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St. Bonaventure gains tie for title in A-10

St. Bonaventure finished off its improbable run in the Atlantic 10 Conference regular season Saturday, completing a 14-4 conference season with hard-earned 76-67 victory over Saint Louis in the regular-season finale at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis.

With the victory, Coach Mark Schmidt’s surprising Bonnies tied Virginia Commonwealth and Dayton for the A-10 regular season championship but they had to settle for the No. 3 seed in conference tournament. Bona’s first game in the postseason will be Friday at 9 p.m. against Duquesne, Davidson or La Salle.

The victory, the fifth straight and 10th in the last 11 games, capped the best Bona season ever in the Atlantic 10 and the 22-7 overall mark ties for the most ever in a regular season in the school’s proud men’s basketball history. They moved into the tie for first place when Dayton edged VCU in overtime, 68-67, after the Bona game had ended.

Sophomore Jaylen Adams, who turned center stage over to senior Marcus Posley for a 47-point game on Tuesday night against Saint Joseph’s, took the spotlight again Saturday. Adams had 23 points, 17 in the first half, and hit four of his eight three-point attempts.

Saint Louis never gained the lead in the second half but the Billikens made Schmidt and the Bonnies work. Bona led for all but 53 seconds in the game but owned just two brief double-digit leads in the second half. The Billikens dogged them almost all the way to the finish.

Picked to finish in the second division in the preseason poll of A-10 coaches, Schmidt’s team upset the forecast. A big road win at Dayton, a sweep of Saint Joseph’s and home wins over George Washington and Duquesne were vital.

Posley finished with 18 points and had four assists, as did Adams, who became a major scoring threat the second half of the season. Adams also had seven rebounds. Dion Wright had 16 points and eight rebounds. Reggie Agbeko had 20 points for Saint Louis. He also had 16 rebounds. Mike Crawford had 17 points and Davell Roby 10 for the Billikens.

The University at Buffalo women stretched their winning streak over old nemesis Kent State to nine games with a 63-47 victory over the Golden Flashes before a Senior Day turnout of 1,678 on Saturday at Alumni Arena.

UB (16-13, 8-10 MAC) earned an No. 8 seed in the Mid-American Conference Tournament and will host Bowling Green on Monday at 5:30 p.m.

“If we can defend like we did today, I think we can really be excited about what the future holds for the postseason, ” said coach Felisha Legette-Jack. UB helped cause 25 Kent State turnovers including 13 steals.

Joanna Smith led the Bulls with 14 points. Stephanie Reid had seven points in just 22 minutes because Legette-Jack used her bench liberally. Reid also six assists. Eleven of the 12 UB players scored in the one-sided victory.