunity. Past games are in the rear view mirror. Regardless, there are things they did or didn’t do in those games, as noted, that must be remembered and corrected if they do not want to be one and done in Brooklyn.