End of the game -- St. Bonaventure records a convincing, 82-63 victory over Fordham at the Reilly Center. The Bonnies improve to 15-11 and 7-6 in the Atlantic 10, moving them into a tie with Dayton for seventh in the jumbled conference standings. Demetrius Conger scored 18 points, a conference season high, to lead Bona. Brett Roseboro, a sophomore forward, had a career-high 12 points.
Andrew Nicholson, plagued by foul trouble for most of the evening, had 16 points for the Bonnies, who play next at St. Joseph's on Saturday afternoon at 4.
1:26 left in the game - Bonnies lead, 81-61. Subs are in for the home team. Sophomore Brett Roseboro extended his career scoring high by driving baseline for a three-point play to give him 11 for the night. His previous high for the season was five and he hadn't scored more than two in any other game.
5:16 left in the second half -- Andrew Nicholson returned and hit two free throws to give the Bonnies a 70-54 lead. It looks like garbage time is upon us. It's been a solid effort by the favored team. You need to take care of business against the bottom-feeders and they're doing that. This Fordham team lost by 11 at Temple and seven at Xavier. They're bad, but still dangerous.
Nicholson's dunk makes it 74-56.
9:00 left in the second half -- Nicholson picked up his fourth foul on a drive by Lamount Samuell and goes back to the bench with the Bonnies leading, 61-48. Still plenty of time left. Chances are we won't see Nicholson unless things get a little hairy. Bona failed to notice a wide-open Michael Davenport down the court on the ensuing possession and wound up throwing the ball away. The Bonnies better be careful. Don't want to allow a team that hasn't won a conference game in two years to sense a little hope.
10:49 left in the second half -- Fordham cuts the deficit to 13, 57-44, on three-point shots by Alberto Estwick and Lamount Samuell. Bona coach Mark Schmidt called a timeout to settle things down and get Andrew Nicholson back on the floor. Nicholson, the third-leading score in the Atlantic 10, has been sitting since picking up his third foul on a technical early in the half.
11:53 left in the second half -- Bonnies up, 56-38. Freshman Matt Wright nailed a three-pointer after making a steal and a nice feed up the floor. Wright is a nice-looking prospect, out of Toronto. He's a 6-4 guard who can play either backcourt position, which will be helpful next year when Ogo Adegboye leaves.
13:45 left in the second half -- The Bonnies are still comfortably in front, 50-33, despite playing without Nicholson. It's certainly good for Bona to get more playing time for its bench, especially with the A-10 Tournament looming. And boy, it's easy to see how Fordham lost 37 straight league games.
17:00 left in the second half -- Andrew Nicholson must not have been happy with one of the foul calls against him in the opening half. Early in the second, Nicholson was called for an obvious travel and was whistled for a technical after reacting angrily to the official. Bona coach Mark Schmidt pulled Nicholson from the game after the tech, which was his third foul -- and a silly one for a team leader.
Fordham is trailing by 11, 42-31, after a three-point hoop by Kervin Frazier.
Halftime -- St. Bonaventure leads Fordham, 37-23, after 20 minutes at the Reilly Center. A three-pointer by Ogo Adegboye gave the Bonnies their biggest lead of the night, 34-23. Then they made a strong defensive stand on the Rams' following possession to force a shot clock violation. Then Demetrius Conger nailed a three-pointer just before the buzzer to extend the lead to 14.
Conger, a sophomore forward, has three 3's, equaling his season high. He leads the Bonnies with 11 points. Andrew Nicholson has eight, despite missing a lot of time with two fouls. Brett Roseboro, a 6-10 sophomore from Quakertown, Pa., added a career-high six points and four rebounds, a team high. Roseboro has played sparingly in the A-10 this year and had seven points in the conference all season before tonight.
Bona needs to beat the Rams, who have lost 37 straight conference games, to keep pace in a tight A-10 race. The Bonnies entered the game in a tie for eighth at 6-6. Five teams are separated by one game, however. Rhode Island (7-5) plays at Duquesne tonight. George Washington, also 7-5, hosts Charlotte. Dayton is 7-6 and idle. UMass, which is tied with Bona at 6-6, hosts St. Joseph's.
The big game of the night, of course, is Temple, the 24th-ranked team in the country, playing on ESPN2 at No. 1 Duke. Temple (11-2 in the A-10, a game behind Xavier) has won eight in a row, but the Owls have their hands full tonight at Cameron Indoor.
2:40 -- It's the Brett Roseboro show at the Reilly Center. The seldom-used sophomore forward has a career-high six points as the Bonnies lead Fordham, 29-23. Andrew Nicholson is on the bench with two fouls -- not one, as previously reported here on the blog.
3:31 left in the first half -- Bona is still ahead, 27-22, despite a pretty shoddy performance under their defensive backboard. With Nicholson on the bench for an extended rest (he has only one foul), the Bonnies have been repeatedly beaten for rebounds. They got a nice tip-in from Brett Roseboro, whose four points off the bench are one off his season high.
You can see how much the Bonnies depend on Nicholson, a top A-10 player and NBA prospect. He is the key to their defense, a strong rebounder and shot-blocking presence. Without him, they're on Fordham's level. Good thing he has another year of eligibility.
7:08 left in the first half -- The Bonnies have surged to a 23-16 lead, thanks largely to a couple of three-pointers by sophomore forward Demetrius Conger. Bona got a boost from Brett Roseboro, another soph forward, who came on for Andrew Nicholson and canned a 15-footer.
Incidentally, the last Fordham win in the A-10 came here in Olean, in January of 2009.
OLEAN -- Allen Wilson and I are down in the Reilly Center for the St. Bonaventure men's hoop matchup with Fordham. The Bonnies have a chance to get to 7-6 in the Atlantic 10 tonight. Depending on what happens elsewhere on a busy night in the league, they could wind up the evening tied for fifth place -- or alone in ninth.
This is a game they can't afford to lose if they're truly on the upswing. Fordham is 0-12 in the A-10 and has lost a stunning 37 straight games in the conference. The Bonnies are off to a sloppy start, but took a 15-13 lead on a dunk by Michael Davenport. Andrew Nicholson has eight points for Bona.
--- Jerry Sullivan