Maybe St. Bonaventure should plan on overtime whenever it visits Philadelphia.
For the second time on their three-day trip to the City of Brotherly Love, the Bonnies had to play an extra session to decide the outcome.
Junior guard J.R. Bremer continued his torrid scoring with 24 points Saturday afternoon as St. Bonaventure overcame an 11-point deficit late in the second half for an 80-76 overtime win over La Salle at Tom Gola Arena.
Thursday night, the Bonnies lost here to St. Joseph's in overtime, 104-97, after a three-point shot by the Hawks' Jameer Nelson in the final second forced the extra period.
This time, the scenario was different. The Bonnies had to rally from a 58-47 deficit with 3:53 left. They then used an aggressive full-court trap defense to force four turnovers, score 10 straight points in 36 seconds and pull to within one.
St. Bonaventure took its first lead of the game, 63-62, when Bremer made two free throws with 27.9 seconds left. La Salle's Victor Thomas made one of two free throws with 5.8 seconds left to force overtime.
In the extra period, La Salle led by five but six points by Bremer kept it close and Kevin Houston's layup with 55 seconds left gave the Bonnies the lead, 74-72. The Bonnies, who made 8 of 10 from the foul line in overtime, iced the win when James Hayden made two free throws with nine seconds left.
"I'm sure our guys were exhausted, because even I was exhausted," said coach Jim Baron, after his team notched its first A-10 road win of the season to pull even at 4-4 in conference play. Bona is 13-7 overall.
"Give the players all the credit, they never lost faith," he added. "We switched to a pressure defense and got some key turnovers. We were at ease in the overtime, much more than on Thursday. We continued to be aggressive. We did a great job on the boards, and we made our free throws.
Bremer, who has scored 98 points in the last three games, had 16 of his 24 points in the second half. He fouled out with 1:25 left in overtime.
Vidal Massiah had 18 points and a season-high nine rebounds and Houston had his second straight double-double (16 points and 10 rebounds) for the Bonnies, who broke a two-game losing streak.
Starting center Peter Van Paassen did not suit up for the game because of a right ankle injury. Freshman Quadir Habeeb (Turner/Carroll) made his first career start for Bona in Van Paassen's place and had a season-high six rebounds in 20 minutes. Forward Robert Cheeks picked up some extra playing time as well and contributed six points and seven rebounds in 25 minutes.
Julian Blanks had a career-high 25 points, including 6 of 10 from beyond the three-point arc. Rasul Butler scored 21 for the Explorers (8-12, 2-7), who have lost eight of their last 10.
The Bonnies begin a three-game Atlantic 10 homestand against Duquesne at 7:30 Wednesday night. First-place St. Joseph's visits Saturday at 2 p.m.
Conference All Games
W L PCT W L PCT
UMass 8 1 .889 10 10 .500
Xavier, Ohio 8 1 .889 17 3 .850
St. Joseph's 7 1 .875 17 4 .810
Temple 6 2 .750 12 10 .545
St. Bona 4 4 .500 13 7 .650
Dayton 4 5 .444 13 9 .591
G. Washington 3 5 .375 9 12 .428
Fordham 3 6 .333 11 10 .524
La Salle 2 7 .222 8 12 .400
Rhode Island 1 7 .125 5 16 .238
Duquesne 1 8 .111 7 15 .318
St. Bonaventure 80, La Salle 76 (OT)
Massachusetts 85, Fordham 59
Dayton 82, Duquesne 63
Xavier 71, George Washington 63
Rhode Island at Temple, 2 p.m.