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Bona men open NIT against Wagner

Wagner College sits on Grimes Hill on Staten Island with a glorious view of lower Manhattan.

Wednesday night, the Wagner Seahawks basketball team will see another rare sight, a rabid crowd of St. Bonaventure students and fans in the Reilly Center for a first-round National Invitation Tournament game against the Bonnies (7 p.m., ESPN3, 95.7 FM).

Both the Bonnies (22-8) and Seahawks (22-10) have to shake off the disappointment of missing the NCAA Tournament. Bona was left off after losing its Atlantic 10 Conference quarterfinal to Davidson, 90-86, in overtime. Wagner lost on its home court to Fairleigh Dickinson in the Northeast Conference championship game and missed an automatic NCAA bid.

How will St. Bonaventure deal with its NCAA snub?

Wagner, the regular season NEC champion, is led by two all-conference second team performers – 6-foot-5 guard Michael Carey, a junior college transfer from the Bahamas, and 6-3 sophomore guard Corey Henson from DeMatha High (Washington, D.C., area).

Bona lost in the A-10 tournament despite standout performances from seniors Marcus Posley (32 points) and Dion Wright (32 points, 15 rebounds). First-team A-10 guard Jaylen Adams had only three points before fouling out.

This is Bona’s 16th NIT but first since 2002. The Bonnies won it in 1977 at Madison Square Garden.

“Our goal is to make a run to Madison Square Garden,” said St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt, the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year.