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Bona-Saint Joseph's Game Analysis

ST. BONAVENTURE 98, SAINT JOSEPH'S 93 (2OT)

How Bona Won: Remember when this team couldn't put away anybody down the stretch back in December? Look at how it's matured. Key moments abounded, beginning a huge offensive rebound by Demitrius Conger late in regulation, Matthew Wright's three near the end of regulation and Andrew Nicholson's three at the end of the first overtime. The Bonnies were reeling for a spell in the first half but never lost their composure or their focus.

Player of the Game: Could Nicholson be on his way to an unprecidented fourth straight A-10 Player of the Week Award? Can will officially crown him Player of the Year? He went off for 32 points and 14 boards in what might have been his final game at the Reilly Center. He found Wright for the big basket at the end of regulation. He nailed the three that forced a second overtime. And Saint Joseph's is anything but weak up front. This game might have pumped up his NBA stock.

Unsung Hero I: Wright made a three at the end of regulation, another with 13 seconds left in regulation and added a third in OT. So much for that slump.

Unsung Hero II: Conger rebounded a Nicholson miss with 50-some seconds left in regulation and the Bonnies down four. That set up Nicholson's three with 49.7 seconds left that pulled Bona within one. Without that board -- one of Bona's 20 offensive rebounds -- there's no victory celebration.

Stat of the Game: The teams came in ranked 2-3 in the A-10 in rebounding. Final tally: Bona 49-30.

Stat of the Game II: Bona committed just nine turnovers. And the Hawks did them one better.

Are You Kidding Me?: The foul call on Charlon Kloof at the end of regulation mystified. But you have to give C.J. Aiken credit for converting the one and one in enemy territory with 1.1 seconds on the clock.

They Said It ...

Hawks coach Phil Martelli: "Nicholson is a real tribute to the league. He's a real tribute to the league. . . . I just like everything about him and I'll be anxious to see how he does at that next level."

Bona coach Mark Schmidt: "This game was one of the best games if not the best games I've ever been associated with. It was the best game I've been associated with as a head coach."

Schmidt on call at end of regulation: "The play was over, the call was made. We got to refocus and that's what was said in the huddle. Let's go out there and win the next five minutes."

Nicholson on whether he liked the look of his three at the end of OT No. 1: "Yeah."

What It Means: Bona's guaranteed a top-four finish and a bye into the A-10 quarterfinals. They'd finish third with a win at La Salle on Saturday.

In the House: The students were on break but the town picked them up. There were 3,539 on hand and they were loud.

Bona-Saint Joseph's Live

A-10 Bid Watch

ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi is doing an interview for gobonnies.com as I type this and is forecasting two or three NCAA Tournament bids for the Atlantic 10. He says Temple is a lock and Saint Louis is strong and added it's would be more likely the conference gets two bids instead of four. He thinks Bona has a solid shot at a home NIT game if it comes to that. You can see the whole interview once it's posted on gobonnies.com.

-- Bob DiCesare

Big 4 Hoops Chat

UB-Miami Game Analysis

UB 84, Miami 74

How UB Won: The Bulls worked an inside-out offense to perfection in shooting 66.7 percent in the second half and becoming the first team all season to hang 80 or more on the defensive-minded RedHawks. The big guys took control early in the second half, opening the way for three-point ace Zach Filzen over the final 10 minutes.

Player of the Game: Mitchell Watt is on a mission. He scored 28 -- six better than his previous career high -- in a tough matchup against Miami's 6-8, 240-pound Julian Muvunga. Watt also had five boards, four assists, three blocks and a steal. He's averaging 17.2 points and eight boards over the last eight games.

Unsung Hero I: Jarod Oldham's 10 assists were one off his career high.

Unsung Hero II: In 15 minutes Dave Barnett had eight points, six rebounds and three assists. Now that's efficiency.

What It Means: The Bulls improved to 10-4 in conference and will head into the season's final week with no less than a share of second place.

Concern: Guard Tony Watson left the arena on crutches with a calf injury and will be evaluated Monday.

Get Well Soon: Miami's Charlie Coles, the dean of MAC coaches, missed the game after being hospitalized with a virus. He's one of basketball's most entertaining personalities. It wasn't the same without him.

In the House: There were 3,645 on hand.

Next Up: The Bulls play at conference-leading Akron on Wednesday before wrapping up the regular season at home next Saturday evening against Bowling Green. The game at Akron will be UB's last Feb. 29 start until 2016 at the earliest.

-- Bob DiCesare

Ohio-UB live blog

WBB Live Blog: Fordham at St. Bonaventure

Final: St. Bonaventure 52, Fordham 45 With the win the Bonnies secure the No. 1 seed and at least a share of the regular season title.

