St. Bonaventure 72, Niagara 70
How Bona Won: The Bonnies might be Top 25 material if games were 30, 35 minutes long. They suffocated Niagara perimeter game in building a 17-point lead and then almost frittered it all away when Niagara super frosh Juan'ya Green carved them over the final 10 minutes. Clutch free throw shooting by Demitrius Conger and Chris Johnson came to the rescue.
Player of the Game: Conger is special. He can dribble-penetrate zones, murder man-to-mans, hits the boards at both ends and wants the ball in crunch time. He went off for a career-high 27 points and 11 boards on yet another silent night from Andrew Nicholson.
POTG Runner-up: Juan'ya Green is special, too. He came he second in scoring among the nation's freshman at 19.2 points per game and went off for 32 -- his second 30-plus game. The seven turnovers didn't please Joe Mihalich. But he's a freshman. And I'm telling you, if Green stays healthy he breaks Calvin Murphy's career scoring record.
Stat of the Game: Bona continues to play tight as their coach's personality when the game's on the line. In the second half the Bonnies commited 11 of its 17 turnovers and was victimized for eight of Niagara's 12 steals. They're still desperate for a guard who can settle the offense. Points Eric Mosley and Charlon Kloof combined for 10 turnover against seven assists. Kloof had seven turnovers in 25 minutes.
Stat of the Game No. 2: It's over. Bona has its first win in the last nine games against Niagara.
The Bigger They Are ...: Foul-plagued Nicholson played just 15 minutes, scored nine points and managed all of one basket in the paint against the undersized Purple Eagles. He also was disqualified on fouls for a technical for kicking at Niagara's Ameen Tanksley during a skirmish. Makeit two technicals in two career games at Niagara.
In the House: Great crowd! They posted a sellout at the ticket windows at least 15 minutes before tipoff. And it was at least half Bona fans.
What It Means: Bona improved to 7-5 with its fourth win in the last five games. Niagara's 5-9 and getting more and more dangerous.
Next Up: Bona opens A-10 play Wednesday in the Reilly Center against George Washington. Niagara plays its next three on the road beginning Monday at Loyola (Md.).
-- Bob DiCesare