Extra points from the instant classic that was St. Bonaventure's 98-90 victory over St. Joseph's Wednesday night in Rochester:
x-Bona moved up to No. 29 in the NCAA Ratings Percentage Index today, according to ESPN. St. Joe's stands 23.
x-You have to think if Bona can survive Saturday at St. Louis and earn the No. 2 seed, the Bonnies will be in great shape for an at-large NCAA Tournament bid if they can win one A-10 Tournament game.
x-It's worth repeating: Where does Marcus Posley's 47-point, 15-for-19 night rank in Bona history? Sitting on press row with a couple distinguished Bona alums (Mike Vaccaro of the N.Y. Post and Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post), here was a subjective list of the top four most significant individual games ever: Bob Lanier’s 50-point game against Purdue in Madison Square Garden in 1969, a 46-point outing by Tom Stith in a three-OT win over Providence in 1960, Greg Sanders’ 40-point game in the 1977 NIT final against Houston, and Andrew Nicholson’s 26-point, 14-rebound, eight-block game against Xavier in the 2012 A-10 title game. (Jim Satalin acknowledged courtside after Wednesday's game that Sanders would have had 48 easily if the three-point shot was in effect.) Put Posley's night down for No. 5, open to arguments.
x-Mark Schmidt quotes:
"It was a great college game. I thought we played great in the first half. The first seven minutes of the second half we didn’t play well at all. We knew that St Joe's was going to make a run. But I thought our guys really gathered themselves, they answered their run with a run."
"I’ve been doing this for a long, long time, and that’s the best performance I’ve seen since I’ve been on the sidelines as a head coach or an assistant coach. That was just incredible."
x-Jay Adams was held to six points on 2-of-4 shooting. Dion Wright had 22 and Denzel Gregg 14.
Schmidt on Adams: "They were doubling the high ball screen and took Jay out of his comfort zone. But I thought he passed the ball, he got it out of there. And Marcus and Dion and Denzel made plays. Going into the game . . . they tried to take the known away, and Marcus and Denzel and Dion did what they were supposed to do. Now Marcus did more than he was supposed to do."
Schmidt: "The reason I'm most proud is the way we handled adversity. They took the lead (in the second half). After the first TV timeout I don’t think they missed a shot. But we answered it. When you're up by 13 at halftime and a team comes out and puts it to you, it's easy to lay down. But I thought the crowd was terrific and we answered them. We went right back at them."
Schmidt on the NCAA bid prospects: "We gotta just keep on winning and at the end of the year this is our resume and hopefully it’s good enough. You can’t worry about it. Those things change every day. We just gotta continue to win. If we continue to win then things will take care of themselves."
x-St. Joe's venerable coach Phil Martelli maintained the emphasis on Adams didn't impact the defense on Posley. We're not buying it. The Hawks sent a defender to trap Adams. Bona swung the ball around, and the Hawks were chasing the ball repeatedly. It was good team basketball by the Bonnies. Hawks 6-6 star DeAndre' Bembry is a superb defender, but the 6-foot Posley was just too quick for him. Five of Posley's buckets on drives were against Bembry and two of his perimeter jumpers were against him. Three buckets were on fast breaks and five were against other defenders.
Said Martelli: "Him and Wright took us on the bounce too freely. No real feel of the pressure of the game. We didn’t over-commit to Adams. We were committing with the right guy to Adams."
x-Posley quotes: "It’s an unbelievable experience. We executed the game plan going into the game. Lucky for me I had the hot hand early. The guys played through me. I think what happened was I was just hitting shots early. They were giving me good looks and I got in a rhythm early."
x-Posley on driving past Bembry about a dozen times: "Bembry is a great defender. Everybody knows that. He’s an all-league player in our conference. He’s a player of the year candidate in our conference. But things were going for me. When you have confident early you feel like nobody can really stop me. Credit goes to the guys for putting me in those positions. I just tried to attack and create for myself and other guys."
"Transition, I think that’s what got me going early. Instead of getting open shots in our sets I got a couple quick transition buckets in the second half that got me going again. They were doubling Jay at the top of the key. I felt like if I got the ball on the wing in a good position they didn’t really double down on me at all. I’d just make them pay for it. If I drive and I get by them and someone steps up someone else is going to be open. Most of the time when I was getting past the defender in front of me I was able to get to the rim or create separation for a jump shot. It was just a hot hand."
x-Bona led by 92-77 with two minutes left but a few empty possessions and a handful of Hawk shots cut the lead to 93-86 with 49 seconds left. Gregg made a leaping block of a shot by guard Shavar Newkirk with 40 seconds left. Gregg missed two free throws on the other end but the sequence ate up 10 seconds. St. Joe's pulled within 93-88 with 39 seconds left but one free throw by Posley and two by Wright sealed it.