Second half

3:33 left: Bona leads, 43-39. Bona took it's first lead since 13-11 on a three-pointer by CeCe Dixon. Van Tatenhove scored after that and Jenkins hit two free throws. But Bona had a defensive breakdown and then Bowker was called for an offensive foul. Fordham ball out of the break.

7:28 left: Fordham leads, 37-36. Bona twice had chances to take the lead, but missed or turned the ball over. It's Bonnies ball out of the time out. A bucket is key here.

10:43 left: Fordham leads, 35-32. There is life back in this Bona team. A steal and layup by Megan Van Tatenhove followed by a steal by CeCe Dixon and a three-pointer by Jenkins pulled Bona within one, 29-28, and gave the Bonnies, and their fans, a needed kick. We have ourselves a ball game here folks.

14:30 left: Fordham leads, 29-23. Bona has had some good looks and good shots but they're not falling.Jenkins can't get free and Bona has been one-and-done too many times. Walker grabbed an offensive rebound for Bona -- their first of the game with about 15 minutes left to play. That's not going to get it done when the team is shooting 31 percent (9 of 29).

Halftime: Fordham leads, 27-21. The Rams were hitting from outside in the final few mintues and teh Bonnies were flat as flat can be. Jessica Jenkins hit a jumper in the final seconds to cut the gap to six-points. Fordham has a great defense but Bona needs to fine tune its offense. And quickly. An offensive rebound would help tremendously.

First half

3:15 left: Fordahm leads, 21-19. More missed shots and no offensive rebounds for Bona put them in a 21-16 hole. A three-pointer from Chelsea Bowker cut that lead and Bona's defense was good on the ensuing possession drawing a travel from Fordham. Bona ball out of the timeout.

7:34 left: Fordham leads, 14-13. The teams traded some three-point shots. Bona is having difficulty finishing its offense and has no secnd chance opportunities or points off turnovers. Not completely surprising. Despite its record, Fordham has the best defense in the league.

11:46 left: Tied, 7-7. Bona had some trouble getting its offense in synch in that segment and Fordham had some good possessions. Fordham is dominating the boards (10-5) and Bona has yet to nab an offenisve rebound. Out of the time out JIme Crowley will have a line change. And Walker returns to the game.

14:28 left: Bona leads 5-2 to thanks to a three-pointer by Jessica Jenkins which ended a streak of five missed shots for the Bonnies. All but one were quality looks. Neither team is shooting very well. Fordham is at 16.7 percent (1-6) and Bona is at 28.6 percent (2-7). Bona's Alaina Walker went down under the Bona basekt and grabbed her lower leg. She left the gmae but is still on the bench.

Pregame

Olean -- The 19th ranked St. Bonaventure women's basketball team can clinch the No. 1 seed for the Atlantic 10 tournament at least a tie for the regular season title when it hosts Fordham in the Reilly Center. The Bonnies (25-2, 12-0 A-10) are on a 14-game win streak.

The game will feature a matchup of the two best defenses in the A-10. THe rams lead the conference in scoring defense, allowing 54 points per game whiel Bona is second at 54.1 points per game. You could assume a defensive battle, but my pre-game predicitions have been off all yaer, so I'll refrain from that one.

Fordham (11-16, 2-10 A-10) is tied with UMass for the 12th and final A-10 conference playoff spot. THey won't be ready to roll over just yet. Stephanie Gaitley is in her first year coaching Fordham. A-10 fans will recall Gaitley from her years coaching Saint Joe's.

-- Amy Moritz

Big 4 Hoops Chat

Bona Women Climb to No. 19

A narrow road victory at Dayton and a homecourt trouncing of Xavier helped the St. Bonaventure women's basketball team jump three spots to No. 19 in this week's Associated Press rankings. The Bonnies (25-2) remain directly behind a trio of seven-loss teams -- Louisville, Georgia and Georgia Tech. This week's Coaches Poll still hasn't been released. Bona was ranked No. 25 there last week.

-- Bob DiCesare

 

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About Campus Watch

Bob Dicesare

Bob DiCesare

Western New York native Bob DiCesare covers UB football, Big 4 basketball and writes an occasional column. He still holds a grudge against Chris Ford who, he's convinced, cost St. Bonaventure the 1970 NCAA basketball championship.

@TBNDicesare | bdicesare@buffnews.com


Rodney McKissic

Rodney McKissic

Rodney McKissic began his journalism career in 1989 after graduating from the University of Cincinnati and has worked for The Buffalo News since 2001. A proud father of four children, he enjoys reading in his spare time.

@RodneyMcKissic | rmckissic@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered colleges for The Buffalo News since 1999. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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